Feeling sleepy today? You’re not alone.
Almost 40 per cent of Australian adults suffer from inadequate sleep, according to a recent Sleep Health Foundation report by Deloitte Access Economics.
The report details the huge burden of inadequate sleep, which costs Australian’s $66 billion a year ($1.8 billion in health bills, $19.9 billion lost productivity, $6.5 billion other financial costs and an estimated loss of wellbeing cost of $40.1 billion).
Even scarier is the fact that sleep deprivation was linked to 3,017 deaths in 2016 and 2017, causes ranged from falling asleep at the wheel to workplace accidents and medical conditions linked to sleep disorders.
If you’re one of the 7.4 million Australians experiencing inadequate sleep it’s time to do something about it to safeguard your health, productivity and general well-being.
Here are six steps that’ll ensure you get a better quality of sleep.
1. Mattress matters
Seeing as we spend around a third of our lives in bed, life’s too short to be on an old, lumpy and downright uncomfortable mattress. Test out a few different types to find the right mattress for you. Maybe that’s a traditional pocket spring model or an innovative memory foam design, or a mix of both!
The SIMBA Hybrid has just launched in Australia which is a spring and memory foam mattress combo where its springs move horizontally and vertically to fit the shape of your body to give you the best sleep possible.
Matt Taylor, Australian Managing Director of SIMBA says, ‘Our mattresses are a complex layer cake of unique sleep surfaces tailor-made for you and your sleep partner. The Simbatex layer provides cool, gentle support, while the Visco memory foam moulds expertly to anyone’s body shape – designed to support a hippo on one side and a mouse on the other’. So, no more being woken up by your partner’s tossing and turning!
Plus, it conveniently comes rolled up in a compact box, so it’s easy to manoeuvre on even the tightest of hallways and staircases.
Image: SIMBA Stylist: Heather Nette King Photographer: Mike Baker
2. Natural remedies
There are a number of houseplants that can work wonders to aid in getting a great night’s sleep. Some of mother nature’s best sleeping aids to introduce onto your nightstand include:
- Aloe vera- As one of the best plants for purifying air, a NASA study found that as the sun sets aloe vera starts to emit oxygen and the more oxygen there is in the air the easier it is to fall asleep.
- Japanese peace lily- NASA also found that Japanese peace lily helps to rid your room of harmful toxins (such as benzene and formaldehyde) and increases the humidity in the space by up to 5 per cent. Higher humidity levels help to suppress airborne bacteria and microbes that can aggravate allergies at night.
- Jasmine- A study by Raudenbush et al. showed that jasmine was very effective in reducing stress and anxiety, allowing for better quality sleep, reduced movement in the night and even increased cognitive function.
3. Curb clutter
A cluttered and untidy bedroom doesn’t assist in promoting rest and relaxation. SIMBA sleep psychologist Hope Bastine advises the removal of anything non-essential and anything work related to de-stress the sleep space.
Regularly clean out and reorganise your closet, to avoid disorganisation and a ‘floor-drobe’ situation from arising. Invest in tubs, baskets, hanging organisers and maybe even an extra dresser to improve the functionality and make keeping your bedroom organised a breeze.
4. Mood lighting
Hope Bastine emphasises the importance of the right lighting for creating a sleep sanctuary. A warm ambient glow from a bedside lamp is ideal for after-dark use to create the right ambience for rest. Also, consider adding in a dimmer switch to your main lighting so you can adjust the amount of light at different times of the day.
It’s also important to ensure your bedroom is as dark as possible when it comes time for some quality shut-eye. Consider installing blackout blinds if your bedroom window is close to a busy road or streetlights for optimum darkness or if you do shift work and sleep during the day.
5. Decor dos
Invest in some quality bedding that’ll keep you cool or extra warm and cosy depending on the season. Keep the palette of bedding and the rest of your bedroom on the neutral side (greys, creams, whites, beiges, pastels) to promote a tranquil atmosphere.
Artwork is also the perfect opportunity to create a calming feel in your bedroom. Select a piece that makes you feel at ease (think rolling waves, organic prints or tranquil landscapes) and use the colours in the work to accessorise the rest of your room to further enhance the relaxed vibe.
6. Screen ban
Studies show that the blue light emitted from the screens of computers, tablets and smartphones wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm, make it harder to fall asleep and cause a poorer quality night’s sleep. Hope Bastine suggest storing all electronic items out of sight to ensure standby lights and notifications don’t interrupt sleep.
The Harvard health letter recommends making your bedroom a screen-free zone and avoid looking at bright screens for two to three hours before retiring to bed. If you must use your phone for work late at night or close to bedtime install an app that helps reduce blue light eye strain by filtering the blue light your device emits, such as Twilight or f.lux. Alternatively, try reading a book, meditating or taking a warm bath to wind down before bed instead of staring at a screen.
We hope these simple steps help you to wake up better-rested tomorrow and have a better quality snooze in the long term.
The Homely Team