Reaching for your third coffee before 11am? Struggling to switch off in the eve? You’re not alone – 77% of Aussies report to have insufficient rest on a regular basis. With overwhelming demands, pressure to get ‘everything’ done plus artificial blue light pollution – clinically documented to delay tiredness in the evening by 2.3 hours, equating to morning fatigue, it’s no surprise we are exhausted. Fortunately, on behalf of Lively Living – it’s my pleasure as Australia’s leading Sleep Specialist to bring you 5 straightforward strategies to fall asleep easier, and wake up more refreshed.
- Set a goodnight alarm for your phone. Although most of us have the aim to disconnect from our phones around bedtime, an alarm to remind you of your good intentions is helpful – and will jolt you out of your instagram scroll. Academic journal BMC Public Health found high phone usage correlates with stress and anxiety – so not only for sleep, but for your mental health, shutting off the phone is a great idea.
- Create a sleep sanctuary. Ideally, you want to use your bedroom for two things: sleep, and if you’re lucky, sex. Work, including tools to work such as laptops, academic journals and desks, disrupts our psychological association that bedrooms equal rest. Avoiding this common pitfall is an easy way to improve your sleep quality, according to research in Journal of Caring Sciences.
- Diffuse lavender oil. Activating (calming hormone) GABA, a study featured in Evidence Based Complementary an Alternative Medicine shows lavender oil enhances sleep quality. For those under stress, this is for you: GABA counteracts (stress hormone) cortisol, which can otherwise leave you feeling unable to switch off. Lively Living’s Certified Organic Lavender Oil gets my seal of approval, as do blends to include it, such as Aroma Snooze.
- Have an evening shower. Academic journal Sleep pinpoints approximately 45-60 minutes before sleep, a shower enhances relaxation of your muscles and promotes deep rest. The rapid decline of your core body temperature – experienced when emerging from a shower – is the driving factor – as it encourages melatonin synthesis (the hormone to make you sleepy). As a result, you go into deeper sleep faster, and as a result, you wake up more energised.
- Reduce exposure to blue light. A recent study found blue LED light heightens stress hormone cortisol by more than 50% – immediately enhancing restlessness, anxiety and that feeling of being ‘wired’. During the day, blue LED light is predominantly from screens – so wearing blue light blocking digital readers is advised. In the evening, opting for red LED lights around the home is critical: red LED light does not create the same feelings of stress that blue light does. Note Lively Living’s diffuser range, such as my favourite Aroma-Snooze*, offers a red LED light – switch it on as soon as you get home.
- Take a sleep supplement. Magnesium is widely reported to enhance sleep – and with good reason. As noted by researchers at Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, magnesium in the evening has ben shown to improve symptoms of insomnia such as daytime exhaustion and promote relaxation of mind and body. Similar to lavender oil, magnesium interacts with GABA, inducing that feeling of tranquility you long to feel.
Remember – the tools are there, however the key is to implement them. So now that you’ve read this, take action: set that alarm, purchase one of the wonderful diffusers from Lively Living (my pick is Aroma Snooze), stock up on Lively Living’s Certified Organic Lavender Oil.
The Sleep Specialist
APS Certificate Sleep Psychology
Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)
Certificate 3+4 Fitness (Personal Training)
Diploma of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine)