We thought it was appropriate today OF ALL DAYS to talk sleep. Not only is it getting darker in the morning and harder to get up (hashtag first world problem), but it’s also World Sleep Day! Frankly, it does seem a little unfair that it’s not socially acceptable to actually stay in bed all day today, but alas, the next best thing is to read about sleep.
According to a recent study, a whopping 41% of Australians attribute work to negatively affecting their sleep, and a further 47% admit they don’t have a specific routine before going to bed. Now, we know a routine doesn’t sound very sexy, but not having bags under your eyes is sexy, and according to the experts a routine is a major factor in how well you sleep.
We spoke to TV’s impossibly good-looking doctor, Dr Andrew Rochford about his top five tips for a better night sleep. He has backed local Aussie mattress company Koala mattress (the ones with the glass of red wine and all that jumping in the ads…) in their new campaign to get us all to put sleep as a priority and to spend #onemorehour sleeping each day. Here’s how, according to Dr Rochford, you can achieve that seemingly impossibly feat:
1. Kickstart your body clock
“The body clock is a real thing. It is important to set or re-set your body clock, by going to bed and waking up at the same times. This will help you get your body into the rhythm of when to go to sleep and make you feel more refreshed when waking up in the morning. On this note, don’t hit the snooze button, you will feel more refreshed if you wake up and not doze off again.”
2. Rethink your bedroom
“It sounds obvious but you need to make sure your bed and bedroom is comfortable to ensure an uninterrupted night sleep. A good quality mattress is vital and should be changed every eight years. Getting the temperature right will also make sleeping much easier; somewhere between 18-20 degrees Celsius is optimum and will save you from tossing and turning with your leg hanging out of the bed trying to get cool and comfy.” [Read our road test of Koala mattresses, it might surprise you…]
3. Ban the screen
“Try and switch off electronics like mobile phones and laptops at least an hour before bed. It has been found that the light in our devices tricks our brains into not releasing the melatonin we require to get our minds into sleep mode. Instead of watching the next episode on Netflix, try having a shower or bath to wind down. The best sleep friendly entertainment includes reading a book or listening to music. If you choose to listen to music try something soft like Ed Sheeran over something likely to get the blood pumping – save that for the morning commute.”
4. Get sweaty
“Just like sleep, exercise does wonders for the body. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try and go for runs or walks. The repetitive pace of these activities allows your brain to switch off and relax. By de-stressing through walking or running, you’re more likely to be more relaxed and tired when it’s time for bed.”
5. Fuel up your bod
“What you put in your body can heavily affect your sleep. Limit your coffee and alcohol intake for a smoother night sleep. If you go to sleep on the later side consider having a later dinner to avoid snacking on high sugar foods. Rise feeling refreshed by starting your day with a glass of water and a balanced breakfast.”
World Sleep Day is an annual celebration of sleep and provides an opportunity to evaluate the sleep habits of Australians and better understand how sleep deprivation can affect the human mind and body. To mark the day, Koala mattress is encouraging all Australians to go to bed one hour earlier. This simple action (#onemorehour) aims to highlight the positive impact of a good night sleep! We’re on board, bring on sleep-time.