Sleep, What is it good for? Absolutely everything!

At BallyCara we appreciate the need for sleep, especially since we know that getting a good night’s sleep promotes our health and wellbeing.

As World Sleep Day is held on March 15th and the theme this year is Sleep Equity for Global Health, we asked one of our Physiotherapists, Sally, why sleep is so important for our health and recovery and how to increase our sleep hygiene to have a better sleep overall.

Our natural circadian rhythms can and do change as we age. Sometimes we can function well after only 6 hours a night, and other times our bodies need 9 hours of sleep. It is also natural for older people to take longer to fall asleep, be more likely to wake during the night, and arise earlier in the day. This is before adding in any effects from certain medications and psychological issues a person may have.

With more research into sleep occurring, we have discovered just how vital it is for our bodies, especially in terms of recovery. There is an abundance of evidence on the many health problems that can develop when someone is chronically under-sleeping, e.g. cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and dementia, to name a few.
To limit your risk of developing these problems due to a lack of sleep ensure you have developed good sleep hygiene habits. The following tips are ideas that you can put into practice no matter your age, your lifestyle preferences, if you are still working or retired.

  • Go outside and get some sunlight within 30-60 minutes of waking up.
  • Wake up at the same time each day, no matter if it is a weekday or a weekend. And conversely go to bed when you begin to feel sleepy. There will be less chance of you waking up at 3am unable to get back to sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine within 8-10 hours of sleep. So if you usually go to bed at 10pm do not have caffeine after 2pm. Also avoid drinking alcohol 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Avoid bright lights between 10pm and 4am, especially overhead lights. Dim the artificial lights ensuring you can still safely get around at night.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Have blankets that you can remove as body temperature increases are likely to wake you.
  • Limit daytime naps to less than 90 minutes or do not nap if you find it difficult to get to sleep later in the night.
  • If you suffer from insomnia or sleep anxiety, or frequently have disturbed sleep try some meditation or mindfulness to wind down. If you do happen to wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep, doing a short Yoga Nidra protocol/meditation may help.
  • Do you find you feel really alert about an hour before your natural bedtime? Sleep researchers have observed that this spike in wakefulness is a natural occurrence, but it will pass so that you can have a restful night.

No matter what you do, whether you follow some or all of these tips, remember to prioritise your sleep. It is fundamental to a healthy body and happy mind!

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Acknowledgment of Country

BallyCara acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which our residences are located and we pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We extend that respect to the Traditional Owners across this country where we live, work and play.


Inspiring healthy & happy living




Gold Coast
North Brisbane