168 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup WA 6018
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Saturdays: 7.30am - 2.30pm

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It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

Mahatma Gandhi.

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

s-d2507ac50f6f63b597507dfc931959a1c52a007bStarved of sleep and stressed to the max? Tired all day, poor memory, irritable, feeling anxious or depressed?  Does this sound like you?  Insomnia is a condition that is all too common.  Research shows that between 13- 33% of Australian adults have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep.  Lack of sleep may in turn cause emotional or mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.  And not getting to sleep and continually waking and being awake during the night can, in itself, cause you to feel more anxiety, making the problem worse.  Research shows that adults who have fewer than 7 hours sleep a night have more difficulty concentrating and more mood problems than people who sleep between 7-9 hours, and over 80% of people diagnosed with depression reported disturbed sleep.  So good quality sleep is essential for our wellbeing.

Here are some easy, daily habits that can be done to support a good nights sleep:

  1. Switch off electronics – this includes mobile phones, tablets, ipads, computers, gaming consoles and TV. Not only can they be very stimulating to the mind, but the light from the devices can affect circadian rhythm. They are also a distraction and often result in ‘late’ nights as time runs away while on them. Switch off at least 1 hour before sleep and read a book, meditate, talk to a friend/partner/parent, or have a bath instead.
  2. Sleep in a dark room – melatonin is our sleep hormone, which rises in the evening near bedtime. It is virtually absent during the daytime and is suppressed by light – even very low levels of light in a bedroom can affect its production. So ensure your window coverings are solid, to block out street lights and that all electronic devices including digital alarm clocks are covered or switched off.
  3. Avoid caffeine – especially at night as it affects sleep negatively. Choose calming drinks instead of tea and coffee at night, such as chamomile or lemon balm tea, rooibos tea, or just plain water.
  4. Regular physical activity – research shows that regular low-intensity exercise can improve sleep quality. The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of exercise shared over 5 days per week. Some low impact exercises are walking, swimming, cycling, tai chi and yoga.

Diet also plays a central role in sleep and there are many nutrients the body requires to make melatonin. For more information and for a personalised sleep hygiene appraisal make an appointment with our Naturopath Jeanette Gee who can formalise a plan of action to help you sleep better.



Bower, B, et al., ‘Poor reported sleep quality predicts low positive affect in daily life among healthy and mood-disordered persons’, Journal of Sleep Res., 2010, 19, 323-332.

Carter, B, et al., ‘Association between portable screen-based media device access or use and sleep outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, JAMA Pediatr, 2016, 170(12): 1202-1208.

Crowley, SJ, et al., ‘Sleep, circadian rhythms, and delayed phase in adolescence’, Sleep Medicine, 2007, 602-612.

Cunnington, D, et al., 2013, ‘Insomnia: prevalence, consequences and effective treatment’, Medical Journal of Australia, 2013, 199(8)S36-S40.

Garcia, AN, and Salloum, IM, ‘Polysomnographic sleep disturbances in nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, opiod, and cannabis use: A focussed review’, The American Journal on Addictions, 2015, 24: 590-598.

Hartescy, J, et al., ‘Increased physical activity improves sleep and mood outcomes in inactive people with insomnia: a randomised controlled trial’, Journal of Sleep Research, 2015, 24: 526-534.

Rose, IM, et al., ‘Evolution of sleep quantity, sleep deprivation, mood disturbances, empathy, and burnout among interns’, Academic Medicine, 2006, 81(1): 82-85.

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