In such a fast-paced world where you may feel pressure to be constantly present and on the move, sleep might not be on the top of your priority list. Many people underestimate how important sleep is on the body’s ability to function well, and how necessary it is to properly rest and recover. Adults aged 18-64 are recommended to get between 7-9 hours of sleep.
At MINT we encourage healthy sleep practices, so we’ve gathered some info from the Sleep Health Foundation to give you some tips to ensure you can get a good night sleep:
- Have a regular sleep pattern
While this may be hard for some who have varying work schedules, having a regular sleeping schedule will lead to better quality sleep. Having a regular sleeping schedule will also maximise your sleep drive, assisting you in the process of falling asleep.
- Create an appropriate sleep environment
Your bedroom should be quiet, dark and comfortable. Electronic devices such as computers, TV’s and mobile phones should be kept to a minimum. The bed should also only be used to sleeping and not for other purposes such as watching TV, working or studying. Get into the habit of knowing that when you are in bed, you are there to sleep.
- Take time to wind down and prepare yourself for sleep
Taking at least an hour before bed to wind down will help get you in a relaxed mindset for bed. Set aside a ‘worry time’ during the evening to think about what has been happening throughout the day, and then don’t think about these things until the next day. The light emitted from mobile devices suppresses melatonin, a hormone that assists sleep, so try and minimise the use of mobiles, laptops and TV before bed. Try listening to music or a podcast, reading a book, having a warm bath, or meditating.
Meditation is a practice that can be used to empty the mind, promote feelings of calm and heightened awareness, grounding, spiritual fulfilment, and offers benefits including reduced stress and anxiety. Popular practices involve sitting in a comfortable position in a quiet place and focusing on the breath and ignoring external distractions. Meditation can be difficult, so if you find your mind wandering try not to feel annoyed by it and instead bring your focus back to your breath. There are also many podcasts and apps that can provide guidance. A favourite in the MINT office is the Headspace app that has guided meditation for different purposes including stress and anxiety, work and productivity, falling asleep and waking up, personal growth, and other helpful tips.
- Take short naps
If you need a nap during the day, ensure it is no longer than an hour as this can disrupt your sleep drive at bedtime. Aim for a 20 minute nap, no later than mid-afternoon, and only if you really need it.
By Rachel Cham