- The average sleep duration for adults is 6-8 hours per night, some people function well with a little less sleep and others with a little more.
- It usually takes less than 30 minutes to fall asleep at the beginning of the night
- It is normal to wake up once or twice during the night. In other words, it is unrealistic to expect to fall asleep immediately on getting into bed or to never wake up at all during the night. Even the best sleepers in the world don’t achieve this!
- You will have a night now and then when it takes them a long time to get to sleep. This is often triggered by a stressful event and will usually pass after a night or two.
- You will have a night now and then when they find it difficult to get back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night.
- Establish a sleep schedule by deciding on a fixed wake up time each day. A fluctuating schedule keeps you from getting into a rhythm of consistent sleep
- Prioritize sleep – Calculate a target bedtime based on your fixed wake-up time and do your best to be ready for bed around that time each night.
- Sleep adjustments – make small, step-by-step adjustments of up to an hour or two so that you can get adjusted and settle into a new schedule.
- Follow a nightly routine – allow 30 minutes of winding down time before bed; unplug yourself from devices at least 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime; try to keep away from bright lights because they can hinder the production of melatonin (your sleep hormone); use meditation, mindfulness, paced breathing, and other relaxation techniques to put you in the right mindset for bed; if after 20 minutes you haven’t fallen asleep, get up and stretch, read, or do something else calming in low light before trying to fall asleep again; and be consistent with your sleep routine each night.
- Help your body during the day to be ready for sleep at night by: get daylight exposure as sunlight is one of the key drivers of circadian rhythms; be physically active as regular exercise makes it easier to sleep at night; limit your alcohol intake especially later in the evening; avoid stimulates such as nicotine and reduce consumptions of other stimulates such as caffeine later in the day; avoid eating heavy evening meals and consume them earlier in the evening; and build a link in your mind between sleep and being in bed, it’s best to only use your bed only for sleep with sex being the one exception.
General tips for a better night’s sleep
Principal Psychologist and Director
Melissa Johnson, Principal Psychologist and Director of Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic, a private psychology clinic based in Buddina in the heart of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, QLD. Melissa has extensive experience treating a full range of clinical conditions including: anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma and PTSD, obsessive disorders and pain management. She has a particular interest working with families in the perinatal period who are trying to conceive, progressing through pregnancy and adjusting to a new born baby. And with busy professionals experiencing chronic stress and anxiety, burnout and struggling to establish the elusive work life harmony. If you would like to book an appointment with Melissa you can call our clinic on P: 0428 088 671 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org