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40 sleep tips for a good Forty Winks

18th April 2024 • 7 min read
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Happy 40th birthday to us!

Turning 40 can trigger mixed feelings – but rather than buying a flashy sports car, making a big career change or planning a trip around the world, we’ve decided to celebrate this milestone a little differently.

While it’s true that you’re as young as you feel, let’s face it: four decades is a long time. And we’ve picked up a few pearls of wisdom along the way. So for every year Forty Winks has been around, we’re sharing one handy hint to help you get a better night’s sleep. Disclaimer: we crowd-sourced these tips from our team, so some of them are purely anecdotal.

A special shout-out to our content manager Kate Roscrow, merchandise planner John Cribbin, marketing specialists Indy Muir and Shreya Somani, e-commerce coordinator Matt Stringer, and product support coordinator Libby Kulas, for their helpful (and at times, humorous) contributions. 

Here are 40 tips to help you get a good Forty Winks.

1. Have a routine

When it comes to sleep, timing is everything. If you train your body to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (yes, that means on weekends too), you’ll find it easier to consistently get the rest you need.

2. Get plenty of sun 

Did you know that sunlight plays a crucial role in regulating your circadian rhythm? It suppresses melatonin production and keeps you awake during the day, while night-time triggers the onset of sleep. 

3. “At least 30 minutes of exercise during the day – otherwise I can't sleep.” – Matt 

Whether it’s running, walking, swimming, dancing or cycling, there are lots of ways you can stay physically active. Whatever you choose, you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep when the time comes.  

Find out more about the link between exercise and sleep.

4. Naps should be short and sweet

If you’re partial to a catnap, keep it under 30 minutes – and don’t leave it too late in the day. Otherwise you could be up counting sheep for hours!

5. Create a tranquil environment

Try incorporating natural colours, earthy textures and a few indoor plants into your sleep space. Not only will your bedroom look good, it’ll probably help you sleep better, too.

Check out our guide to creating a tranquil, eco-friendly sleep space

6. Your bed is for sleep only

We understand how tempting it can be to eat breakfast, watch a movie or even work in bed – but if you keep your bed exclusively for rest, the simple act of slipping beneath the covers will cue feelings of sleepiness.

7. “It is worth investing in a supportive mattress and pillow – if you know you know.” – Libby 

A comfortable, supportive mattress and pillow combination will help lull you into a deep, restorative sleep and leave you feeling refreshed the next day. Explore our range of mattresses.

8. “Phone on do not disturb mode, charging and put away for tomorrow.” – Indy

Just as sunlight keeps you awake, so does the artificial blue light from electronic devices.

Learn more about the impact of screen time on sleep and why you should curb that doom-scrolling habit.

9. Quit smoking (and vaping) 

Cigarettes – and most e-cigarettes – contain nicotine, which is a stimulant. For this reason, it’s common for smokers to have trouble falling asleep and report poorer sleep quality. Nicotine withdrawal can also make you feel tired (and cranky) during the day.

10. Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine near bedtime

Caffeine’s an obvious one, but lots of people assume a nightcap will make them sleep better. Unfortunately, alcohol is associated with night sweats, frequent awakenings, headaches, nightmares and general restlessness. 

Find out which beverages we recommend before bed. 

11. “A nice cup of chamomile tea before bedtime.” – Shreya 

Chamomile tea has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including sleep. Plus, it’s naturally caffeine-free – which is a win-win.

12. Or, if you’re like Matt, you might prefer to opt for the “T2 Sleep Tight tea an hour before sleeping (not too close to sleep or you wake up needing to use the loo).”

Thanks for that last bit, Matt.

13. Eat nutritious foods

Experts say there’s a link between consuming a healthy, balanced diet and getting quality shut-eye. We recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar.

Get more advice on which foods you should and shouldn’t eat for quality sleep. 

14. Keep a sleep diary

Logging what time you go to bed and wake up each day – plus any unwanted night-time occurrences like snoring or tossing and turning – will help you understand and optimise your sleep patterns. 

