Many New Zealanders struggle with how to fall asleep and how to stay asleep. A good night’s sleep is crucial for health and wellbeing, and failure to achieve a good night’s sleep can lead to issues with concentration, attention and memory, irritability, and daytime fatigue.
Common Sleep Problems
More common sleep problems experienced by New Zealanders include:
- Insomnia – difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Sleep Apnoea – waking multiple times throughout the night due to breathing interruption
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders – due to body clock being out of sync with one’s environment, as a result of such things as shift work or jet lag
- Restless Leg Syndrome – night-time leg cramping or irritability
Statistically*there are more than 70 defined sleep disorders. More than 25% of New Zealanders feel fatigued every day, and 80% of New Zealanders would prefer to have a good night’s sleep than a fun night out. Worryingly, 11% of New Zealanders have fallen asleep while driving.
Why is Sleeping Such a Challenge?
There are various reasons why we have trouble falling asleep; many of these are directly related to lifestyle:
- Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption
- Eating too much close to bedtime
- Lack of exercise
- A snoring or restless sleeping partner or a partner with sleep apnoea
- Poor sleep routine (sleeping during the day, falling asleep on the couch earlier in the evening)
- Too much light in the bedroom, including from digital bedside clocks
- TV in bedroom
- Screen (mobile device) use before or in bed
How to Fall Asleep?
There are things you can do to improve your chances of falling asleep:
- Take a warm bath or shower before bed
- Use lavender, either in the bath or to scent your room.
- Have a cup of chamomile tea before bed
- Have a non-caffeinated, warm milk drink before bed
- Create a bedroom environment conducive to sleep:
- Maintain a dark room without digital devices.
- Turn your clock away from your line of sight
- Keep the room cool but not cold
- Make your bedroom a comfortable haven exclusively for sleep (and intimacy)
- Address your lifestyle:
- Stop smoking
- Moderate alcohol consumption and don’t drink close to bedtime.
- Don’t eat a large evening meal or late at night
- Avoid caffeine after 4 pm.
- Try to exercise regularly
- Maintain a routine and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day
- Avoid sedative medications
- Use a blue light filter on all devices within a few hours of bedtime
- Avoid daytime napping
- If you or your partner suffer from sleep apnoea, seek medical advice and use an ApneaRX device which is designed to treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea & snoring
- Don’t stress! If you can’t sleep, try reading a book or magazine for a short while – but don’t use a digital device like a backlit mobile phone
Techniques to Help Fall Asleep Quickly
- Military Method: Focus on relaxing all of your muscles. Begin with your face, including relaxing the muscles in your mouth. Then drop your shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, and release tension here. Exhale to relax your chest, and follow this with your hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, feet and toes. Clear your mind and imagine a very relaxing scene. You should fall asleep very quickly.
- 4-7-8-Method: meditative breathing for falling asleep.
- Put the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, gently held against the back of your top front teeth.
- Part your lips and exhale strongly through your mouth with a “whoosh”
- Close your lips; inhale deeply through the nose to a silent count of four
- Hold your breath for a count of seven seconds
- Exhale strongly with a “whoosh” for a silent count of eight seconds
- Complete at least four full cycles of this.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This involves gently tensing and then relaxing all of your muscles to release tension. Find a comfortable position to do so and stay as still as you can.
- Belly Breathing: This deep, mindful and controlled breathing directs your mind away from any racing thoughts and helps you relax – which is an effective way to go to sleep quickly.
Explore the ApneaRX Website
Explore the ApneaRx website to purchase our revolutionary device to help you treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea and snoring. You will also find a plethora of information about sleep, sleep disorders, and how you can achieve a better night’s sleep. Knowing how to fall asleep faster is one of the keys to this! Contact us to learn more.