Five tips to improve your sleep

Sleep is a vital part of our day-to-day life and making sure you get enough of it can be the difference to our physical and mental health.

If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest, these five tips from Saints Sleep Expert Dr. Elise Facer-Childs could help you get back to performing at your best.

Create a consistent routine

Stick to a routine of going to bed around the same time each night and try to keep your evening routine consistent.

Where possible, keep this sleep schedule similar on work days and free days, as being consistent helps keep your body clocks in sync.

Minimise light in the evening

Limiting how much light you are exposed to during the evenings, to allow your body to prepare for bed naturally.

Try to limit how much time you spend watching TV or playing on your phone before you head to bed, as the light from these devices can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.

Create a good bedroom environment

An environment that is ideal for sleeping often means a place that is quiet, dark and cool.

Keep light and noise to a minimum and make sure your room is at an ideal temperature to set yourself up for a good night’s rest. 

Avoid caffeine in the afternoon

A caffeine kick may be a good idea in the morning to give yourself a boost but consuming it in the late afternoon and evening could keep you awake.

Aim to stop consuming caffeine at least 8 hours before your typical bedtime. 

Make sure you get enough sleep

Quality of sleep is important, but so is quantity. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends between 7-9 hours for adults, and more for other groups like children and ​adolescents. 

Dr. Elise Facer-Childs works in the ​high-performance team alongside St Kilda’s AFL and AFLW players as the club’s sleep and performance expert. She is also the Director of Research and Translation and the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing.