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Healthy Sleep Tips

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These sleep tips will make you a great sleeper

How much sleep are you getting? Experts recommend 7-9 hours per night in order to function at your best. So we know quantity is important, but what about sleep quality?

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - How To Wake Up Refreshed

When life gets busy you may find that not only are you spending less time in bed, but that far too much tossing and turning is happening! These ‘sleep hygiene’ tips can help you make the most of your forty winks so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world every morning.

Create your own personal sleep sanctuary

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Take a good hard look at your bedroom. Is it quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature at night? Is your bed a comfy place to be? Consider investing in black-out blinds, a quality mattress and good pillows, sheets and blankets.

Some people say a cluttered bedroom affects their sleep too, so a thorough clear-out and re-organise could be just what the doctor ordered. With a freshly revamped bedroom you’ll be dying to jump into bed every night!

Be consistent

Try to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, even on weekends and holidays. While it’s tempting to sleep in on your days off work or study, you’ll find sticking to a regular pattern reinforces your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, helping you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep for the night.

Start a bedtime ritual

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Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids! Establish your own personalised wind-down ritual before bed. Avoid over-stimulation from bright lights, loud music, action-packed TV shows or movies, studying or answering work emails. You might like to try some of these calming ideas:

  • Have a warm bath or shower with nice-smelling soap or essential oils.
  • Make yourself a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea. Chamomile is a great choice to encourage relaxation.
  • Practice a gentle bedtime yoga or stretching routine. Search ‘bedtime yoga’ or ‘yoga for sleep’ on YouTube for a huge array of free videos to get you started. Our fave yoga YouTuber is Yoga with Adriene.
  • Listen to some calm classical, jazz or chill-out music during your bedtime ritual. Spotify has some great playlists designed exactly for this purpose!

Avoid naps if your night-time sleep isn’t the best

Taking long naps can create a vicious circle where you’re not tired enough to get to sleep at night, especially if you’re an afternoon napper.

Resist the temptation unless you really need to catch up or you’re a champion sleeper at night. Even then, stick to a maximum of 30 minutes for your power nap, and avoid doing so late in the day.

Get moving

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Exercising to increase sleep time

Regular exercise, especially of the vigorous variety, can improve your sleep quality. Not to mention all of exercise’s other amazing benefits like lifting your mood, reducing stress and improving your overall physical health.

Outdoor exercise is the best since exposure to sunlight during the day helps regulate your body’s sleep cycle.

Manage stress

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Stress and Sleep

Whatever’s bothering you: “don’t lose sleep over it!” Easier said than done, right? Some of these stress management ideas may help your worries from interfering with your beauty sleep:

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
  • Get organised – prioritise your must-do tasks and delegate what you can.
  • Make a to-do list for the next day every evening.
  • Meditate or simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths before bed.

How technology affects sleep

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How many times have you vowed to yourself this is the night you’ll turn in early, get a great night’s shut-eye and wake up feeling like a million bucks, only to find yourself still on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube two hours later?

The solution is simple and only requires good old-fashioned willpower. Put your phone on silent or better yet turn it off overnight, then just put it down! You might like to try leaving it another part of the house if you think you’ll be tempted to grab for it before you fall asleep.

It’s important to minimise your screen time at night too. Research shows looking at a screen before bed can prevent you getting a good night’s rest and contribute to feeling groggy in the morning, thanks to the ‘blue light’ these devices emit coupled with mental stimulation when you should be winding down for sleep.

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