Struggle to fall asleep at bedtime? You’re not alone.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, about 60% of Aussies report at least one sleep symptom three or more times per week. If you’re among this group, don’t despair. There are a few science-backed tips and tricks you can try to guide your body towards a better sleep.
7 proven sleep tips to try
Let there be light and embrace the dark
Never look at the numbers
Get active earlier on
Bring back bedtime stories
Don’t wait, try 4-7-8!
The military method
At the risk of feeling like you’ve aged 30 years, we recommend having an early dinner when possible. This doesn’t have to mean 5pm, mind you! Simply eating 2 to 3 hours before you hit the hay is more than enough time to let your food digest before you rest.
As many of us already know, light can greatly influence the body’s internal clock, which is responsible for regulating sleep and wakefulness. For a better sleep at night, it’s a good idea to start your day with sunlight and aim for total darkness at bedtime.
During the day, exposing your body to bright light (natural or otherwise) tells it to stay alert. So, as soon as you wake up, fling open the curtains or raise the blinds. At nighttime, darkness boosts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. To ensure your bedroom is perfectly pitch black, we recommend installing blackout or blockout blinds. As the name suggests, blockout fabric blocks out light and prevents it from passing through the fabric, improving your sleep in the process!
It’s perfectly normal to wake up in the middle of the night. But when you do, be sure to never look at the clock! We all know how easy it is to get caught in the time counting obsessive spiral in the middle of the night… so avoid the anxiety altogether by removing any clocks from your room and moving your phone that little bit further out of reach.
The more energy you exert during the day, the easier you may find it to fall asleep in the evening. Whether you aim for some simple stretching in the morning, or go for a lunchtime run, any type of movement is good!
Keep in mind, however, if you work out in the evening this may have the opposite effect. The later you exercise, the more stimulated your mind and body will become. So, if you’re finding it hard to fall asleep, you might benefit from sticking to some simple stretches or gentle yoga past 6pm.
Put the electronic devices away and grab a good old-fashioned paperback instead! As we all know, light emitted from our devices can disturb sleep rhythms, leading to difficulty falling asleep and reduced quality of sleep. With that in mind, it’s best to leave all your scrolling until the following day.
Stress and anxiety are common causes for insomnia and general sleeping troubles. To relax a racing mind and restless body, mindful breathing through the use of the 4-7-8 technique can help you drift off into a deeper sleep with ease.
Try it for yourself: Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This one’s a little unconventional, but it’s worth a crack! The military method is reportedly used by the US army to help them fall asleep in situations that are less than peaceful in as little as two minutes!
The method is said to work for 96% of people after six weeks of practice. So, if you want to have a crack, here’s what to do:
1. Relax all of the muscles in your face (everything from your tongue to your eyes), then drop your shoulders and arms down as far as they’ll go (one side at a time).
2. Then, breathe out slowly, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down.
3. After this, spend 10 seconds trying to completely clear your mind (it’s tricky, we know) before either visualising a clear blue sky or a pitch-black room, or repeating ‘don’t think’ to yourself for another 10 seconds.
If you liked these tips, you may also be interested in our guide to creating the perfect morning routine. Or, if you have any questions about installing blockout blinds for your bedroom, get in touch via Facebook or by calling my Australian customer support team on 1300 699 041, and they'll beat any competing in-store or online blinds quote you may have by a huge 10 percent!
You can find all of our shutters, awnings, curtains and blinds online for the lowest prices, guaranteed. Plus, we deliver Australia-wide from Perth to the east coast and offer free shipping on nearly all orders over $199.