Australia is in a sleep deprivation epidemic. But, you can give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep with these helpful tips.
Research indicates that 33-44% of adults sleep either poorly or for an insufficient length of time on most nights. Not getting enough sleep means you start the new day fatigued, irritable and with other side effects of sleep deprivation. It is now common knowledge that getting a good night’s sleep is an essential basis of good health, with benefits including decreased risk of heart disease; improved ability to lose unwanted weight; improved memory, and many more benefits.
Here are 5 tips help improve your sleep:
1. Avoid caffeine after midday
It is well understood that caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates various systems within the body. Research suggests that caffeine can stay in your system for 8-14 hours. If you suffer from poor sleep, avoiding caffeine after midday may improve your sleep quality. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, green tea, some soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. Herbal teas and a snacks such as nuts can be good substitutes for an afternoon coffee.
2. Go to bed by 10pm
Ancient medicine practices such a Chinese medicine and Ayurveda suggest that the optimal time for the human body to sleep is from 10pm to 6am. In fact, recent research confirms that hormonal fluctuations throughout the day support sleep at this time. The sleep hormone, Melatonin, peaks between 11pm and 1am and you don’t want to miss that or suppress it by being awake. The body has a natural rhythm, which is driven by daylight, so sleep cycles are important. This means that sticking to them will improve your health.
3. Avoid back-lit electronic devices
TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets emit a sleep-disrupting light. If you have problems sleeping, aim to switch off these devices 1 hour before bed.
4. Take up meditation
Daily meditation has been proven to reduce stress and research indicates it can have a positive effect on improving sleep, especially for those with sleep issues. Just 10 minutes a day is all your body may need. There are many guided meditation courses available that can be helpful to get you started.
5. Create a relaxing, luxurious, sleep environment
Create a sleep-friendly environment, clutter-free and tidy to create a little piece of luxury in your home. A place that feels relaxing will improve sleep and decrease anxiety. Diffusing lavender, or other oils such as vetiver, may also aid in sleep.
Combining all of these tips will give you the best chance of improving your sleep patterns, and experiencing the associated benefits.
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