There are few things more frustrating than lying in bed, tossing and turning for horus and just wishing you would fall asleep.
And while we’re told to stay off our phones and leave the day behind before jumping between the sheets, it’s often easier said than done.
But sleep expert Professor David Hillman from Perth, Western Australia, has come to the rescue, listing a number of things that you can do during the day to help you sleep better at night.
Sleep well! Professor David Hillman has listed a number of things that you can do during the day to ensure you get a better sleep once you jump in between the sheets at night
HAVE A 24 HOUR PLAN
There’s barely enough hours in the day to begin with, but according to Professor Hillman managing how your time is crucial to a good night’s sleep.
‘One important principle is to get the day completed within 16 hours so you can sleep for eight hours at night,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Most people know how many hours sleep they require at night and so it’s good to get into a routine to achieve that.’
HAVE A ROUTINE
If you work a changing shift pattern or have young children prone to waking up in the middle of the night, keeping a permanent routine can be hard.
However, managing to get your work, exercise and other activities done in a regular time period could be the key to sleeping better.
‘We often have fairly regular in habits during our day to night cycle and your body clock thrives on regularity,’ Prof Hillman said.
‘If you’re predictable, that helps.
‘The occasional big night out is fine and some people deal with it better than others, but if you mess with it too much that can be harmful.’
TRY TO RESOLVE THINGS DURING THE DAY
It’s a lot easier said than done, but leaving your work or any big issues outside of the bed is essential to ensuring you aren’t up for half the night.
‘Dealing with the day’s problems or tasks during the day and getting on with them as best you can is a big one,’ Prof Hillman said.
‘You’ve got to put the day to bed before you go to bed yourself and this involves management of those during the day and winding down in evening.
‘Whether that’s sitting down and reviewing the day or planning for tomorrow, do your thinking before you get to bed so you can switch off.’
EXERCISE AND LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Getting a ‘work-life balance’ is a buzz term thrown around a lot, but Professor Hillman said that when it comes to sleep, it’s actually very important.
‘Exercise is a good idea but of course the way and intensity with which we do so changes from our 20s to our 30s and then up to our 60s,’ he said.
‘Technology like apps can help to remind you what you’ve done during the day, but avoid too much exercise too close to bed, because it can be stimulating.’
Winding down! Staying off your phone and leaving the issues and problems that may have happened during the day behind is crucial to ensuring you don’t stare at the ceiling all night
EAT SMART, NOT EASY
If you’ve had a busy day at work getting home late sometimes just happens, but not eating a mountain of food before trying to go to sleep is vital.
‘Late heavy meals are an issue for a lot of people,’ he said.
‘Indigestion is an issue when you eat too close to bed and it’s affected not only by quantity of meals but also whats in them.
‘Also, if you like a coffee in the evening, think about a decaf coffee because it will let your body rest easier.’
DON’T BOOZE OR SMOKE BEFORE BED
It always seems that no matter how long you sleep in the day after a big night out, you still get tired very quickly.
‘Alcohol is another issue and it’s about being careful around the quantity you’re drinking because it can lead to sleep apnoea,’ Prof Hillman said.
‘It works in two ways. Firstly, if you have a tendency to snore or you get sleep apnoea like a lot of people alcohol will increase that because it relaxes the throat muscles.
‘The other thing about alcohol is that while it’s sedating you, later on in the night your system starts withdrawing from it so your sleep is more disrupted.’