What to do when you can’t sleep

Most of us have times when we can’t sleep, whether it’s trouble dropping off or staying asleep. Here’s our advice on what to do when sleep eludes you.

what to do when you can't sleep

How Australians sleep

Many Australians have trouble sleeping. Recent studies and surveys indicate that almost 60% of us have symptoms 3-4 times a week. These include:

  • having trouble falling asleep
  • having trouble staying asleep
  • waking too early
  • not being able to get back to sleep

And all these problems mean that many of us (around 40%) fail to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

What stops us from sleeping well?

According to the research, there are several factors that mean we don’t sleep well. These include:

  • Lifestyle — being too busy and living with high levels of stress, especially work stress
  • Environment — living in noisy environments, having children and pets that wake us, bedrooms being too hot, cold, or not dark enough.
  • Electronics — many of us continue to use electronic devices right up until we go to sleep
  • No healthy bedtime routine — working before going to bed, drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed, using tobacco or drugs

A good bedtime routine is key

One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to develop a good bedtime routine, practice it and stick to it. Things you can do include:

  • have a consistent bedtime and wakeup time
  • make time to unwind from the day and avoid working or having serious discussions before bed
  • avoid screens an hour or two before bed
  • eat lightly, making sure you’re not too full or hungry
  • avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs before bed
  • do relaxing things such as reading, listening to music, taking a bath or meditating before bed
  • make your bedroom a sanctuary and reserve it for sleep and intimacy
  • use herbal teas or aromatherapy oils that have a calming effect

What to do if you can’t sleep

If it’s been more than 20 minutes and you still have trouble dropping off or going back to sleep, you should:

  • get up and move to a different part of the house
  • avoid looking at screens like your phone, tablet or television
  • sit quietly in the dark and breathe deeply
  • turn on a lamp (not too bright) and read for 20 minutes
  • listen to soothing, relaxing music

Avoid laying in bed, tossing and turning as this can create an unhealthy mental connection between your environment and sleeping routine. Also, avoid watching the clock and counting how many minutes you’ve been awake as this can cause you to become stressed.

If you continue to have problems sleeping, make sure you speak to your doctor.

At BedGuard, we’re all about good quality sleep. We can help you get a good night’s sleep by ensuring you sleep on the right mattress. Our friendly staff are ready to help you choose a high-quality, supportive, waterproof mattress. Come in-store or browse online today.

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