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Three tips to getting great sleep

Disrupted sleep can significantly impact your overall health and quality of life, negatively affecting your mood, relationships, and ability to think and perform regular tasks.

In recognition of World Sleep Day, St John of God Subiaco Hospital Respiratory and Sleep Medicine consultant Dr Miranda Smith shares three tips to getting a great sleep.

1. Go to bed at the same time every night

Maintaining a regular bed time can help to regulate the hormones that control tiredness and wakefulness.

When your body clock is functioning well, you should feel tired at your regular bed time. This is the optimal time to go to sleep. Staying up too late or going to bed too early can lead to broken sleep.

2. Eat two hours before bedtime and avoid caffeine

Being hungry or too full can disturb your sleep. Aim to eat your dinner at least two hours before your regular bed time. Some people find that a light snack or warm milk before bed can help to maintain a good night’s sleep.

Avoid caffeine at least four hours before going to bed. This includes soft-drinks, tea and coffee. Consuming alcohol can also lead to a disrupted night of sleep.

3. Create a relaxing sleeping environment

Create a bedroom that is free from distraction, this includes phones, computers, radios and televisions. Ensure your bedroom is warm and your bed is comfortable.

The hour before going to bed is an ideal time to wind down and relax your body and mind. Taking a warm bath or shower, reading or listening to soothing music may help you to relax. Avoid stimulating activities in the hour before you plan to go to sleep.

If you continue to suffer from poor sleep, you may benefit from a physician’s review.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s onsite sleep centre, Subiaco Sleep Care, offers a complete service for the diagnosis and treatment of adult and paediatric sleep disorders.

To book a sleep review, please ask your GP for a referral to Subiaco Sleep Care.
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Dr Miranda Smith Respiratory and sleep consutant

About the Author

Dr Miranda Smith graduated from the University of Western Australia and then trained locally at Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Respiratory Medicine.

She subsequently completed subspecialty training in Sleep Medicine and Pulmonary Physiology at the Western Australian Sleep Disorder Research Institute. There, her research included investigating motor neurone disease and non-invasive ventilation. 

As a consultant, Dr Smith currently works at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, providing inpatient and outpatient services in both Respiratory and Sleep specialties.