The ideal time it takes to get to sleep.

Twinings
Thanks to our brand partner, Twinings

Hello? Helloo? Yes, I’m talking to you.

You over there, trying to subtly prop your eyelids open with your fingers, desperately willing the clock to fast forward to bedtime so you can finally put on your daggy pyjamas and fall into bed.

Whatever kept you up last night, whether it was your kids, noisy neighbours, endless emails or a Netflix series you just couldn’t stop watching, there’s just one thing on your mind: sleep.

That elusive, always-just-out-of-reach, never-there-when-you-need-it sleep.

It’s almost funny how blasé we can be towards something as important to, you know, survival as sleep.

We make a conscious effort to eat healthy, munching on kale, and make time in our schedule to exercise. So why aren’t we taking the same approach to sleep?

View of an unmade bed
You're dreaming of this, aren't you? Image: iStock

Many experts argue that sleep is actually the most important aspect of looking after our health, because it's the foundation of everything else. Have you ever tried doing any kind task on less than five hours sleep (which is what 16 percent of Australians are getting each night)?

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It's no surprise it's a struggle - getting just four hours of sleep per night has been found to be the equivalent of having a blood alcohol limit of .1. That's two times the legal limit.

Frighteningly, most of us are getting so little sleep, the feeling has probably become the norm. The recommended amount is seven to eight hours, which gives your body enough time to wind down and refresh itself.

While some are able to survive on less, most of us can't. And there's an easy way to tell if you're sleep deprived - if it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow. The ideal duration is between 10 and 15 minutes, which means you're tired enough to reach deep sleep but not so exhausted you've felt sleepy all day.

bedroom interior
Image: iStock

Of course, I know what you're thinking. You would sleep - you WANT to sleep for several hours a night - but there's just not enough time in the day. Once you've managed to tick everything else off your to-do list, all you really want is some 'me-time', to catch up on your TV shows, wash your dry-shampoo filled hair or settle down with a trashy mag.

Sleep is bottom on the list, the thing that almost happens unconsciously as you're on your third scroll through your Instagram feed.

But there is a way to make sleep a priority without compromising your me-time. And no, it doesn't involve bringing back nap time during the day (although that's not a half-tempting plan).

Unfortunately you can't make yourself fall asleep, but you can create the right conditions in both your mind and your environment that will help you get there.

First of all, ditch the screens - particularly in the bedroom. The light impacts our natural circadian rhythm which helps our bodies fall asleep. Stop using them at least an hour before you want to go to sleep.

In your 'me-time', try to incorporate things that will help your body relax and wind down. Light a candle, make yourself a comforting cup of tea (ingredients such as camomile and orange blossom can help you relax) and even indulge in the ultimate luxury - doing absolutely nothing.

Twinings-sleep-tea-inline

The best bed companion. Image: Brittany Stewart

Treating sleep in the same way as you treat eating healthy food and working out is a good way to see it. The benefits are noticeable - you'll feel better, you're more likely to eat better, you'll have more energy - which means more time for you AND that to-do list. Win.

How do you ensure you get a good night's sleep? Tell us your tips in the comments section below.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own.

Thanks to our brand partner Twinings and their New Twinings Sleep Infusion. 


Settle into your evening with a dreamy sip of camomile, orange blossom and honey. It’s a perfect blend to ease you into your evening slumber.

Discover Twinings new Feel Good Infusions Range in stores now

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