Important things to know about Insomnia
13 May 2013
- Around one in three people have at least mild insomnia
- Many poor sleepers have developed poor sleep habits
- For specialist help, cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia is best
- In the long run, taking sleeping pills isn't effective
- There are sleep specialists, clinics and online programs that can help
Information above provided by the Sleep Health Foundation
If you are experiencing problems sleeping
6 May 2013
If you are having ongoing trouble sleeping, persistent problems with mood, reslessness in bed, severe snoring or wakening unrefreshed, make sure that you go and see you doctor. Your GP can refer you to a sleep specialists or psychologist. Sleep Services in Australia are listed here.
Information above provided by the Sleep Health Foundation
Look after your body rhythm wave
29 April 2013
Aim to look after your 24 hour body rhythm (also called a circadian rhythm) by thinking about how to ensure it stays as a wave of a good size (i.e. amplitude). We can ensure the daytime (high) part of the wave stays high by getting exercise during the day and some outdoor light. The night (low) part of the wave should be kept low by not staying in bed longer than the number of hours you tend to sleep (e.g. 8 to 8.5 hours). Routine sleep and wake times are also kind to your body rhythm. As we get older the body rhythm wave tends to naturally get a bit flatter and this can mean that sleep quality is reduced. Try to take good care of your wave by keeping the high part high and the low part low.
Information above provided by Professor Dorothy Bruck, Prof of Psychology, Victoria University, Melbourne
A return to shorter days and longer nights
22 April 2013
As we approach winter and the days gradually get shorter, it’s easy for your body clock to get confused when the sun goes down. You may have been going to bed regularly at 9 to10pm over the summer, but now it’s just as dark at 7:30pm. Before you consider giving in and going to bed earlier, consider shifting your daily routine so you stick to your typical sleep/wake schedule. If you feel yourself getting sleepy after dinner, grab your jacket and your dog and take a nice walk. Stick to your normal bedtime routines and before you know it, you can help your body clock adjust and stay on track.
Information above provided by the Sleep Health Foundation
Improving your sleep CAN help!
15 April 2013
It is really important to address any sleeping problems you have as this may result in a big improvement in your mood. The good news is that most sleep complaints can be treated. Go to the Sleep Health Foundation website for tips to improve your sleep. If your sleep does not improve with these tips, talk to your GP for further options. There are many ways to help with sleep problems, including diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as sleep apnoea and, where insomnia is concerned, counseling, behavioural modifications and, sometimes, medication.
Information above provided by Dr Maree Barnes, Senior Research Fellow, Insititue for Breathing and Sleep, Bowen Centre, Austin Hospital, Melbourne
Waking during the night is normal
8 April 2013
New research has shown that 85% of people believe that a good night's sleep for a healthy person of any age involves sleeping all night without waking up. This is a faulty belief. Almost everyone wakes up from their sleep every night, although it may be for a very short time and they may not remember waking up. Waking up only becomes a problem if the person wakes up many times and/ or takes a long time to go back to sleep AND feels tired during the day as a result. Realising that some awakening is normal and not worrying about waking up is the first step to minimising the potential disrupting influence of fragmented sleep.
Daylight Saving Ends Sunday, 7 April 2013
1 April 2013
With the end of daylight savings in three states, we will have the opportunity of an extra hour of sleep. Many of us look forward to this, which is acknowledgement that most of us do not have enough sleep. We go to bed too late, wake up too early and are often still tired.
This is a timely reminder that sleep is an important part of maintaining good health and enjoying life. So think about what you can do to have more sleep every night. Although the amount of sleep needed varies from one person to another, most adults need 7 - 9 hours sleep each night. To make the most of your time in bed, try to go to bed around the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Have a wind down routine before going to bed, so you are relaxed by the time you get into bed. Try to avoid television, computers and mobile phones for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. And of course, don't drink tea, coffee or other caffeine drinks for at least 2 hours before bed and don't smoke for at least 30 minutes before bed.
These routines will all send a message to your brain that going to bed is the beginning of a good night's sleep.
Important things to know about Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (Apnea)
25 March 2013
- With sleep apnoea our breathing during sleep is reduced or may stop.
- You are likely to only have breathing difficulties when asleep.
- You may have no idea that this happens.
- People with moderate to severe sleep apnoea die prematurely.
- It can be successfully treated.
- Treatment will improve the quality of your life and make you a safer driver.
Sex and Sleep
18 March 2013
Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don't use the bedroom as an office, workroom or recreation room.
Establish a sleep routine for children
11 March 2013
Regular hours of sleep are important. It will help your child understand when it is time to sleep. Also, your child will have better sleep. Bed time should not vary by more than an hour between school and non-school nights. The same goes for the time your child wakes up in the morning.
