Sleep Awareness Week: The Importance of Sleep Health

This week is Sleep Awareness Week! Sleep Awareness Week is celebrated annually and gives everyone an opportunity to consider why sleep is so important for their body, mind and overall well-being.


How much better have you felt when you’ve gone to bed early, slept entirely through the night to the following morning and getting between 7-9 hours of rest in the process?


Pretty good we’re guessing. And how have you felt the following day after staying awake past midnight, struggling to get to sleep (and staying asleep) and the difficulty of getting out of bed the next morning? Average would be an understatement.


At SleepMaker, we’re continually educating Australians about sleep and how important it is, as well as giving sleep advice, such as recommendations on the perfect plants for your bedroom, or the best sleeping positions to avoid back pain. Have we told you recently how passionate we are about sleep?


In honour of Sleep Awareness Week, which is observed every year in March and coincides with the autumnal season, we wanted to explore some of the issues around lack of sleep. We’ve got sleeping tips for summer and sleeping tips for winter, and now as Autumn sets in, it’s time we explore how you can sleep better as the days get cooler and the nights get longer.

Lack of Sleep is a Common Problem


Sadly, a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is an all too common reality for many Australians. It can have an adverse effect on our ability to concentrate, perform our daily tasks and reduce our athletic performance. Plus, a plethora of health risks including an increase in the risk of heart disease, possible mental health concerns, a weakened immune system, possible weight gain and countless more. To put it bluntly – ‘good sleep = good health.’


Just how many Australians are suffering from poor sleep quality? Well, according to a Sleep Health Survey, conducted by the Sleep Health Foundation, approximately 33-45% of adults reported that inadequate sleep, of either duration or quality, resulted in some form of daytime consequences the following day.


Another startling statistic was nearly half of the adults surveyed reported having two or more sleep-related problems, such as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or daytime sleepiness or fatigue. Much of this was due to competing demands on people’s time, with a quarter of all adults reporting their usual routine does not allow them to get enough sleep.

Good Habits and Lifestyle Choices Affect Sleep


Lifestyle choices affecting sleep habits, such as working or using the internet just before bed, are also having adverse effects on sleep and daytime performance. The data shows insufficient or inadequate sleep adversely affects social events and workplace performance, with absenteeism and even falling asleep at work quite common.


Ironically, to counter balance poor sleep across the week, many adults reported taking frequent naps, averaging about 2 naps per week, or utilising the weekend as ‘sleep catch up days’. Good in theory, however, this can have an adverse effect on one’s social life and possible long term health concerns.


Alarming numbers were even recorded surrounding driving when drowsy, particularly worrying in younger inexperienced drivers, while another concern was more than a quarter of participants reported a missed work day as a result of mental health problems.


The survey was compared against an earlier 2010 survey and showed an increase in the prevalence of sleeping problems in Australians. Across the board, whether it was difficulty to fall asleep, awakening unrefreshed, getting adequate sleep, the use of sleeping medication, daytime performance and so on, each category had a negatively geared upward trend.


It appears as a society we’re regressing more and more in our overall sleep health and the detrimental effects cannot be ignored. Whilst specific issues vary with age, sleep-related problems occur frequently across all age groups and genders. Overall, the picture emerges of a nation whose health, social life and productivity is suffering from lack of quality sleep.

Getting Enough Sleep


Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. And when it comes to your health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. It assists with better productivity and concentration, lowers weight gain risk, provides better calorie regulation, increases athletic performance, lowers heart disease risk, provides you with more social and emotional intelligence, helps prevent depression, lowers inflammation in the body and strengthens your immune system.


That right there is 9 essential reasons why aiming to achieve between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep can be absolutely vital to your overall wellbeing.

Steps to improve your Sleep this Autumn


So now that we’ve exlpored some of the reasons behind the importance of sleep, here’s some tips that will help you get good night’s sleep this autumn. Autumn is the perfect season to focus on changing sleep habits; it’s not too cold, it’s not too hot and of course, there’s less pollen in the air – Let’s take advantage of the season change!


