Improve your sleep in 2019
Improving your sleep should be a at the top of your list this year if you want a healthier body and mind. Whether you can’t fall asleep, you wake up often or just don’t seem to get enough ZZZ’s every night, it’s time to set in motion some new bedtime patterns and consider the causes.
Why does sleep matter?
It’s been said that Australia is in the grip of a sleeplessness epidemic, with around four out of 10 Australians not getting enough sleep.
Fixing your sleep is up there with good diet and exercise and stopping smoking, as one of the best things you can do for your health. This is because poor sleep has been linked to:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Mental health problems
- Weight gain
- Poor decision making
- Nearly a quarter of motor vehicle accidents
Tips for better sleep
For some people, sleep problems are linked to a sleep disorder. A sleep clinic can diagnose these and give you expert, evidence-based help.
For others, sleeplessness is caused by lifestyle including some things you can change – like too much screen time, and some things you can’t change – like shift work and young children.
We all have periods of sleeplessness but if they drag on, these sleep hygiene tips could help you re-establish better sleep habits:
- Switch of screens and mobile phones 60 mins before bed as they interfere with melatonin (or ‘sleepiness hormone’) levels
- Write down any minor worries early in the evening, so they don’t pop up and keep you awake later
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Wear an eye mask or get blackout curtains – ambient light can be more disruptive than you think
- White noise, such as a fan or a special white noise recording, also helps some people get better sleep especially in city environments
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed (a herbal sleep tea is a nice alternative)
- Cut back on certain foods in the evenings including refined carbohydrates like pasta, chocolate, soy, MSG and spicy foods
Do you need a sleep study?
If these tips don’t work or if snoring is an issue for you or your partner, ask your GP to refer you for a sleep study. At Elevate we have a Sleep Clinic with a specialist respiratory sleep physician, Dr Kevin Chan, to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.
You can either ask your GP for a referral (or see one of our GPs – book online HERE). Then call us on 1300 652 219 to make an appointment at the Elevate Sydney CBD clinic or one of our other sleep clinics across Australia.
Read more about our sleep clinics and sleep disorders HERE.
Answer a few questions HERE to assess your risk of having Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
It’s time we gave sleep the attention it deserves!