To function at our best we need sleep, so getting a good night’s rest is essential for our health and well-being. Nutritionist Danijela Unkovich of ‘Healthy Always’ shares her top tips for getting a great night’s sleep, especially during the summer months ahead.
It doesn't matter who we are, what we do, or where we live, all of us are require sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aim for 7–9 hours of sleep a night* and while there will be times in our life where our sleep is compromised, maximising sleep where possible will always pay dividends to how we feel the following day.
With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to reflect on our sleeping habits and try new ways to encourage a restful sleep over our warmest months of the year.
To encourage a good night’s rest our bedroom environment should be our sanctuary, conducive to sleep, rather than a place that distracts from it.
Here are elements to consider:
Over the summer months, a rising thermostat can impact our slumber. According to research, the temperature range of 16-19 degrees is ideal for drifting off to sleep*. Try the following techniques to help keep within this range:
Considering the amount of time we spend on our bed, and its impact on our sleep quality (which then affects our health), it really is the ultimate investment – and it’s a personal decision around what comfort level, feel and size is right for each of us. When a mattress lacks comfort and support, or we don’t have enough space, this can encourage a poor sleeping posture and can be the difference between a restful versus a restless night sleep.
Night is synonymous with sleep and there’s biological reasoning for this – light suppresses melatonin production, a hormone that encourages sleep.
We’re in the age of smartphone use and 24/7 accessibility – much to our detriment of sleep. With all its benefits, technology is a double-edge for sleep – it’s mentally stimulating and our brightly-lit devices can impact the release of our sleep-inducing hormone. Just like our technological devices need to recharge their batteries, so do we.
When there’s a lot on our plate, it can be difficult not to take thoughts, pressures and our to-do lists to bed. If you’re dealing with pressure or stress that may be impacting your sleep, try carving out time before bed to help calm, support and relax yourself.
Our sleep hygiene is any habit or practice we have in place that help support a restful night’s sleep. One of the simplest ways we can improve our sleep hygiene is to put a bedtime routine in place that works with our lifestyle - a commitment to a bedtime routine can make a huge difference to us drifting off at night.
Here are some tips to for creating a bedtime routine:
Find out more about the Sealy Posturepedic bed Danijela is sleeping on here.
* National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Hirshkowitz, Max et al. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, Volume 1 , Issue 1 , 40 - 43
* Onen SH, Onen F, Bailly D, Parquet P. Prevention and treatment of sleep disorders through regulation of sleeping habits. Presse Med.1994; Mar 12; 23(10): 485-9.