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Snooze solutions: strategies for a better night’s sleep


March 15, 2024

Quality sleep can be elusive but getting a good night of rest is so important for your mental health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s work-related stress, doom-scrolling on TikTok, or just life getting in the way, there are many obstacles to keep us from sleeping well. However, we know sleeping well plays a key role in maintaining your mental health and wellbeing, so it’s time to start prioritising getting enough quality sleep.

March 15 is World Sleep Day so what better time to focus on our sleep habits? We are here to get you started with some tips and strategies to help you wake up feeling refreshed every day.

Consider the length, timing and quality of sleep as these are all important factors for health, performance and safety. Generally, seven to nine hours of sleep is optimal. What quality sleep looks like is a bit different for everyone, so pay attention to your body and what it needs.

Mix and match these strategies until you find what works best for you.

  1. Sleep environment

    Make your bed and bedroom into a safe haven. Over their lifetime, people spend an average of 26 years sleeping so it’s worth doing it in comfort. Invest in some comfortable bedding and keep them clean. Consider using some white noise to block out any potential disturbances and to keep you relaxed.

  2. Sleep pattern

    Set some sleep guidelines and stick to them. Have a set bedtime and wake-up time. This will help to regulate your body’s internal clock, which will help your body to fall asleep easier. Try to get at least of couple of hours of sleep before midnight to help support the body’s natural rhythm.

  3. Routine

    Create a bedtime routine. Activities such as reading a book, making a cup of (non-caffeinated) tea, or having a bath can help you wind down and prepare your mind and body for going to sleep.

  4. Journal

    Write down those busy thoughts. Get a pen and some paper and start writing down all those thoughts that are keeping you up at night. Take them out of your head and leave them on that piece of paper, leaving you to feel relaxed and ready for bed.

  5. Exercise

    Exercise consistently. Regular exercise is known to improve sleep quality and duration so get out and go for a walk, a bike ride, or a swim. Up to 30 minutes of moderate heart-pumping exercise, five times a week is recommended.

  6. Technology use

    Last but certainly not least, take some time away from your phone before you go to bed. The light your phone screen emits can mess with your body clock. While it’s tempting to have a scroll before hitting the hay, it is recommended that you stay off your phone for at least an hour before you head to bed.

Sleeping well is just one of the ways you can look after your mental health and wellbeing. For other ideas, have a read of our range of articles or sign up for our MH101® workshop.

Learn more with MH101®

Blueprint for Learning’s MH101® workshop is focused on mental health, including how to recognise when someone is experiencing mental health challenges and how to support them while maintaining your own wellbeing.

Where to get help

You are not alone. If you or someone you know is having a hard time, there are many organisations, websites and other resources in New Zealand that can help support people and their whānau and friends. The following lists provide a good starting point. 1737 is also available to free call or text any time, 24 hours a day.

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