Healthy Sleep Habits to Get More Rest

Healthy Sleep Habits to Get More Rest

Sleep is essential for a healthy, productive life. Getting enough good-quality sleep benefits everything from mental health to work abilities, lowers chronic disease risk, and even improves libido.

And yet, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) says inadequate sleep affects 20% of Australians on a daily or near-daily basis.

So what is the secret to developing healthy sleep habits? And how can you create a sleep-inducing bedroom to fall into a deep, restful sleep?

In this blog, we have hand-picked the most effective sleep hygiene tips to help you develop healthier sleep habits that adapt to your lifestyle.

Creating a sleep-inducing bedroom

Your bedroom is a place to relax and recharge, not just sleep. With this in mind, focus on creating an environment where every detail promotes relaxation.

Sleep-inducing bedroom environments centre on feelings of comfort. There are three golden rules to remember: dark, quiet and calm.

  1. Dark: Natural light, artificial light, screen, and LED lights interrupt your circadian rhythm. If you can’t block out all the light with blinds, invest in a comfortable eye mask to prevent light interfering with your sleep.
  2. Quiet: Noise can disrupt your sleep and distract your mind from relaxing. White noise machines can help to drown out persistent noise, or you can keep earplugs near the bed to sleep through noisy nights.
  3. Calm: Sleep-inducing bedrooms should be free from stress and distraction. There are many ways to create a calming bedroom environment, including decluttering furniture, keeping your phone outside and dedicating a space for meditation.

Supportive pillow and mattress

The right mattress and pillow combination is life-changing. Invest time in figuring out the support you need based on your body type and sleep style, and you’ll wake up feeling energised every morning.

High-quality bed sheets

Bed sheets play a significant role in creating a sleep-inducing bedroom. The best bed sheets will prevent you from waking up sweaty or tangled in scratchy fabric.

Bamboo fabric sheets regulate body temperature year-round while remaining silky soft and hypoallergenic, all of which are essential to maintaining healthy sleep habits.

Ideal ambient temperature

Around 2 hours before you go to bed, your core temperature drops slightly to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Although the ideal sleep temperature varies from one person to the next, it’s generally recommended to keep your bedroom around 18-20°C during the night.

Introduce aromatherapy for sleep

Aromatherapy plays a role in creating a sleep-inducing bedroom in two ways. First, it simply makes your bedroom a nice place to be. Second, essential oils like lavender, cedarwood and chamomile contain organic compounds that are proven to relax your mind and promote restful sleep.

Developing healthy sleep habits

Humans are excellent at developing habits. Of course, it takes time to make a routine stick, but the benefits are well worth the effort when it comes to getting more sleep.

Healthy sleep habits can also be considered lifestyle habits. From the time you wake up until you lay your head on the pillow, how you structure your day has a significant impact on sleep quality.

Your sleep schedule is entirely within your control. Even the sleep habits that don’t seem to be – such as waking up for work or setting aside 8-9 hours out of your day – can gradually shift with patience and practice.

Keep to a regular schedule

Decide on a regular wake-up time and maintain it, even on weekends. Sleeping in on weekends can impact your sleep cycle during the week, so try to wake up at the same time seven days a week instead of five.

The easiest method for setting your sleep schedule is to count backwards from when you need to be awake.

As well as allowing for eight hours of sleep, you need to…

Give yourself time to get ready for bed

Unfortunately, the human brain does not come with an off-switch. Winding down takes a while. Giving yourself at least 30 minutes to work through a relaxing routine will ensure your mind and body are ready to fall asleep.

Adjust gradually

Sustainable sleep habits take time to develop. So don’t worry if you struggle at first; make minor adjustments towards your target bedtime. Adjustments of no more than one or two hours every night give your body time to acclimatise.

The same goes for your mind. Be patient and kind to yourself because you are developing healthy sleep habits after a lifetime of unstructured sleep.

Practice sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene encompasses everything we have already discussed, as well as lifestyle habits that promote healthy sleep.

Good sleep hygiene is holistic. It means having a relaxing bedroom sanctuary, sticking to a schedule, developing sleep habits and implementing daily practices that promote better rest.

The signs of poor hygiene are varied:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Regular sleep disturbances
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Overactive mind at bedtime
  • Waking up tired

When these things happen infrequently or in isolation, it’s easy to dismiss them as a one-off.

You just had a bad night’s sleep – it happens.

Something woke you up in the night – no big deal, you’ll catch up.

But think back over the last week or month. How often have you said “it happens” or “it’s no big deal” after a night of insufficient sleep?

Sleep hygiene, like personal hygiene, is a practice worth pursuing.

Prioritise sleep

Work, socialising, family, dating, exercise, social media and study can all derail your healthy sleep habits. Make sleep a priority by taking control of your schedule.

Wind down for 30 minutes

A calming night-time routine helps relax your mind and prepare your body for sleep. Give yourself at least half an hour in a sleep-inducing environment to meditate, read a book, stretch or practice deep breathing.

Banish devices from the bedroom

Blue light, distracting notifications, vibrations and even the awareness of your phone nearby can prevent you from getting enough sleep. The 89% of Australians who say technology is harming their sleep can attest.

Keep smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices in another room. Replacing your smartphone alarm with an analogue clock will help you focus on maximising sleep time, rather than falling into the timeless distraction void of work or social media.

Avoid caffeine late in the day

Morning coffees are one of life’s little pleasures. However, your metabolism needs 5-6 hours to work through the caffeine, so limit your coffee habit to the first half of the day for better sleep.

Keep it light

Just as darkness is conducive to a night of good sleep, sunlight helps your circadian rhythm stay on course throughout the day. So a lunchtime walk in the sunshine becomes a healthy sleep habit.

Plus, exercising earlier in the day gives your metabolism time to wind down. Win-win!

Work on calming your mind for sleep

Sometimes an anxious mind can rally against even the healthiest sleep hygiene habits. If you struggle with sleeping due to depression and anxiety, speak to your doctor or try a combination of calming techniques to help you sleep.

Maintain a consistent routine

Everyone’s sleep schedule is different. What matters when it comes to getting enough good-quality sleep is consistency.

  • Focus on keeping to a sleep schedule
  • Prioritise sleep every day, not just when you feel tired
  • Wash your sheets every 7-10 days to maintain a healthy sleep-inducing environment
  • Give yourself time to wind down every night
  • Keep phones, pets and distractions out of the bedroom

Keeping a sleep journal by your bed can help track the habits that work and those that don’t suit your lifestyle.

The best bamboo sheets for a sleep-inducing bedroom

OLARA cares about good-quality sleep. Our bamboo fabric sheets are Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, hypoallergenic, incredibly soft and cosy all year, for a better night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle.

Browse the OLARA range online.

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