How to get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep requires more than just going to bed on time. Try following these four sleep tips to give yourself the best chance of getting consistent, quality sleep each night. And if you feel like you’re doing everything you can to get a good night’s sleep but no longer have the energy to do the things you love, there might be more to the story. Sleep apnea (also spelt sleep apnoea) affects three in 10 men and nearly two in 10 women .1 Talk to your doctor and ask about a sleep apnea test – which can be done in a sleep lab or the comfort of your own home.                                   

1. Allocate enough time for sleep. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise, so it’s important to allocate the right amount of time in your day for sleep and plan the rest of your schedule accordingly. Getting a good night’s sleep means 7–8 hours each night for adults (including older adults), 9–10 hours for teens, at least 10 hours for school-aged children and 11–12 hours for preschool-aged children.

2. Create consistent sleep habits. As creatures of habit, we’re usually more successful when following a routine. Sleep is no different. From your pre-sleep ritual to going to bed and waking up at the same time, you’ll find that consistency makes it easier to fall asleep each night.

3. Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and comfortable – especially your bed. It may take some experimenting and an investment on your part, but finding an ultra-comfortable bed and pillow is invaluable. We spend one-third of our lives in bed, making it the one area of your life you don’t want to compromise on comfort.

4. Turn it off before bed. Whether it’s television, reading, email or texting, give yourself a nice window of time to unplug and relax before bedtime. Your body should associate your bed with sleep and these activities ramp up your brain activity rather than relaxing it. Television and bright light can also suppress melatonin production – making it difficult to fall asleep.

Reference

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    Peppard et al. Increased prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in adults Am J Epidemiol. 2013;177(9):1006–14.

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