Simple life hacks for better sleep

February 19, 2016 0 Comments

Simple life hacks for better sleep


Sleep. You don't really appreciate it until you become a shift worker or a parent which is practically the same thing without pay right? Clocking in some quality shut eye is one of the best things you can do for your body because while you're sleeping, your body finally has some time to restore, heal and rejuvenate.

If you've ever had a bad night, or stayed up all night, you know that the next day is going to be struggle.

A CQ University study into the sleep patterns of Australians surveyed thousands of Aussies on their night time habits. It revealed that 96 percent of respondents woke feeling tired and almost 40 percent of them had fallen asleep at their desk or during a meeting.

According to the Sleep Foundation 18 per cent of adults regularly sleep less than six hours per night and 20 percent suffer chronically from poor sleep, half of these from a sleep disorder and the remainder from poor sleep habits

According to Professor David Hillman, President, Sleep Health Foundation, at least nine per cent of serious road crashes are due to fatigue, equaling to 25,920 injuries per annum with associated costs of $277,912.00 per accident. In the workplace there are currently 9,584 fatigue related injuries per annum, each costing $131,912.00. 

I'm sure if there was a study on sleep deprivation and divorce rates, there would be some relationship there too.

There are a few things you can do to ensure you're getting the most out of your sleep however.

Timing is everything.
The most restorative sleeping hours and 10pm to 2am, the time when your body cleanses major organs so do your body a favour and make sure your eyes are shut by 10pm.

Cut caffeine.
Coffee, raw cacao, cacao nibs, green or black tea, they all contain caffeine. If you consume caffeine after 3pm it will still be in your system at night and will be difficult to fall asleep. If you're hyper sensitive like me, try to avoid caffeine from about 12pm on wards.

Lights out.
Your body is so clever that when it starts to get dark it makes this wonderful stuff called melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. Once it starts getting dark, melatonin levels will rise and you will start to feel sleepy. The catch is that any hint of light will have the reverse effect, and your melatonin levels will drop telling your body to wake up. Turn off the bright lights a couple of hours before going to bed. If you're a reader, use a candle or a dimmed light and do your best to remove all electronics, including your phone, out of your bedroom.

Make friends with yoga. 
There are a few simple, adrenal gland soothing poses you can do in bed right before you go to sleep. Meditation is another great way to soothe your restless mind. Try the following for ultimate relaxation:

Ditch the booze.

Although alcohol can make you sleepy, it actually disrupts your sleep in the second half of the night. Drinking alcohol close to bed time is associated with frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, and headaches probably because instead of rejuvenating, your body is busy detoxing your liver from the poison it's just been dealt. Try to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime.
Had a big weekend? Binge drinking will affect your levels of melatonin for up to a week! This will explain why you feel so shady for days after.

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