Sleep Health

Lauren Jackson - Talking sport, life and her struggles with sleep

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We caught up with our newest Sleep Ambassador Lauren Jackson about her life before and after basketball and why getting a good night's sleep has not always been easy for her. Get to know more about her in our interview below.

RESMED: We know you as arguably Australia's best basketballer ever, but can you tell us some of the other things you do away from the game?

LAUREN: Well, I’m a mum. I do a little part-time study, and I am the Head of Women in Basketball at Basketball Australia. I love to put on some music and cook on the weekends for my family, and I love the very rare moments when I get to just be quiet with my boys and sit and cuddle them. Those moments are so precious.

RESMED: What's a typical morning for you?

LAUREN: A typical day for me is a wake up between 5:30 and 6 am to take care of my youngest son. I get showered, dressed and ready, then get the kids dressed and sorted for preschool and day-care. I get them to day-care between 7:30 and 8:30, and then I’m straight into the office to work all day. I then get the kids home around 4 pm, get them showered and fed – and normally have them both in bed around 7:30. I may go to bed then also or do a little work if I have some and just take the time to catch up.

RESMED: In addition to training and nutrition, how important was sleep to your success on the court?

LAUREN: Sleep was vital for me when I was an athlete, and unfortunately that is one area in my person that I couldn’t master. I dealt with a range of injuries during my career, but I also dealt with a level of anxiety especially when I was overseas. I’m arthritic in a lot of my joints so managing the ache during the night is a big part of my sleep health.

RESMED: When did you first recognise you weren't sleeping as well as you like?

LAUREN: Years ago – going on 20 years ago I would say. I thought it was just normal and I wasn’t educated enough to ask someone to get help. I often used sleep medication or alcohol (a glass or two of wine) to try to make me drowsy. If that didn’t work, I would be up watching TV all night. When I was an athlete, I was worried about the next practise or the next game – about my performance. I was worried about everything that could affect my performance on the court. Now, I worry about my kids and getting their lunches together – worried about their futures, their behaviours, my parenting.

RESMED: How did you find out about ResMed?

LAUREN: I have always had trouble sleeping. It’s exaggerated now with the kids as they both end up in my bed during the night. I had heard of ResMed CPAP therapy and also with the use of respirators once Covid hit, so I knew of the great work that was being done. I was just intrigued to see if I could benefit from a sleep professional to help me along the way. It’s also been good to talk about my issues and hear that other people have the same problems.

RESMED: Have the discussions with our sleep coaches or any of our products helped?

LAUREN: Learning different techniques and trying to integrate some of these into my sleep routine is an exciting new journey and really helping me. I use the Dodow now and have taken advice from my first sleep coach around routine – not using screens, etc. The weighted blanket is amazing for short naps (if I ever get the time), but I find after an hour or so my joints start aching underneath it as I am quite arthritic from my playing days so that is a bit of a problem for me also. I love the tea at night time and mist and essential oils.

RESMED: What are the most significant improvements you see in yourself when you get a good night's rest?

LAUREN: My energy levels are much higher, my mood is better, and I just have feeling of general wellbeing, whereas when. I don’t have a good sleep, come 4 pm when my kids get home, I am exhausted and I am dreaming of bed. I want to be able to spend those hours present with my kids, that’s why it’s crucial for me to get the rest I need.

RESMED: Where do you see your Sleep Ambassadorship and sleep health journey taking you?

LAUREN: I’m just really excited about this journey with ResMed, and I’m proud to be part of their extended family now.

Are you at risk of sleep apnea?

 

If you frequently wake up during the night you may have sleep apnea. Take our free sleep assessment to find out.

 

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