Sleep & Summer Health
To function at our best we need sleep - 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 rest, especially over the summer months.
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 upon us, 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.
Our bedroom environment
To encourage a good night’s sleep your bedroom environment should be your sanctuary, conducive to rest, rather than a place that distracts from it. Find some more things to consider below to ensure you sleep well and stay well this summer...
Creating a bedtime routine
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:
- Be mindful of your natural body clock, try not to ignore tiredness by delaying sleep and don’t linger in bed longer than you feel you need to
- Avoid stimulating drinks that contain caffeine, like coffee or black teas, close to bed time; if you’re sensitive to caffeine, trial not having a caffeinated beverage after midday, instead wind down in the evening with a relaxing herbal beverage, such as camomile
- Adjust your bedroom to ensure the light, temperature and noise levels are comfortable for you - this may occasionally require an eye mask, earplugs or a fan
- Do a relaxing activity to help you unwind – read a favourite book, drink herbal tea, do some stretching or mindful breathing
- Wind back your sheets, plump your pillow and hop into that inviting bed!
* 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.