How well do you sleep at night?
The answer to this question is often the best insight into an individual’s overall health and well-being. If you experience poor sleep, you’re not alone, with nearly 50% of Australian adults experiencing two or more sleep-related problems, e.g. difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and daytime drowsiness (2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults).
Sleep is essential and a key foundation of health, with the quality of sleep and rest being just as important as quantity. Sleep is a time when the body can go into ‘rest and digest mode and rejuvenate/re-energise from the inside out. We all know how frustrating it is to experience poor sleep, and if you struggle with ongoing sleep disturbances/deprivation, larger issues from poor brain fog and a weakened immune system to chronic disease can arise.
Modern life, stress, worry and busyness often set us up for poor sleep hygiene practices – sleep hygiene refers to the impact of diet and lifestyle on sleep. Late nights engaging in a Netflix series, social events, commitments at work and meeting deadlines can often lead to sacrificing some precious hours of sleep in the long term, and this, paired with a poor diet, can contribute to poor health and disease.
Sleep Disruption - The Circadian Rhythm
There are many things you can do to support consistent quality sleep, and the best place to start is by changing your habits. Poor habits throughout the day and in the lead-up to bedtime (aka sleep hygiene) are one of the major contributors to poor sleep yet one of the easiest ways to support quality z’s. Proper sleep hygiene helps to ensure we get the most out of sleep so we can function optimally.
To be able to sleep, the nervous system needs to calm down, and this can often be hard in today’s world. Here are some strategies to practice good sleep hygiene and quality sleep.
- Establish a regular bedtime and consistent bedtime routine
- Aim to go to sleep/wake up at the same time every day
- Expose yourself to light upon waking
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 2 pm – swap to herbal teas
- Avoid screens in the lead-up to bed – if urgent, switch to night mode and promote relaxation
- Create a healthy sleep environment – dark, quiet and comfortable
- Quiet your mind – journal, meditation, deep breathing
- Avoid alcohol
- Eat an early and light dinner
- Avoid anxiety-driven activities before bed – watching the news or checking emails
- Go to sleep when you notice the signs at night
- Exercise daily
The Holistic Approach to Sleep
While implementing your new healthy habits around your sleep routine, a holistic health practitioner can help support your body with nutrients and herbal remedies to nourish your body and achieve the rest you need. This may be done with a thorough investigation, case taking and pathology to assess any underlying drivers contributing to poor quality and quantity of sleep. From here, an individualised treatment plan will be created, including dietary and lifestyle considerations. For advice on sleep health and further sleep support, speak with a practitioner here at the Hills Natural Health Centre.
For advice on getting quality sleep and further support, speak with a practitioner at Hills Natural Health.
We offer treatments that are 100% personalised to support you the best we can. For further advice, speak with a practitioner here at the Hills Natural Health Centre.