How to Build Healthier Sleep Habits


The concept of health for most people includes having a healthy body weight: and being fit and strong. Our holistic Exercise Physiology approach to health means we assess and value other components to health as being equally important and critical to the overall health of an individual.

Health is also influenced by having functional (and efficient!) movement patterns, having a balanced nutritional intake, stress management and emotional control, strong social connectedness and getting quality sleep.


Sleep is essential for mental and physical health and we can’t afford to limit it. Adults need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, however most adults across the globe struggle to achieve this amount.

Approximately one third of Australians are not getting enough sleep.

Inadequate sleep results in a wide range of consequences for your health.

When sleep quality and duration are poor, individuals tend to have less energy, experience less self-regulatory control, develop an increased desire for sweet, salty, and starchy foods.

Sleep deprived individuals have higher levels of ghrelin (the hormone that regulates hunger) and lower levels of leptin (the hormone responsible for controlling appetite). This results in a wide range of negative health consequences.

The consequence of poor sleep includes having less energy, experience of having less self-regulatory control of food and emotions, immune system deficiencies, increased blood pressure, increased risk for heart disease, increased risk of developing depression and anxiety, irritability, forgetfulness, and an inability to focus.

In short, experiencing sleep deprivation and trying to work, live and function in a sleep-deprived state has significant consequences on long-term health. Making adequate sleep just as important as anything else.

Top 5 Tips to Improve your Sleep

1. Stick to a sleep schedule.

Although the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours, most adults people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to be well rested.

Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends and being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes of going to bed, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed but continue to maintain your sleep schedule and wake-up time.

2. Be mindful of what you eat and drink.

Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Discomfort might keep you up. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol should be avoided late at night too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can interfere with sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night and have negative repercussions the next day.

3. Create a restful environment.

Create seeping environment that is cool, dark and quiet. Avoid prolonged use of technology just before bedtime such as mobile phones as light exposure just prior to sleeping can make it difficult to fall asleep. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan, white noise or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

4. Limit daytime naps.

Long daytime naps can interfere with sleep. Limit naps to no more than one hour and avoid napping late in the day.

However, if you work nights, you might need to nap late in the day before work to help make up your sleep.

5. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. However, be careful of being active too close to bedtime. Spending more time outside in general can be helpful too.

6. Manage worries.

Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Write down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities, and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.


If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve our health and fitness, or improve your mental wellbeing, come in and speak to one of our Exercise Physiologists or Personal Trainers at Inspire Fitness for Wellbeing, or call us on 9857 3007