sleep

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are well known. But getting that sleep can be a little tricky.

Here are my tips to getting some good shut-eye:

Make sure you don’t have sleep apnoea

If you’re really sleepy during the day, you may have sleep apnoea, a condition where you don’t breathe properly while asleep. It can have highly detrimental effects and it might be hard to know you suffer from it if you sleep alone. It can be present if you snore loudly or wake up feeling unrefreshed.

Reset your circadian rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural state of sleeping at night and waking during the day. Humans are designed to follow this schedule and we function best operating in this way. If your lifestyle has pushed you in to a later cycle of being awake more of the night, you may benefit from a reset. The easiest way to do this is to go camping for a week – removing your exposure to artificial light will gradually bring you back to your natural state.

Keep your bedroom dark

If camping isn’t your thing, you can try reducing your exposure to artificial forms of light at home. This might include turning off all screens a few hours before bed, using dimmer switches to keep light levels lower, and ensuring your bedroom is as dark as possible.

Keep the stress levels down

This one is easier said than done, but if you can minimise stress, you’re more likely to sleep better. If stress is something you struggle to manage, try meditating for 20 minutes before bed.

Exercise

When your body is physically exhausted, you’re more likely to get better sleep. I recommend at least 30 minutes of gentle exercise most days.

If you’re having trouble catching enough z’s, try some of the above and you should be on track to waking up more refreshed and ready to engage the day.


Dr Carmen Hunwardsen owns and operates Carmen’s Spinal Care, a busy North Brisbane chiropractic clinic in Everton Hills.