Good quality and amount of sleep is crucial for everyone’s physical and mental health. The average sleep length for an adult is 7 hours, but these days for many people (up to 45% of population) it is much less. Poor sleep affects our mood, cognitive performance, work performance and academic abilities.
Poor sleep habits include:
- Daytime napping at least twice a week
- Variable bedtime and wake-up time
- 2-3 times a week of extended times in bed
- Routine use of alcohol, tobacco or caffeine before bedtime
- Exercising too close to bedtime
- Exciting or emotionally upsetting activities before bedtime
- Non-sleep-related activities in bed (e.g. snacking, studying, watching tv, using mobiles)
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable bed
- Uncomfortable bedroom environment (e.g. too cold/hot/stuffy/bright)
- Increased mental activity in bed (e.g. thinking, planning)
So how can you improve your sleep habits?
- Sleep as much as needed to feel refreshed but no more
- Stick to regular bedtime and wake-up time
- Regular daily exercise in the late afternoon or early evening
- Ensure a calm, quiet bedroom, avoiding loud, sudden noises
- Ensure the room isn’t too warm
- Ensure you are not hungry, for many people warm milk aids in sleep
- Avoid caffeine prior to bed
- Beware of alcohol – although it may aid in relaxation it often causes fragmented sleep
- Avoid forcing yourself to sleep
- Rule out obstructive sleep apnea and snoring – consult with your doctor or dentist. Ensure you are breathing well while you are sleeping, thus getting enough oxygen into your body. You may need to sleep with a CPAP machine or a special mouth guard-type appliance (MAS) to ensure clear airways and steady breathing.
We are always here to help. Call us on (03) 9531 6387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.