coach 'This is how I manage to get nine hours sleep every night'

I'm scared to tell people this, but I get nine hours sleep a night. Nearly every night.

I know new mum's are out there throwing their phones against the wall after reading this. I know perimenopausal women are yelling at me because the one symptom I don't get is night sweats. Insomniacs hate my guts.

But if it makes you all feel better, two years ago I only used to get about six hours.

I trained myself to get more.

According to a Google Trends report in February 2022: "Sleep is now a more popular trend than all the other wellness categories combined above nutrition, mindfulness, physical fitness, and physical appearance."

So, because today is World Sleep Day, I figured I'd share what I changed.

It sounds simple but I was a night owl. When I lived in Sydney, I would go to bed at 11:30pm and look at my phone until midnight and then try to sleep. Now I live in Queensland I've adopted the slower pace and most nights I'm in bed by 9:30pm.Now I'm not saying move to Queensland (but you should because it's bloody beautiful here), instead it's about creating a regular routine.

coach 'This is how I manage to get nine hours sleep every night'

Rachel Beard, General Manager of the A.H. Beard Sleep Wellness Centre applauds my consistency.

"My personal top tip that works best for me is making sure that I prioritise my sleep and that seems simple, but it is a really tough thing. It means not saying 'just one more ep' of your Netflix show. It means going to bed at the same time every night and developing a routine."

"I know that's not possible for everyone. Whether you're a mum or dad with young kids or you are a shift worker, life gets in the way. The goal is to try and get as close to the same bedtime as possible," she says.

Rachel has a strict no screens an hour before bed policy for good sleep, but I can't stick to that. I'm in bed about ten minutes after turning the TV off.However, after trial and error with meditation music and sleep sounds, I realised the best way to quiet my busy mind is with an audio book. But it can't be factual or self-help or really need my attention. I need my brain to disappear into a good novel. I set the sleep timer for 15 minutes so it turns itself off and most nights I'm asleep before 10mins. I think the ear buds help block out other noise too.

READ MORE: Why the pursuit of eight hours of sleep causes us so much stress

The only thing I don't like about Queensland is it doesn't have daylight savings. The sun comes up very early. So, we bought cheap block out blinds from Bunnings and my dad put them up for us in the house we rent. It's turned our bedroom from a Coles Café to a dark cave, which has helped me stay asleep.

Darren and I had a queen size mattress that was over ten years old so when we upgraded, we chose king size and I don't think we'll ever go back. Of course, it costs more, and you have to have the room, but I think it's worth it considering how much time you spend in bed. Even though we sleep with both dogs in the bed, which will horrify many people, with the king size bed, we all fit better. I'm not being shoved to the edge by a Chihuahua.

READ MORE: Why 'hustle culture' is toxic to our sleep

Some people have a wind down routine. Just like a morning routine where you get up go to the toilet, have a shower, brush your teeth, but in reverse. Some like a herbal tea. Others use red-light lamps to counteract the blue lights from screens. Some wear socks or take magnesium supplements.

"Sleep is very individual," says Rachel. So it's important to make sure you find what works best for you and your lifestyle.

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