How to get a better night’s sleep

Sleep expert Dr Mark Levi has the lowdown on rebooting your bedtime to increase your energy levels.

Sleep deprivation is becoming a national epidemic.

Research has found up to 45 per cent of Australians have poor sleep patterns that lead to fatigue, irritability, low productivity at work, unsafe behaviour and mental health problems.

“There’s a mistaken belief that sleeping is a waste of time and that we can get away with less than is needed,” sleep medicine consultant Dr Mark Levi tells The House of Wellness TV team.

“The truth is that people who choose to reduce the time they spend sleeping are not as mentally sharp, vigilant, attentive or patient.”

People who choose to reduce the time they spend sleeping are not as mentally sharp, vigilant, attentive or patient.

Reboot and de-stress before bed

The sleep consultant says it is hard to expect a good night’s sleep to come naturally after charging home from work then dealing with kids, dinner and homework, and staring at the computer, TV and emails.

“To reboot you need to plan to be in bed longer – so go to bed earlier,” he advises.

“Relax your muscles and brain with a five-minute de-stress – chamomile tea, warm chocolate milk, warm bath, candles, dim lights, Michael Buble playing quietly.”

better sleep

Soothe broken sleep with magnesium

If you’re restless in bed and you toss and turn all night, the answer may lie in a simple multivitamin tablet containing magnesium.

“Magnesium settles the entire body and quietens down the muscles that keep firing off and causing the arms, legs and body to move, which leads to sleep fragmentation, disruption to the smooth rhythmical waves off sleep,” Dr Levi says.

How old is your bedding?

Pillows and mattresses are more important than you might think in getting a good night’s sleep.

“Pillows should be changed regularly. They grow bugs inside them and lose that elastic, spongy, fluffy, quality after a while anyway so that your head is not well supported or comfortable,” Dr Levi says.

“Do a broom stick test on your mattress to see if there is a huge concavity where your body lies and remember to flip your mattress over often.

“Smooth, clean linen will also help you sleep better.”

Dr Levi’s top tips for great sleep and more energy:

  1. A multivitamin tablet with magnesium.
  2. Sleep longer and de-stress before bed.
  3. Check your pillow and mattress.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more from Zoe, Ed, and the team.