Sleep and Shiftwork
4 March 2013
It is not easy to sleep well if you are a shift worker. Often you are trying to sleep when others you live with are getting up and starting their day. However there are some things that you can do to try to make sure that you have enough sleep.
It is important to make sure that you have enough time in bed. Sometimes this may mean that you sleep in 2 periods; you might sleep for a few hours when you arrive home from work, then again before you go back to work. Don't doze on the couch, go to bed and have a proper sleep. Some people are able to take a short nap at work during their break, which is helpful. On your days off, you should try to have a nap to try to catch up on sleep.
It is important that your bedroom is dark, quiet and the right temperature, not too warm and not too cold.
It is best to try to stay on the same shift and go to bed and wake up at around the same times every day. If you work rotating shifts, try to have them moving forward in time rather than backwards. So you would change from morning to afternoon to night shift, rather than morning to night shift.
Are you awake or asleep?
25 February 2013
We have thoughts going on inside our heads continually, whether we are awake or asleep. During the night, when we are in one of the lighter stages of sleep, such as stage 2 sleep,we may believe we are awake when we are actually asleep. We may be having rambling, unstructured thoughts, which are different to dreams. Research has shown that if people who describe themselves as poor sleepers are awoken from stage 2 sleep they are more likely to say they were awake than self-described good sleepers. So.... you may actually be dozing when you think you are awake.
Sleep changes in cycles
18 February 2013
Sleep changes across the night in cycles of about 90 minutes. There is REM (dreaming) sleep in every cycle, even if only for a short time. We also have very brief arousals many times across the night. We are not aware of most of these arousals and we forget most dreams.
Don’t lie awake watching the clock
11 February 2013
Watching the time on a clock just makes you anxious about not being asleep. If possible take the clock out of your bedroom. If you need the clock for the alarm, turn it around so that you cannot see the time.
Bed is for sleeping, not entertainment
4 February 2013
TV, computers, mobile phones and other things that distract your child are not good for their sleep. Keep them out of the bedroom. “Needing” the TV to go to sleep is a bad habit. This can easily develop, but you
don't want it to happen. It’s also better if you can check on what your child is watching.
Wind down and relax before going to bed
28 January 2013
Have a buffer zone before bedtime. Sort out any problems well before going to bed. This may mean setting aside a ‘worry time’ during the day. Use this time to go over the day's activities and work out a plan of action for the next day. Try to avoid using your computer within one hour of bedtime. Exercise is fine, but not too late in the evening. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. Go to the Sleep Health Foundation website for more information about good sleep habits.
Why is it so hard to sleep when it’s hot?
21 January 2013
Feeling sleepy and falling asleep happens at the same time as a drop in our core body temperature. You may have experienced this as feeling chilled after waking up from an unplanned nap. If it’s too hot for your body temperature to drop you can’t sleep.
Thus the key to falling asleep on hot nights is to keep as much as your skin cool as possible. Have a cool or cold shower before bed. Keep cool air circulating in your bedroom and over your skin. Key areas that are important to keep at the right temperature are the feet and the hands (especially fingers and wrists). So if you feel too hot run them under cold water. Try putting on damp socks. Lie on the bed spreadeagled with minimal PJs or none at all.
Sleep and Mood are connected
14 January 2013
We all know what it feels like when we don’t get a good night sleep – we may feel tired and irritable the next day, and little things can get to us. We all know what it feels like when we don’t get a good night sleep – we may feel tired and irritable the next day, and little things can get to us. It is really important to address any sleeping problems you have as this may result in a big improvement in your mood. The good news is that most sleep complaints can be treated. Go to the Sleep Health Foundation website for tips to improve your sleep. If your sleep does not improve with these tips, talk to your GP for further options.
I am going to fix my bedroom to make sleep easier
7 January 2013
I know I have to make it quiet, dark, comfortable and get the temperature right. In the summer months I am going to need a fan at least. If I can't draw the curtains then I might use eye-shades. If there is outside noise I will consider earplugs. The mobile phone is going to be switched off and distractions from sleep like the TV are going to be banished from the room. I am going to make my bedroom a place that promotes sleep, not night-long entertainment. Tips for setting the scene for good sleep.
I am going to make sleep a priority
31 December 2012
I understand most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night (some more, some less) and I know my need. I am going to make sure I get it because I think better, react faster and my mood improves when I do. I even look better! Without good sleep I recognize my productivity suffers and I am more accident-prone. I know that it is not possible to train myself to do with less sleep so I am going to take my sleep need more seriously. More information on good sleep here.
Sleep and the holiday season
24 December 2012
The holiday season is a time to enjoy with your friends and family. Having enough sleep will help you to have more fun, relax and recharge your batteries for the coming year. Remember that a daytime nap can refresh you for an evening out so that you will enjoy it more. For more information on how to make sure that you are having enough sleep, go to the Sleep Health Foundation information library.