Struggling to sleep? Try these top tips...
First published in northsider magazine Autumn 2019
But what if you’ve counted a whole flock of sheep – twice - and you’re still not transported to the land of nod? Well, you’re not alone. According to statistics, one in four Australians struggles to sleep*. Here’s some top tips to help you drop off.
While moving more might be the last thing your sleepy self wants to do, exercise is one way of getting yourself more ready for bed. “Your body won’t need to rest if you’re not moving enough during the day,” Matthew Dent, personal trainer at Plus Fitness North Sydney explains. “Try getting some light exercise early in the morning. Aim for 10-15 minutes of movement to start with and avoid doing too much, too soon. Make it consistent and build on it, increasing the time as you get used to moving more.”
Taking slow breaths can help improve blood pressure and calm you down.
Weight to go
“Resistance training is a great option,” Matthew continues. “It demands your attention and is challenging which helps manage stress.”
Walk it off
Low intensity cardio, such as walking on a treadmill or to work, is also a good place to start. “You can zone out with the movement,” Matthew says. “Try to exercise in the morning so your body realises it’s day time.”
See sunlight early in the day and reduce your use of blue light –phones, tablets, TVs etc -in the evening.
“You want to make sure you have stable and adequate blood sugar throughout the night, so if you’re going to bed hungry, that isn’t good,” Matthew says. “I generally recommend eating the bulk of your carbohydrates in the evening. Try complex carbs, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and taro.”
Pay attention to bedtime - what temperature is your room? Is it dark enough? Is there something on your mind? “Write down anything that’s worrying you,” Matthew suggests. “Your brain can start to relax knowing that you won’t forget it.”
"Be consistent with your bedtime - even on the weekends!"
Switch your device to night mode and download a free app or podcast to help you sleep
Welcome to Night Vale Radio
There’s a touch of Twin Peaks about this fictional US town. Listeners say the delivery of the tales lulls them to sleep.
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds
Summer storms, crackling fires and babbling rivers are just some of the white noise that could help you nod off.
Sleep With Me
This podcast aims to bore you to sleep with monotonous tales and pointless ramblings.
Words: Anna Gordon *RESEARCH BY THE SLEEP HEALTH FOUNDATION, AUGUST 2017