15. Avoid midnight feasts

There’s nothing worse than going to bed on a full stomach. Do your body a favour and give it a couple of hours to digest your dinner before hitting the sack.

16. “Listen to meditation music.” – Shreya 

Classical, jazz, R&B… whatever relaxes you.

17. Set a bedtime reminder

If you’re someone who finds themselves saying “one more episode won’t hurt” a lot, this one is for you. Set a reminder on your phone to stop delaying bedtime! 

18. “Reading a book before you sleep to escape into another world.” – Kate

Can’t stay away from your phone? Swap it for a book – they’re blue-light free (although arguably more addictive).

19. Have a shower or bath 

While a cold shower is a great way to wake up in the morning, a warm bath can help you relax and unwind before bed.

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20. Write down all your worries

If you’re a natural stress-head or just constantly busy, don’t let that keep you up at night. One US study showed that writing a to-do list before bed could speed up the onset of sleep.

21. “Keep the room cool.” – Matt 

A hot environment can reduce sleep duration and disrupt the amount of time spent in deep, restorative sleep. 

If you’re a naturally hot sleeper, explore our cooling range or see our tips on how to beat the heat

22. Try progressive muscle relaxation

After a stressful day, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) can help reduce muscle tension and prepare your body for sleep. It’s super easy – check out this step-by-step guide to PMR.

23. Practice mindful breathing

A great way to reduce anxiety is through breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 method, which helps regulate the nervous system and calm the body.

24. “A dark room with no lights.” – John 

A dark room signals to your brain that it's time to power down, so shut the blinds, switch off the lights, and put away any light-emitting electronic devices.

25. Light a couple of scented candles 

There’s nothing like a bit of aromatherapy to soothe the mind. Just don’t forget to blow out your candles before you drift off!

26. Don’t watch the clock

If sleep is evading you, don’t keep checking the time – it’ll probably make things worse. Get up and have a cup of tea, read a book or do a bit of journaling before heading back to bed.  

27. Get bedMATCH®-ed

We all have different sleep needs, after all! Visit us in-store to find your personalised sleep solution.

28. Sleep under a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are thought to stimulate the production of serotonin (the happy hormone) and melatonin (the sleep hormone), whilst reducing cortisol (the stress hormone).

29. Your PJs make all the difference

Opt for cosy flannel or fleece in the winter, and lightweight, breathable materials like cotton, linen and bamboo in the summer.

30. “Lavender oil on your temples! Helps you to relax as it’s a calming fragrance.” – Kate 

We love this one from Kate. Lavender is a naturally soothing scent, and while research is ongoing, there is some evidence to suggest it acts as a sleep aid.

31. Clean up the clutter in your bedroom

Maybe this goes without saying, but a messy space isn’t a tranquil one. Clutter can cause cognitive overload and anxiety – both of which are your worst enemies when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

32. Block out the noise with a pair of earplugs 

Earplugs are a great solution if you’re constantly being disturbed by a snoring partner or noisy neighbours.

33. Or: “Rain sounds sometimes for white noise help.” – Matt 

Unless you live in Melbourne, in which case, no rain simulations are necessary.

34. Wear a sleep mask

Need help blocking out light and other distractions? An eye mask could be life-changing. 

35. Banish kids and furry friends 

We know they’re cute, but if they’re interrupting your slumber, it’s time to set some boundaries.

Here’s how to stop co-sleeping.

36. “Need to train the dogs not to bark at 3am in the morning!” – John 

See tip no. 32, John.

37. Humidify the air 

An air humidifier can reduce dryness and stuffiness in the throat and nose, helping you breathe easier while you sleep.

38. “Cotton or bamboo sheet sets – they feel great and wash up well!” – Libby 

They’re breathable too, which is great for warmer nights. 

39. Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase

Not only do they feel great, they’re also good for your skin and hair. Begone, pesky bedhead!

40. Invest in a zero-gravity bed

Sleeping in an inclined position can help reduce snoring and back pain, assist with issues like acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion, and improve blood flow and circulation.

Discover more benefits of zero-gravity beds

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