We all know how important getting a good night’s sleep is to our daily lives. Without it, we not only feel tired, but we might have difficulty concentrating, slower reflexes, body aches, excessive stress, and even sluggish metabolisms.

But the research suggests that despite everything we now know about sleep, more and more people seem to be having difficulty getting and maintaining a good 8 hours a night.

With new obstacles arising every day in modern society, it’s becoming a real challenge for many people to relax and get comfortable enough at night to access the benefits of sound sleep.

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And with so many different factors affecting individual people in different ways, we might find a better solution to the problem in combinations of approaches rather than a single one-size-fits-all formula.

If we look at our sleep from a few different perspectives, getting that elusive block of uninterrupted REM could be as easy as committing to 5 simple rules.

Get enough sunlight

One of the best things you can do to sleep better at night is to be more awake during the day. Getting enough sunlight in your waking hours can assist your body with producing vitamin D, which plays a role in maintaining sleep.

It also helps your body produce endorphins that boost your mood, and to reduce stress hormones like cortisol that keep you awake in the evening so you can better relax when it’s time to wind down.

Getting enough sunlight also supports your circadian rhythms, which depend on light and dark cues to regulate your sleep and wake cycles throughout the day.

But it’s important to remember that dark is just as important as light: making your room as dark—and as cool—as possible when you’re about to clock off sends signals to your brain that it’s time for sleep, which can help your biological clock to respond appropriately with a solid and complete cycle that incorporates all the stages of sleep you need to go through.

Stick to a routine

If you want to sleep like a baby, you should take some cues from a baby’s routine. If you stay awake too late at night, your body compensates and goes into overdrive — and just like an overtired baby, you’ll get a second wind around 10 or 11 p.m. that will make it very difficult for you to get to sleep.

Keeping your bed time roughly the same every night will help to establish a good biological rhythm that will make it easier each time you try to sleep.

It’s important to get enough sleep, and a lack of it wreaks havoc on both your physiological and psychological performance.

But it might surprise you to know that sleeping too much can be just as bad, and has even been linked to a number of health issues including increased inflammation throughout the body, problems with the heart, obesity, and depression and cognitive problems.

Avoid napping unless you really have to,

and stick to your sleep and wake times long enough to establish a firm 8-hour routine that will leave you fresh, energised and healthy

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Talk to us today about how to improve your sleep and how to get the best night’s sleep of your life – every night.

Add in some sleep cues

Taking some more advice from the babies could also improve your chances of falling asleep easier and faster. While you won’t respond to stimuli with the same Pavlovian reflexes of a baby, you can still benefit from introducing sleep cues into your routine that tell your brain to start wiring itself for sleep.

You need quiet to sleep, but even when you can silence what’s happening inside your house, there are usually noises outside that you can’t control—like possums in the ceiling, frogs and crickets in the garden, and traffic on the road.

White noise machines, and relaxation music and sounds, can help to soften these distractions with a soothing and monotonous rhythm that promotes sleep, and it’s not that difficult to get used to them. You might also try removing wakefulness cues.

Avoid playing around on your phones or iPads and even watching TV for a few hours before you go to sleep—electronic devices stimulate your neurons, and tell you to wake up.

Take a bath instead, because the rise and then drop in temperate makes you tired, or try reading which is known to make you drowsy.

Invest in luxurious bedding

There’s a lot to be said for chiropractic pillows, but 1000-thread count sheets might provide just the right amount of decadence for a good night’s sleep.

Try making up your bed with new bedding, paying attention to both the tactile experience it offers as well as the aesthetics:

if it looks inviting you’re more likely to want to dive in and  be engulfed in it, and if it’s soft it’ll stimulate the pleasure centres in your brain and get you in the mood to enjoy a long night of relaxation.

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High-quality bed linen not only feels like heaven.

It’s also better at helping to regulate your body temperature and at soaking up excess moisture to reduce sweating and keep you cool and dry.

For many people, simply removing the physical discomfort of coarse linen can instantly improve their sleeping habits.

So it’s always a good excuse to make your bed lovely.

Support your body

One of the biggest barriers to your comfort and a happy 8-hour stretch of sleep is poor mattress support. Without support in the right places, your body physically cannot relax enough to promote deep sleep, and you’ll find yourself tossing and turning all night just trying to find a position that won’t cause you discomfort.

By contrast, a mattress specially designed for your individual body type supports your musculoskeletal system to relax into its normal position, and instantly encourages drifting off.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, visit the mattress experts at Galligans in our renowned bed store. Adelaide’s most discerning customers will enjoy a luxurious range of customisable mattresses and ensemble bases to try and choose from, delivered with first-class advice and customer support.

Contact us anytime, and we’ll be happy to help you to choose the right mattress for your body type and sleeping habits, and help you get the best night’s sleep of your life—every night.

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