It’s 3am; you’ve been tossing and turning for hours and you’ve filled more than a few paddocks with counted sheep. Another stressful, sleepless night has left you feeling groggy and grumpy the next day, and you’ve had enough! Not everyone is blessed with the ability to drift off to the Land of Nod quickly or easily. With the daily stresses of work and family life, our minds are overwrought and our imaginations overstimulated.
We’re keeping ourselves awake into the wee hours despite our obvious physical tiredness, and this poses a big problem for our health and wellbeing. Scientific studies have shown that the risk of high blood pressure is more than three times greater for those who sleep for less than six hours a night, and women who have less than four hours of sleep are twice as likely to die from heart disease! But get ready for a great night’s sleep with these helpful sleep hacks.
Set a bed time
Look, we know you’re not eight years old anymore. You’re an adult and staying up late is your prerogative. But, bed times are actually really important (your Mum was right!). If your body isn’t prepared for sleep, then you’re not going to fall asleep, it’s as simple as that! Having a set routine of bedtime activities, like having a relaxing bath or doing some meditation, will help you to distance yourself from the stresses of the day and effectively prepare yourself mentally and physically for a good night’s sleep.
Turn off and tune out
Turning your devices off at least a half an hour before bed is the best way to avoid over-stimulating yourself at bedtime, but did you know that the bright blue light your phone, computer, tablet, and TV give off could be keeping you awake at night? Research shows that exposure to this kind of light suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. If you have to work late at night, then install a program like f.lux, which eliminates that eerie blue glow by automatically adjusting the brightness of your screen to different times of day and various lighting environments.
Keep it Out of the Bedroom
Make your bedroom a quiet haven for sleep and you’ll be snoozing in no time. An electronic-free, dimly lit, uncluttered clean room is the best for some peaceful rest! You could even try introducing something lavender-scented into the space, a 2012 Japanese study found it to be a calming influence that helped participants to fall asleep faster!
Sleep in 90-minute Blocks
When you go to sleep your brain cycles through different cycles of the sleep state, each lasting around 90 minutes. So you will feel the most rested when you wake up at the end of one of these 90-minute sleep cycles because your body will be closest to its normal waking state. Start from when you want to wake up and count back in 90-minute periods to find out when you should be going to bed, or…
Calculate Your Sleep
Let our “Sleep Calculator” figure out the best time for you to fall asleep to get the most out of your bedtime! Simply type in the time you want to be asleep or when you need to wake up, and taking into account the 14 minutes it takes for the average person the fall asleep; it will give you the three best times for you to get your well-deserved shut-eye.