We asked a sleep expert for her top 5 sleep hacks

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Sweet dreams jelly beans.

Ah, sleep, that delicious closed eye that makes you feel refreshed, ready, and ready for action. That is of course if you can get any.

It may be one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle alongside healthy eating and regular exercise, but almost one in two adults in Australia has a difficult relationship with sleep and feels they are not getting the amount they need.

Research shows that disrupting our nightly sleep can lead to poor physical and mental health and increase our risk of developing other chronic health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, cancer and mental illness.

This year, the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week (March 13-19) and the Sleep Health Foundation’s World Sleep Day (March 18) aim to communicate the importance of sleep health to our physical and mental well-being. The theme for World Sleep Day 2022 is Quality Sleep, Sound Mind and Happy World.

“The topics of this year’s sleep week are particularly topical in times of the pandemic,” says sleep expert Dr. Caramel Harrington. “There are several factors that can affect our sleep quality, which in turn can affect our mental health, mood and decision making.”

So much can affect our established sleep routines and impact our health in ways we might not expect. For example, as many of us now work from home, we are exposed to less light on our daily commute, which affects the body clock as it does not receive light/dark signals at consistent times.

“It’s important to realize that in order to get the best sleep possible, we need our mind to relax,” says Harrington. Adding that bedtime routines are important: “Consistency is key. Go to bed at similar times most days to stay awake during the day and sleep better at night.”

Harrington’s top 5 tips for a good night’s sleep

  1. Turn off all technology and dim all lights an hour before bed
  2. Don’t take naps during the day
  3. Avoid alcohol and/or caffeinated beverages after lunch
  4. Exercise, but not within 3 hours of bedtime
  5. Try incorporating aromatherapy into your day and night to relax and take care of yourself

SLEEP BUYS TO SAVE YOUR SLEEP

Essential Oils

Sleep Essential Oil Mist available, $29.95 for 100ml spray bottle
A lightweight room or body mist infused with a calming blend of pure Lavender, Tangerine, Roman Chamomile and Valerian essential oils. These oils are traditionally used to temporarily relieve symptoms associated with insomnia, including mild insomnia, nervous tension, stress, and mild anxiety.

In Essence Sleep Essential Oil Roll-on, $24.95 10ml roll-on
A relaxing bedtime blend of lavender, mandarine, roman chamomile and valerian to prepare the body and mind for a good night’s rest.

A relaxing blend of pure essential oils to prepare the body and mind for restful sleep

In Essence Sleep Essential Oil Blend – $39.95 25mL Bottle, $24.95 10mL Bottle & 10mL Roll-on
A calming blend of Lavender, Mandarin, Roman Chamomile and Valerian traditionally used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety. Don’t like lavender? There is also a 25ml non-lavender bottle available for $39.95.

In Essence Therapeutic Diffuser, $89.95
A safe, effective, and enjoyable way to use pure essential oils both therapeutically and to create atmosphere. Pure essential oil molecules are diffused in the air and enhance the effects of aromatherapy. The device stays cool as there is no heating element, making it safe for the whole family.

A diffuser can help enhance the effects of aromatherapy, which in turn can help with sleep

Need more help getting a good night’s sleep? Check out Your Sleep Patterns Debunked: A Guide for Every Age or listen to our Uninterrupted episode with sleep expert Sophie Bostock.

Frequently asked questions about the sleep week

What is the sleep week?

Established in 1998, Sleep Awareness Week is the National Sleep Foundation’s national public education campaign. It celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize it to improve health and well-being. It also coincides with World Sleep Day (Friday, March 18).

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