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Planning Ahead For Better Sleep

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Sleep: 6 Dimensions And 24 Hours!

A woman with dark hair, planning ahead for better sleep, against a white background.

This is Dr. Lisa Matricciani, a sleep specialist from the University of South Australia, where she teaches in the School of Health Sciences.

What does she want us to know?

Healthy sleep begins before breakfast

The perfect bedtime routine is all well and good, but we need to begin much earlier in the day, Dr. Matricciani advises.

Specifically, moderate to vigorous activity early in the day plays a big part.

Before breakfast is best, but even midday/afternoon exercise is associated with better sleep at night.

Read more: Daytime Physical Activity is Key to Unlocking Better Sleep

Plan your time well to sleep—but watch out!

Dr. Matricciani’s research has also found that while it’s important to plan around getting a good night’s sleep (including planning when this will happen), allocating too much time for sleep results in more restless sleep:

❝Allocating more time to sleep was associated with earlier sleep onsets, later sleep offsets, less efficient and more consistent sleep patterns for both children and adults.❞

~ Dr. Lisa Matricciani et al.

Read more: Time use and dimensions of healthy sleep: A cross-sectional study of Australian children and adults

(this was very large study involving 1,168 children and 1.360 adults, mostly women)

What counts as good sleep quality? Is it just efficiency?

It is not! Although that’s one part of it. You may remember our previous main feature:

The 6 Dimensions Of Sleep (And Why They Matter)

Dr. Matricciani agrees:

❝Everyone knows that sleep is important. But when we think about sleep, we mainly focus on how many hours of sleep we get, when we should also be looking at our sleep experience as a whole❞

~ Dr. Lisa Matricciani

Read more: Trouble sleeping? You could be at risk of type 2 diabetes

That’s not a cheery headline, but here’s her paper about it:

Multidimensional Sleep and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes: Examining Self-Report and Objective Dimensions of Sleep

And no, we don’t get a free pass on getting less sleep / less good quality sleep as we get older (alas):

Why You Probably Need More Sleep

So, time to get planning for the best sleep!

Enjoy videos?

Here’s how 7News Australia broke the news of Dr. Matricciani’s more recent work:


Rest well!

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