Strict routine the secret to getting a good night’s sleep

Harvey Norman franchisee Alex Keyatta knows the importance of choosing the right bed for your body and believes every person ’s needs are different.
Harvey Norman franchisee Alex Keyatta knows the importance of choosing the right bed for your body and believes every person ’s needs are different. Lee Constable

SLEEP is a fundamental requirement for survival but it's not always easy to get some.

However, there are plenty of different methods to try in order to gain a better sleep.

"One of the common reasons (for a sleepless night) is because we get out of cycle, we don't have a regular pattern to our sleep," Sleep Clinic Services general manager Brett Chamberlain said.

"That can be fairly easily resolved just by creating a daily routine for how you go to sleep."

Mr Chamberlain said a sleep routine wasn't all about the time people went to sleep but about the preparation.

"That can be anything from meditation, to quiet music or a warm shower - every person has a different thing," he said.

"The importance of the routine happening with the same delivery every night is that the body starts to get conditioned to the idea that 'Okay, I'm now going through my relaxing routine so I want to get into bed; that means it's time for me to go to sleep'."

Mr Chamberlain recommends an hour or half an hour be spent preparing your body for sleep each night.

"Perhaps an hour beforehand to get a bit of a routine or slowing down and turning the lights lower, quietening down the music, not drinking coffee or alcohol," he said.

"Just generally getting into the routine of it being 30 minutes or an hour before going to bed - 'I'm going to go through my wind down routine'."

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Mr Chamberlain also stressed the importance of keeping good "sleep hygiene".

"Keeping the bedroom itself in the ideal circumstance," he said. "So, as a general principle, it shouldn't have a TV there because it's bad for us. It keeps our minds active and a bright flashing light disturbs our ability to fall into the levels of the sleep.

"Checking the room is as dark as possible and a little bit cooler than normal. It is best for us to sleep in cooler conditions, rather than hot."

And why is alcohol not a good idea to help get to sleep?

"Alcohol is both a depressive and a stimulant," Mr Chamberlain said. "It will give us, sometimes, that drowsiness to put us to sleep, but there is a half-life to the alcohol so, after a while, it ceases to be a sedative or depressive and actually starts to be a stimulant.

"That's why people can wake up or have lighter levels of sleep ... they don't get down to the regular levels of REM sleep."

Mr Chamberlain said detecting sleep disorders was much easier now and didn't usually require patients to be monitored in hospitals.

He advises anyone who thinks they need help with getting to sleep to see their doctor for further information.

MORE LIFESTYLE>> STORY: Stay warm this winter


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Do you struggle with trying to get to sleep each night? We want to talk to you. Let us know how you deal with your sleep problem in the comments below.

Posted by Daily Mercury on Wednesday, May 6, 2015



Tips for a restful night sleep

 Have a specific routine

 Warm milk and spoonful of honey is 'remarkably effective'

 Sleeping tablets are not a good solution

 Slow-down procedure

Topics:  bed insomnia mackay problems routine sleep sleep apnoea

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