We all know that a restorative sleep is a vital component for optimal health, though a study conducted by the Sleep Health Foundation found that almost two thirds of Australians experienced at least one symptom of poor sleep three or more times per week.1
With poor sleep being so prevalent, it’s important to recognise the signs that you may not be getting enough quality time on your pillow. Improper sleep can present as challenges with concentration and focus, decreased physical and mental performance and a lack of energy to go about your daily activities. You may also struggle with forgetfulness and find it difficult to learn something new when you’re not sleeping well.2
While there are many factors that affect a good night’s sleep, there are some quick and easy ways to help you achieve the optimal 8 hours of uninterrupted, restorative sleep you need.
1. Establish a wind-down routine to switch off
Simply having a routine, whatever that may be, will train your brain to wind-down each evening, which can be particularly helpful after a stressful day. Your routine may include reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea, relaxing into a bubble bath, listening to soothing music, engaging in breathing exercises, journaling or any combination of these or other non-stimulating activities.
2. Create a comfortable sleep space – dark, quiet & cool
Make your bedroom a calming space to help your mind and body wind down from the day. The ideal sleep space is different for everyone, but a dark, quiet room with a comfortable temperature is a good place to start. You may want to reassess your pillows, invest in quality linen, review your lighting options, use essential oils or investigate audio devices that could foster a calm and comfortable sleep space.
3. Limit screen time before bed – minimise blue light exposure
Limit blue-light exposure in the hour leading up to bedtime to dramatically improve your sleep. The blue light from screens (phone, television, e-readers, etc) causes increased alertness, stimulating your brain instead of helping it to relax. You can also become absorbed in content or screen activity and stay up past your usual bedtime, affecting the all-important wind-down routine. To help steer clear of blue-light, you could invest in an analogue alarm clock so you’re not relying on your phone to wake.
4. Engage in regular exercise to tire your body & mind
Try to engage in 30 minutes of regular exercise each day. Not only will this tire your muscles, it will also clear your mind and help your mental fitness. We’ve all had nights where we’ve felt tired but wired, making it near impossible to fall asleep. Tiring both the mind and body will help prepare you to sleep at a reasonable hour, keeping you on schedule to get your 8 hours.
5. Eat a balanced diet – limit alcohol & caffeine intake
Maintain a healthy balanced diet, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, particularly late in the day. These substances are stimulants, which will keep your mind racing, making it difficult to unwind at the end of the day. A healthy balanced diet will contain many important nutrients for overall wellbeing, with magnesium being of particular importance for sleep. Magnesium can be found in most green vegetables, beans, lentils, grains, nuts, yoghurt & fish.3
6. Supplement if needed – magnesium & passionflower for body and mind relaxation
If like 1 in 3 Australians, you struggle to meet the daily intake requirement for magnesium, supplements may help. Magnesium has researched benefits for sleep and can be particularly powerful when combined with other ingredients that promote relaxation3. Mega Magnesium Night supports a deep and restful sleep, relaxing both the mind and muscles. Combining high strength, easily absorbed magnesium with passionflower, it calms a racing mind and relaxes tight and tense muscles. Taken as part of your nightly wind-down routine, it also supports healthy sleeping patterns. Magnesium has many other health benefits including relief from muscle cramps, supporting energy levels, relieving stress, aiding muscle recovery after exercise and helping with PMS symptoms. Check out the Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium range to discover the right magnesium for your health needs.
1 Sleep Health Foundation, Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Australia, Updated 2021
2 World Sleep Day, Talking Points, January 2022
3 ABS Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrients Intakes: 2011-12. Published 2015