Ask a Sleep Expert: Why sleep is just as important as fitness & nutrition in overall wellbeing

We sat down with our good friend and sleep expert, @sheamorrison_ from @thegoodnightco to talk all things sleep health with lots of practical tips & tricks (and myth busting advice) that we can easily implement into our sleep routine.

A good night's sleep is so important for those who juggle a busy life, work schedule, kids demands and exercise routine. As acknowledged by the Australian Government’s sleep inquiry, sleep needs to be made a priority and treated with the same importance as fitness and nutrition when it comes to the health of Australians. Sleep allows your body to recover and restore. Getting enough sleep after a workout strengthens your muscles and tissues, which can help you avoid fatigue and exercise-related injuries.

 

Here are a few of the questions we asked Shea. Click here to watch the full chat.

How much sleep do I really need?

Sleep is personalised, what works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone. We should aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night however, everyone is different and has different needs. We need to listen to our body, use our intuition and how we feel when we wake up. Are you getting up and feeling refreshed or are you waking up to your alarm hitting the snooze button 10 times..? It’s very important to get your body into a routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day to ensure we are optimising our circadian rhythm.

 

What tips do you have for getting the best night’s sleep?

Melatonin is the natural sleep hormone that we want to stimulate. ‘Our best sleep is in the morning’ – when you first wake up, avoid reaching for your phone. We should be getting up out of bed right away - move your body, stretch, do Pilates, yoga, workout, go for a walk - whatever it is you enjoy that will motivate you to start the day, stimulate the melatonin in your body and kick start your circadian rhythm.

Hydration is key to improving your sleep, aim to drink 2-3L of water each day. Our diet can also impact our sleep; increase your green leafy vegetable intake and incorporate cherries into our diet - the wonder food for sleep quality.

 

Talk to us about napping…. Do daytime naps affect my sleep? What’s the ‘best’ way to nap?

Yes, naps can be a great addition to our sleep routine, especially for shift workers.

The ultimate nap time is 20min AKA the ‘power’ nap. We should avoiding napping for more than 1 hour, this will interrupt your evening sleep and counteract the benefits of napping.

Shea Morrison

 

What is the best sleep environment?

- Reduce the amount of artificial lighting that you are exposed to in the lead up to bedtime.

- Dark rooms are ideal - try using an eye mask (we recommend The Goodnight Co incredible range, which you can shop here!) or invest in some black out blinds.

- A quiet sleeping environment in paramount. If you’re living on a main road or have a noisy snoring sleep partner (like Ash - sorry Ross!), try ear plugs or even sleeping in different bedrooms if that’s available to you

- Try to shut off your tech devices 2 hours before bedtime.

- Declutter your bedroom; “the best thing in the bedroom is just your bed and nothing else”. Make your bedroom feel like it’s your sanctuary; avoid using this space as a dumping ground for dirty washing, kids toys or your home office.

When I put my head down at night, my thoughts and heart start racing. How can I quiet my mind and body and fall asleep?

The best thing we can do is reduce the amount of stress and anxiety throughout our day.

On days where this seems impossible, ensure you create asleep ritual and commit to this ritual every day. Think about it like putting a baby to sleep – build a regular routine that works for you – have a bath, a warm shower, read a book, guided meditation, box breathing, set up the right sleeping environment.

If all of this still isn’t working for you – try a visualisation technique to allow you to refocus and distract your spinning mind on something that is a simple and familiar routine in your day. Look to find a solution that works for you to calm your mind and body so it knows its ‘bedtime’.

 

We hope this helps answer some of your burning questions on sleep and its contribution to living a holistic healthy life. Click here to watch the full chat..

Shea Morrison| Sleep Expert

PERSONAL: One on ones /Coaching / Mentoring

​Website: https://www.sheamorrison.com/

Email: shea@sheamorrison.com

IG @sheamorrison  

The Goodnight Co.

BUSINESS​: Collaborations /Lunar Workshops / Retreats / Corporate Bookings

Website: https://www.thegoodnightco.com.au/

Email: info@thegoodnightco.com 

IG: @thegoodnightco

Podcast: The Goodnight Show

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