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Using an alarm clock to wake up?

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Waking up tired, grumpy, or lethargic? Do you need an alarm to wake you on time in the morning or consistently wake only moments before your alarm? Do you struggle to concentrate, have poor memory, or can't function before your morning coffee?

You might be one of the 33% of New Zealanders who gets less than the recommended hours of sleep.

The typical recommendation for adults aged 18-75 is for 7-9 hours of sleep per 24 hour period, but your individual needs may differ. The best guide to your sleep needs is to think about how many hours of sleep you function and feel best after. Alternatively, think about how long you sleep when allowed to sleep uninterrupted, such as when on holiday or at the weekend.

Once you know how much sleep you need you can build a sleep schedule using your required wake-up time as the anchor and working backwards to reach your required bedtime. For instance, a person requiring 8.5hours of sleep and needing to be up at 7 am in the morning should aim to be asleep by 10:30 pm. Factoring in the average 10-20 minutes it takes to fall asleep (anything up to 30 minutes is considered normal) the optimal bedtime would be 10:10 pm

When first addressing sleep issues keep things basic; Think caveman days when humans lived by the sun. Light is our main zeitgeber, or rhythmic cue, which communicates with the brain's circadian rhythm control centre. Limiting light exposure in the hours before bedtime allows for appropriate melatonin production promoting sleepiness. Avoid bright overhead lighting and screens before bedtime or use warmer toned bulbs in lamps and blue light blockers on your screens if you must use them.

At the other end of your sleep, getting bright natural light shortly after your required waking time helps to synchronise and solidify your sleep-wake cycle. Bright light during day hours can help keep that mid-afternoon slump at bay as well as keep your vitamin D and serotonin topped up.

30 minutes of moderate exercise, correct hydration, and adequate protein in your diet will help prime your body physiologically for sleep. While keeping your sleeping quarters clean, comfortable, dark, and free of distractions will ensure your environment supports a good night's sleep.

Want help improving your sleep? Book a sleep consultation with Feeling for Healing today.

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