I don’t know about you but when I don’t get enough sleep I become cranky, irritable and feel like I am watching the world through a big cloud. Recently, a friend who was a new mum told me that nothing could prepare her for just how tired she would feel looking after her new bub. We all know the feeling that constant tiredness brings. Thanks to the latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey we now know that there is a close correlation between sleep and wellbeing.

The results of the survey reveal that 31 percent of people report sleeping six hours or less a night. While it is probably unsurprising to many that this number of people are sleeping so few hours a night, what the survey also reveals is that those people have severely restricted wellbeing on the Personal Wellbeing Index.

So what is the ideal amount of sleep? The report “The Wellbeing of Australians – Quantity and Quality of Sleep” found that for people able to sleep between 7-9 hours per night, about two-thirds of the population, their wellbeing is normal or above normal on the Personal Wellbeing Index. Interestingly, sleeping 10 or more hours per night produces lower than normal wellbeing scores, similar to the effect of lack of sleep.

How does one go about getting more sleep? Whether you are a parent dealing with a waking baby, a University student or a busy magazine Editor, finding that balance is never easy. With the ever present technology in every corner of the house, the intensification of work and all those other pressures we read about constantly, it is no wonder that we are finding it harder to switch off and get the rest we need.

My never fail trick is to switch off all my technology about half an hour before bed. I also keep a magazine by my bed so that when I do get in to bed I can spend a few minutes unwinding by checking out some of the latest fashion trends or reading an inspiring story. What works for you? Counting sheep? Meditation? Tell us how you make sure you get enough sleep.


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