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Close to half of Australians are not sleeping enough

Today is world sleep day, and honestly, just take the day off to catch up on some zzz’s now because apparently most of us aren’t getting enough each night.

Research conducted by Audible alongside The Indigo Project has found that 40 per cent of Australians are not getting enough sleep to function throughout the day.

Mary Hoang, founder and principal psychologist at a Sydney sleep clinic, said there were many activities one could do to put themselves to sleep.

Ms Hoang said the primary reason for not sleeping was an overactive or stressed out mind, but there are ways people could deal with that.

“Before you go to bed, write down your worries and separate them into two spheres: things that are in your control and things that aren’t. Put your mind at ease by creating actions for the things you can control, and don’t give things out of your control a second thought,” she said.

Ms Hoang also suggested yoga breathing techniques and, unusually, getting out of bed as a way to stay in it longer.

“If you find yourself tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and head into another room. Staying in bed for too long when you can’t sleep trains the brain that the bed is associated with ‘not sleeping’,” said Ms Hoang.

Ms Hoang also suggested noises as a way to fall asleep, particularly audiobooks, which can help take people’s mind off their stress.

“Tapping into consistent soothing tones, such as gentle music or the evenly paced narration of an audiobook, can be quite therapeutic in the way it helps relieve us of the weight of inhibitive thoughts and worries,” she said.

In fact, the research found that 53 per cent of respondents reported being able to sleep within 20 minutes of listening to an audiobook.

The readers most likely to send Australians to sleep were Stephen Fry and Michelle Obama, with 21 per cent choosing Fry as their preferred narrator and 8 per cent choosing Ms Obama.

The power of audiobooks when it comes to sleep has led The Indigo Project and Audible to team up to launch a guided workshop in Sydney for people to learn practical tips and exercises to promote rest and relaxation.

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