Four Steps To Better Sleep

We all know how important good sleep is: not getting enough of it can damage your mental health, your physical looks and even your waistline. Many people struggle with getting enough sleep, though. It's estimated that half of all Australians aren't getting enough sleep, and almost 10% of Australians have a full-blown sleep disorder. Whether your problem is falling asleep, staying asleep or getting up again, by looking at the four crucial stages of every night's, snooze you can improve your sleep hygiene and, with it, the rest of your life.

Stage One: Before Bed

Figure out when your bedtime should be, and start gearing up for sleep an hour before then. Change into your pyjamas; clean your teeth and go through any nighttime skincare routine you might have; get the kitchen tidy and the dishes from dinner put away--whatever you need to do before you can go to bed, get it done in plenty of time and don't leave it till the last moment. It's a good idea to use this hour as 'winding down' time by sipping a hot (uncaffeinated!) beverage and turning off all your noisy screens.

Stage Two: Getting To Sleep

The blue light from screens is notorious for keeping people awake, so it's a good idea to forgo your phone once you're under the covers. Many people find reading a book to be useful; however, if you're someone who is often kept awake at night by worries and anxiety, occupying your mind in this way can be invaluable. Just ensure your reading light is dim and warm enough that it won't keep you up. If you wake in the night, don't stress about it--it can be a good idea to get out of bed, drink something soothing and caffeine-free like warm milk or chamomile tea, and try again without stressing yourself out over it.

Stage Three: A Sound Night's Rest

For most people, the trick to staying asleep is to maintain a good sleeping environment. Your mattress is an essential part of this; you need to be sure yours is the right firmness for you (some people like softer mattresses and some firmer ones; try a few out in a shop to find out which is your favourite) and that you're turning it about once every three months to keep it in great condition. A zonal mattress is an excellent choice, as they offer support where you need it and softness where it's most comfortable. Hypoallergenic mattresses like Sealy are a great way to ensure nothing's keeping you up in the night, and having a variety of sheets and blankets available will help you make sure you're a good temperature all night long. For more information on finding the right mattress, contact a professional.

Stage Four: Rise & Shine

Even if you're at home during the day, it's important to have a relatively consistent waking-up time. If you're not one of the lucky few who always rise punctually even without an alarm, experiment with different alarm systems to figure out what gets you out of bed the best. Many people swear by daylight lamps for a gentle wake-up call, while those who don't feel like themselves till their morning brew might want to look into automated kettle system to help them get the day under way.