Insomnia

5 quick ways to improve your sleep

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Waking up energised and refreshed helps you to feel good and get the most out of each day.

But to do this, you need to get sufficient sleep every night so your body and mind have plenty of time to rest and recuperate. However, if you have a busy life and you find that your energy is beginning to wane, it may be due to poor sleep. 

The good news is that sleep is more under your control than you realise.

Here are some quick tips to help you improve your sleep and maximise the hours you spend resting so you can always awake your best.

1. Perfect your bedroom for sleeping

Your bedroom plays a role in the quality of rest you get each night, and through some simple adjustments, you can easily optimise your environment to get the best sleep.

Ideally, you want your room to be relaxing, quiet, dark and cool.1

To achieve this, try the following:

  • Wear earplugs or play some soft background noise
  • Draw the curtains and close the blinds
  • Turn your bedroom lights off earlier
  • Keep your room clean and tidy
  • Ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable
  • Switch your phone onto silent and dim the screen light
  • Remove any loud ticking clocks or noises
  • Turn the TV and other distractions off
  • Keep your room well-ventilated
  • Avoid running a heater all night

These little changes are simple yet go a long way in creating the perfect environment to nod off and get some quality sleep when you need it most.

2. Have a warm bath in the evening

A relaxing bath (or a shower if you prefer) is quite a popular way to help you wind down, slow your thoughts, and nod off sooner when you get into bed.

In fact, this has been shown to help people achieve better sleep quality and get a deeper sleep at night2,3,4. Adding a warm bath to your evening routine is easy to do and acts as a nice way to reward yourself at the end of the day too!

3. Melatonin supplements

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body which triggers your mind into sleep-mode by helping regulate your internal body clock’s cycle of sleep and wakefulness5.

Melatonin supplements can be used either to help you feel sleepy before bed, or help you adjust to different time zones when travelling. 

In Australia, Melatonin supplements generally require a prescription so it’s best to speak with your Doctor about Melatonin. 

4. Consider other supplements

There are other natural, plant-based supplements that may help you sleep and are more widely available than Melatonin. 

For example:

  • Lavender oil has been shown to have a relaxing effect and improve sleep6
  • Ginkgo biloba, which can be found in tea and tablet form, may aid in sleep, relaxation and stress reduction7
  • Valerian root may help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality8,9
  • Chamomile tea may also reduce stress and anxiety which can help you sleep10

Again, it’s best to speak to your Doctor if you wish to consider supplements.

5. Head to bed only when you’re actually tired

If you go to bed and you find yourself lying awake staring at the ceiling for a while, then you may become frustrated or stressed, which doesn’t help. 

If it has been longer than 20 or 30 minutes, get up again, go into a different room and do something relaxing such as read a magazine, meditate or listen to some gentle music. Try to avoid screens, loud noises and bright light as much as possible.

This should help calm your mind and body, and put you back into the right headspace. Once you feel tired again, jump back into bed. 

How a free sleep assessment can help you

Getting enough quality sleep each and every night will help you wake up refreshed and revitalised the next morning. 

If you are experiencing problems sleeping, you may wish to consider undertaking our free online sleep assessment to better understand how to improve your restful state and overall health. 

The assessment only takes 60 seconds and asks you a series of simple questions designed to provide you with more information. It also conveniently sends the results to you via an email.

Awaken at your best by taking our online sleep assessment now.

ResMed online sleep assessment

What if your sleeping issues are serious? Our sleep assessment helps you uncover if you have sleep apnea.

 

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Citations

2
Source: Bathing before sleep in the young and in the elderly. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999 Jul;80(2):71-5.
3
Source: Effects of bathing and hot footbath on sleep in winter. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2000 Jan;19(1):21-7
5
Source: Melatonin. Sleep Health Foundation.
8
Source: Aqueous Extract of Valerian Reduces Latency to Fall Asleep in Man. Planta Med 1985; 51(2): 144-148 DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-969430
9
Source: Effectiveness of Valerian on insomnia: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Sleep Med. 2010 Jun;11(6):505-11. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2009.12.009. Epub 2010 Mar 26.
10
Sources: Herbal Remedies And Sleep. Sleep Health Foundation Australia.
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