Sleep Hygiene: Here’s Why We’re Not Getting Enough And How To Get More
We all know sleep is good for us. In fact, it was identified as one of the top three most important factors to achieving a healthy lifestyle in the Swisse Wellness Survey.
And what’s not to like about it? It improves concentration and productivity, and can help improve athletic performance. It also supports your immune functioning. And who doesn’t feel better after a good night snoozing under the doona? Consumers in the Swisse Wellness Survey identified it as key for achieving healthy mental wellbeing and having an alert mind, reducing stress, assisting physical performance, and achieving emotional balance.
How many hours of sleep should I get?
The recommended hours of sleep for adults is between seven and nine hours a night, to feel refreshed and able to function the next day. Babies, young children and teens need even more sleep to support their growth and development.
How to get a good night’s sleep
However, in spite of all the well-heralded benefits, many of us simply aren’t getting enough. In fact, over a third of adults experience inadequate sleep . Modern lifestyle habits are inhibiting consumers’ ability to switch off from the demands of everyday life. Hyperstimulation due to electronic devices, lack of balance and poor diet can all contribute to poor quality sleep.
So, wondering how to get to sleep when you can’t? Here are a few handy tips you might like to try, if counting sheep just isn’t hitting the spot.
Set up a sleep schedule
Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, even on weekends. Find a bedtime ritual that works for you, to help you unwind and signal to your body that sleep is imminent. It doesn’t matter what you do – read, take a bath, meditate – but the key is consistency. If you’re wondering how to fix your sleep schedule but don’t know where to start, try setting an alarm an hour before bed to signify that you need to start winding down, then go through your chosen ritual, and set another alarm for when it’s time to hit the sheets. These reminders should help set you on the path to getting into a good sleep routine.
Should I wake up at the same time every day?
Yes, you should most definitely be waking up at the same time every day. We’ve already said this above, but it’s such an important point, it’s worth reiterating. While it’s tempting to sleep in on the weekends, or use this as a time to ‘catch up’, an inconsistent sleep schedule can throw off your circadian rhythm (the body’s way of regulating sleep), which may lead to insomnia. Your wake-up time is the anchor of your circadian sleep rhythm, so it’s worth setting that alarm, even if you don’t have to get up for anything.
Exercises to add to your sleep routine
Physical exercise, even 10 minutes of aerobic exercise per day (such as walking or cycling), can improve the sleep quality and duration. It used to be thought that you shouldn’t exercise too close to bedtime, as this could cause over-stimulation and contribute to not getting enough sleep. However, it’s now believed that this depends on the individual, and if evening exercise helps wear you out for bed, then go for it!
Create the right environment
The main aim of your bedroom is for sleeping, so make sure it aligns with that. While it’s nice to have a room that’s been created for your interior design tastes, one that is over-stimulating can be a cause of not getting enough sleep. Go for curtains that black out light and reduce noise (consider ear plugs if necessary). Make sure your room is cool, between 16-19 degrees Celcius. Finally, make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive, and consider changing it every 10 years.
Consider a sleep aid supplement
You might think about incorporating a sleep supplement as part of your sleep regime. Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium + Sleep Powder can help promote restful sleep, calm the nervous system* and support muscle relaxation.
Why is getting enough sleep important?
The reasons why getting enough sleep is important are extensive. Sleep makes the body release hormones that regulate energy, mood, and mental acuity. It’s crucial for physical renewal, hormonal regulation, and growth. When people don’t get enough sleep, they’re more likely to get sick, feel depressed, and gain an unhealthy amount of weight. They may also experience problems with memory and have difficulty concentrating 
How do I know if I’ve slept enough?
So, you’ve followed all the tips to fall asleep above, but how do you know if it was enough? You can check if you’ve had enough sleep firstly by working out how many hours of shut-eye you obtained. While that’s a good general indicator, it’s also beneficial to consider your sleep quality. Generally, good sleep quality can be determined by the following:
- You fall asleep within 30 minutes of getting into bed.
- You typically sleep through the night, waking up no more than once.
- You fall back asleep within 20 minutes if you do wake up.
- You feel rested and restored when you wake up, and have plenty of energy.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use.
*Hops traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine.
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