Limit your caffeine: If you can, set a ‘cut-off’ time for your last coffee (or any other caffeinated drink). Lunch time is a good time to try. The change is cooler weather may prompt you to crave hot drinks, and you may be tempted to drink more coffee than usual.


Don’t go to bed on a full stomach: If possible, allow at least 2 hours after dinner before going to bed. This can be a bit harder to achieve with nights getting darker earlier.


Limit your alcohol: Try to have no more than 1-2 standard drinks a day. Although alcohol can have a sedative effect and helps you fall asleep, it often leads to mid-night waking and disrupted sleep. Many find the temptation for a cold beer at night is less due to the cooler nights in Autumn, take advantage of the change to reduce your nightly intake.


Follow a routine: Following a bedtime routine can help build a habit that singles to your brain and body you are about to go to bed. We get less and less sunlight as the days become shorter and we spend more time indoors. Because our vitamin D levels are dependent on the quantity of sunlight we receive, they deteriorate. Our bodies become sleepier during the day as a result of this. Sunlight also aids in the regulation of the release of the sleep hormone melatonin in our bodies. We’ll feel sleepier a lot earlier than normal in Autumn because it gets darker earlier. This can also help you prepare for when daylight savings ends in your state.


Have a warm bath: Many people find that winding down in a warm bath or shower can help relax their mind and body before bed. Autumn is the season when animals begin to prepare for hibernation, so we should use it as an opportunity to slow down and commit to a nightly regimen of soothing pre-bed rituals. You may, for example, make it a practice to read a nice book every night, drink a cup of herbal tea, or soak in a warm scented bath.


Keep off your phone: The blue light emitted from your phone and other electronic devices can impair the body’s own natural nighttime sleep response. You can read more about how screen time can impact your sleep.


Cooler nights ahead: As summer comes to an end, so do those hot humid nights that make it hard to fall asleep. The normal reaction of your body shortly before sleep is to lower its core temperature and keep it there until you wake up. This process is aided by the cooler air of autumn. It’s why, when it comes to bedtime, we typically urge individuals to keep their bedrooms cool rather than heated. If that’s still not helpful, it might be time to investigate SleepMaker beds with Kulkote. Kulkote is our unique temperature regulating technology that draws the surface heat of your mattress away from your body – This technology is particularly useful for menopausal women. You can read more about Kulkote here.


Find your perfect bed: Finding the right bed to match your own needs can help improve your quality of sleep. For example, SleepMaker’s Cocoon range of mattresses have our the Sensorzone® Sleep System. Each spring sits separately within a Dreamfoam® core and responds independently to movement, virtually removing partner disturbance – meaning you’ll sleep better for longer.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with SleepMaker


Autumn is a great time to improve your sleep habits because of the lower light levels, colder nights, less allergens, it’s an opportunity to wind down, relax and run a warm bath.


There’s a good reason for seasons, even if you don’t enjoy the longer, more active days and late social hours that come with summer. Take advantage of Sleep Awareness Week this Autumn and use its benefits to improve your sleep. We want to celebrate National Sleep Awareness week by stopping and asking YOU: How are you sleeping? Plus, we’re also giving away some fantastic prizes to help you sleep better! To win, simply tell us how you’re sleeping at night by completing our short Sleep Awareness Survey.


SleepMaker has developed a wide range of advanced technologies to create excellent mattresses in Australia to ensure the most comfortable and supportive sleep possible. Why not take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the best mattress for you, or check out our list of retailers to find a store close to you.


And make sure you: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more interesting and important sleep tips!


Adams, R., Appleteon, S., Taylor, A., McEvoy, D. and Antic, N., 2022. Report to the Sleep Health Foundation 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults. The University of Adelaide. [online] The Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 March 2022].

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