When you think about our busy modern lives, it's no wonder so many of us have issues with sleep and fatigue – our quality of sleep is under threat by longer working hours, more screen time and pressing day-to-day worries that can keep us up at night.
Low iron levels (particularly in women with heavy periods) and not moving enough during the day can also leave us feeling tired.
So why are you tired? And importantly, what can you do about it? Here are some facts, stats and research-based tips to guide you through, from A to Zzz.
So as you can see, getting a good night's sleep isn't a luxury – it's a necessity for our long-term wellbeing.
Watch the short animation below on how to get a better night's rest.
Don't chop and change. It's important to have a good routine of going to bed and getting up around the same time – even on weekends. It helps to settle your sleep patterns.
There is no magic number when it comes to sleep duration, but most women should aim for 7-9 hours a night. Try keeping a sleep diary or tracking your sleep hours with an app.
The bite of the blue. Most screens project blue light, and smaller screens especially so. Researchers at Harvard University found that blue light is particularly bad for blocking the sleep hormone melatonin, affecting sleeping patterns. So turn off those screens at least two hours before bedtime.
Easy fixes to cut down your screen time. Keep your phone out of your bedroom and choose good old-fashioned books over e-readers.
The catch-22 of caffeine. Australians who consume more caffeine sleep less, and those that sleep less, consume more caffeine. Help stop the cycle by being aware of your caffeine intake. Why not try a relaxing herbal tea near bedtime? Our naturopath Sandra Villella has some suggestions.
Fatigue-fighters: exercise vs coffee. A small study found that 10 minutes of brisk exercise was more energising for young women than caffeine. So next time you're craving that mid-afternoon coffee, go for a quick power-walk instead.
You can't catch up on sleep. So don't try by putting yourself to bed early. Your clever brain is wired to seek quality over quantity, so will catch you up by making you sleep deeper rather than longer.
If you have problems with sleep or ongoing tiredness, choose a few of these tips and start reaping the rewards. The time is now!
This content originally appeared as a part of Women's Health Week 2017. Sign up for Women's Health Week to receive five days of content like this in September and don't miss the action.