10 months ago

Most of us will have had nights where we just can’t seem to sleep, or others where despite sleeping we wake without feeling refreshed. For some this may be a short term issue, for others long term. Inadequate sleep is a common issue affecting 2 in 5 australians. Find out how you can improve your sleep by following the tips below.

Why do I need a good night’s sleep?

A good night’s sleep not only makes us feel more alert, energetic and able to perform. It’s an essential biological function that helps our body in physical recovery and repair, supports brain development, cardiac function and body metabolism as well as improving memory and mood. 

Establishing good sleep habits starts from when we are children, with sleep especially important for children, playing an important role in growth and development. As we age however, these good sleep habits and bedtime routines often get forgotten. Although adults don’t require as much sleep as children, good quality sleep hygiene can tend to become less of a focus, resulting in poor quality sleep. 

Sleeping with your devices is a common contributor to a poor quality of sleep. Consider sleeping with your device in another room to minimise distraction.

7 common factors that contribute to a poor quality sleep

Regular poor sleep can contribute to long term health conditions.
There are many contributing factors that can affect how we sleep. These include:

  • Stress 
  • Diet
  • Caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Disruptive environment – noise/light/uncomfortable surroundings
  • Poor quality air
  • Daily exercise levels
  • Medical conditions/sleep disorder

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Babies and young children need the most sleep, with sleep requirements generally declining as we age. The average adult needs a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night. For some people slightly lower or higher than recommended may be usual.

The amount of sleep you need differs by age, with babies requiring the most. The average adult requires a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night.

Recommended Sleep by Age (Australian Sleep Health Foundation)

Age (Years)Recommended Sleep (Hours)

5 Tips For a Better Nights Sleep:

Good sleep hygiene can make a big difference on sleep quality and your ability to fall asleep quickly.

1. Stick to a regular bedtime and wake time

A regular sleep-wake cycle is an example of an aligned circadian rhythm, with light exposure during the day helping us remain awake and active and as night falls, our internal clocks initiate the production of melatonin to promote sleep. It can be tempting to sleep in on the weekends, however doing so can affect your ability to fall asleep the next night.

2. Avoid daytime naps

As tempting it may be to squeeze in a quick catnap, in order to maintain that circadian rhythm it’s recommended to avoid. Although they may feel good at the time, more often than not they will impact your ability to have a good sleep the next night.

3. Exercise regularly

Ensure you exercise for 30 mins daily, doing something that raises your heart rate.

4. Limit caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are both stimulants that can impede your ability to achieve a good quality sleep.  Stop drinking these at least 3 hours before bedtime. Check out the 10-3-2-1 tool below for a simple guide to creating a better night’s sleep.

5. Create a bedtime routine

In order to prepare for sleep it can be a good idea to remove any distractions whether that’s physical, as in the temptation to look at your phone, or mental, like concerns you may have. Perhaps choose to read a book, journal or write a to-do-list for the next day to relax the mind. Simple stretches or meditation could also be part of a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Find what works for you.

Good sleep hygiene can start as simply as following the 10-3-2-1 rule for good quality sleep.

So what changes can you make now to improve your quality of sleep?

A healthy diet and positive lifestyle habits can help ensure a better sleep quality. Why not try this popular sleep tool, to help you improve the quality of your sleep and help you feel more refreshed each day.

Have You Heard of The 10-3-2-1 Rule?

The 10-3-2-1 rule is a great simple and easy to remember tool to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep.

10 hours before bed – stop drinking caffeine.

So if you usually go to sleep at 10pm, make it a morning coffee and switch to decaf for the afternoon.

3 hours before bed – stop eating and drinking alcohol.

Reduce the late night snacking and stick to a healthy dinner at least 3 hours before bed. Reduce alcohol intake and limit this to an occasional daytime or early evening.

2 hours before bed – stop working

It’s important to let our minds unwind after time spent working.

1 hour before bed – stop screen activity

Put the screens away. Leave your phone in another room if needed.

Support others to get a good night’s sleep

Encourage your friends and family to try out this tool and establish a healthy sleep routine. Supporting each other to get a good night’s sleep can positively impact physical and mental wellbeing. Together let’s make getting a good night’s sleep a priority. 

If you are experiencing regular poor quality sleep or symptoms of insomnia and would like to discuss your sleep with a doctor give us a call on
(02) 6654 1282 or pop into the surgery to book an appointment.