The new year is upon us and as we lay out our grand plans for 2018 there is one simple thing that should be at the top of your list of resolutions.
We’re all guilty of chucking an all-nighter to finish the last season of Game of Thrones, but if you find that you need an alarm to get you out of bed every morning then you’re not getting enough sleep.
And given that being well rested will impact basically every area of your life – work, weight and stress – sleep should be at the very top of your to do list.
Last year’s Australian sleep survey revealed that more than 40 per cent of Australians get too little sleep to feel rested and able to function at their best, Mamamia reported.
For adults aged between 18 and 64 the recommended amount is between seven to nine hours, with only eight per cent of people saying they get more than that.
But there are many of us (12%) that get less than five hours, with three-quarters of those revealing they struggle to get through their day.
Earlier this year sleep doctor to Oprah Winfrey herself, Dr Michael Breus, revealed to Be that the biggest sleep mistake people make is actually going to be too early.
Quite often people will feel tired early in the evening and think that by going to bed early they will be able to catch up on all their sleep. Sadly this rarely works, according to Dr Breus.
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“What invariably happens is they get into bed and they are physically exhausted and their brain won’t turn off. They sit and stare at the ceiling for 2-3 hours,” he tells us.
“What people don’t realise is there are two systems for sleep, sleep drive which makes you fall asleep and your circadian rhythm - the thing that tells your body when it’s time to sleep.
“Just because you have a lot of drive doesn’t mean your rhythm is there yet. There is a balance that has to be achieved, so the biggest problem is going to bed too early and it just becomes frustrating.”
While everyone has a different sleep need, he has a few tips for getting yourself ready for a good night’s sleep.
“Stay away from caffeine because that lasts for hours, instead maybe just duck outside, go for a walk to the letter box, just something to give yourself a little activity to carry you to your bedtime then you’ll be exhausted, it will be the right time and you’ll fall asleep much easier,” he says.
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