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Why aren’t Australians sleeping?!

According to the Australian Sleep Health Foundation, 50% of Aussies have trouble getting regular, good sleep! That’s a frightening stat, especially considering that not getting enough shut eye can have detrimental effects on our health. So, why aren’t Aussies sleeping and what can we do to fix this issue?

For the Managing Director of one of Australia’s largest pharmacy chains Pharmacy 4 Less, Feras Karem, sleep is one of the most prevalent issues amongst Australians, and more than ever customers are coming in with a multitude of sleep issues affecting their overall health and wellbeing.

“The three most common sleep complaints that I see customers presenting with are insomnia, sleep apnoea, and sleeplessness caused by general stress and anxiety. This is highly concerning because good sleep is so pivotal in our overall wellbeing, the regeneration of cells, our cognitive function and so much more” says Feras.

With sleep issues effecting so many Australians, Feras and the Pharmacy 4 Less team are on a mission to educate on good sleep habits, how to identify sleep issues correctly and different ways that you can address and fix the issues.

What are the issues and who is affected?

Insomnia is characterised as a difficulty in falling asleep, going back to sleep, or waking too early. According to Sleep Disorders Australia, one third of people in NSW say that they experience at least one symptom of insomnia. On average women also report insomnia symptoms nearly twice as often as men and suffering from these symptoms becomes more frequent with age.

Top treatment tips –

Sleep Apnoea is when a person’s airway becomes obstructed while sleeping, causing them to stop breathing for a period of time. Associate Professor Keith Burgess of the Penninsula Respiratory Group in Sydney says that “For the vast majority of people the reason (for the obstruction) is the collapse of the upper airway, typically behind the base of the tongue and at the level of the soft palate”.

Top treatment tips –

  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist to discuss treatment options and surgery options

Anxiety and Sleep are completely intertwined and can establish negative patterns of thinking about your sleep cycle. If you’re typically an anxious or worried person sometimes this can result in restlessness and waking up during the night. Unfortunately worrying about your bad sleep can also make it worse, resulting in a cycle of worry and disturbed sleep.

Top treatment tips –

Good sleep habits:

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol for at least an hour before bed and finish eating at least two hours before bed
  • Try to spend the hour before going to bed to wind down, read a book or meditate, instead of looking at a screen
  • Remove any devices that give off blue light from the bedroom i.e. mobiles, laptops etc.
  • Ensure that your bedroom is warm, but not too hot, comfortable and dark
  • Ensure you exercise for at least 30 minutes per day to tire your body out
  • Try to stick to a routine and go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at the same time every morning

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