'I'm a sleep expert. Here are the 4 ways I teach people to sleep better.'

Sleep directly impacts how we look, feel, and perform and can have a major effect on our overall quality of life. 

It is the most powerful tool we need to achieve our goals and ultimately live our best life — I should know this, I’m a sleep expert. 

However, as with many things in life, sticking to the rules (even my own) is often much easier said than done. 

Unfortunately, poor sleep quality is a very real problem for many. 

Watch: Here are 8 ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

According to the Sleep Health Foundation, up to 45 per cent of Australians aren’t getting enough sleep and it manifests itself in every aspect of daily life — from our moods, relationships, and general happiness to our productivity and safety at work. 

Perhaps you're like me and you have a tendency to sometimes fall out of good sleep habits. Or maybe you’re looking to implement some sleep structure for the first time. 

Either way, here are my four hacks for achieving restorative and premium sleep.

Aim for a consistent sleep schedule.

The seemingly minor choices we make daily have a direct impact on our quality of sleep.


For example, not sticking to a constant wake time each day — either sleeping in or staying up late — contributes to social jetlag and throws off our sleep cycle. 

You don’t have to go to bed or wake up at the exact same time every day and night (I'll admit that would be incredibly hard and socially limiting) but try to keep your sleep schedule within the same hour. 

If that still seems like it might not be feasible, stick to a consistent wake time and your body will regulate itself from there. If you had a later night and slept less than normal, take a nap throughout. 

It will give you an extra boost of sleep and help balance out your sleep debt. 

Eat and drink well to sleep well.

What you eat and drink can make a big difference to how well you fall asleep and stay asleep. 

If there’s one thing to avoid before sleep, it is caffeine. 

(And if you're wondering, having a coffee six hours before going to bed can still disrupt sleep.)

We know that dodging caffeine means steering clear of coffee, but don’t forget that some of our other favourite afternoon treats like certain energy drinks, chocolate, tea, and matcha are also caffeinated too. 

The next thing to consider is when you eat. 

If we think of food as fuel, it makes sense to eat our bigger meals earlier in the day rather than before bed when our bodies should be slowing down. If you are eating closer to bedtime try to avoid eating heavy, carbohydrate-rich meals as it can spike your blood sugar and require more energy for your body to digest. 


Lastly, despite making us feel snoozy and ready for bed, alcohol is a huge culprit for sleep disturbance. It might not seem like much but for women, just one drink has been shown to decrease sleep quality by 24 per cent. 

While it’s not my place to tell people to give up alcohol, I'd encourage those of us who do enjoy a glass of wine here and there to set aside some extra time throughout the week to catch up on sleep debt — even if it is a weekend nap! 

Identify and address factors that disrupt your premium sleep.

We sleep best in bedrooms that are cool, dark, quiet, clutter-free, and comfortable. 

Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary. While it might seem like a nice idea to WFH from your warm and cosy bed, this can confuse your brain when you do try to wind down for sleep. 

We all know that blue light and screen time is disruptive to our nighttime rituals, but have you ever thought about how exercise impacts sleep? 

Exercise is an important part of your overall sleep cycle — after all, it wears you out.

However, exercising in the evening just before bed will impact how quickly and easily you fall asleep and stay asleep. As a rule of thumb, unless you’re doing some light stretching, it’s best to leave at least a couple of hours between the gym and bed. 

Create a dreamy pre-bedtime ritual.

A dreamy pre-bedtime ritual should come quite easily if you’re working on the above tips: exercising and eating at least three hours before bed and allowing yourself time to switch off and unwind from the day. 


As bedtime approaches, have a warm shower and prepare your sleep sanctuary with dim lights, change into comfortable pyjamas and swap screens for a book or meditation. Pre-bedtime rituals are highly personal and will vary from person to person — but small touches like a pillow spray, diffuser with essential oils or breathing exercises will be universally beneficial in our journey to a premium sleep.

Even the most routine sleepers can be found guilty of slipping out of routine from time to time. 

Sometimes the social love we get from staying out a little bit too late with friends, or the satisfaction of watching the last episode of our favourite show is too good to resist — and that’s okay if you know how to get your sleep back on track.

Before you begin scrolling through TikTok for the latest sleep hack or gadget, consider these four dreamy hacks and you’ll be deep in rejuvenating, restorative sleep before you even have time to start counting sheep. 

Rachel Beard is the Sleep Wellness Manager at A.H. Beard's Sleep Wellness Centre. Rachel is passionate about helping people understand what sleep is, why sleep is so important to our overall health and wellbeing and equipping them with the tools they need to unlock a better night's sleep.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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