5 Expert Tips For Better Sleep Hygiene

  • Written by Eric Chan, Head of Pharmacy at Blooms The Chemist

A good night’s rest is vitally important for both our physical and mental health. Sleep is an active process of autophagy, which is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer healthier cells.

During sleep, the cells of our brains are literally cleaned out of waste products, rejuvenating, restoring, and regenerating – to work more efficiently, providing us with that fresh feeling and energy to tackle a new day.

Here are five things anyone can do to help themselves get a better night’s rest:

Establish Sleep Regular Sleep Patterns

Sleep is your built-in, non-negotiable life support system, and it is free. If you don’t use it, you are missing out. With a consistently good night’s sleep, you build the physical, mental, and emotional resilience to fulfil your potential and be the best you can be. A consistently good night’s sleep is a function of both quantity (7-9 hours per night) and quality sleep, which means breathing whilst asleep. The key to a good night’s rest is establishing a sleep routine. The routine of the sun going up and down drives our world and has done since the beginning of time. We should respond to that – it’s the natural rhythm, called the circadian rhythm, which when out of synch is disruptive.

Banish technology from the bedroom

Banish technology from the bedroom at least one hour before going to sleep - digital screens from phones, televisions and laptops emit blue light which is very disruptive to our circadian rhythm, that all-important body clock in our brain that responds to light changes in our environment and regulates our sleep and awake cycles.

Eat Meals At Regular Times Each Day

Have meals at regular, consistent times each day. This routine helps to regulate your body’s natural clock, allowing it to shift energy production in the day to restorative function at night.

Spend Time Outdoors

Make sure you spend some time outdoors, even if for 15 minutes at a time, if possible around sunrise or sunset, so that your body has the exposure to natural light at the start and end of the day. This will help send the appropriate signal to your brain to help set your circadian rhythm. It is also good for your skin to get natural light packed with vitamin D.

Manage weight gain to reduce sleep apnoea

COVID-19 has seen many of us pack on those ‘COVID Kilos’ which in stressful circumstances is quite understandable. What we do not take into account is that this may affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Weight gain has been associated with sleep conditions such as excessive snoring, sleep disruption and obstructive sleep apnoea1.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is the debilitating sleep condition characterised by loud and persistent snoring, witnessed pauses in breathing and choking or gasping for air. An estimated 3 million Australians suffer from sleep apnoea- up to 80% of which don’t know that they have it. Obstructive sleep apnoea has been associated with chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and even heart conditions and stroke. An at-home sleep test can determine if you have obstructive sleep apnoea, or you can visit your local Blooms The Chemist pharmacy and speak to a sleep expert.

If you think you may be suffering from Sleep Apnoea, take the Sleep Study Quiz and then visit your local Blooms The Chemist to discuss your situation and what steps you could be taking to get a good night’s sleep.