Top tips on how to get a better night's sleep

Dr W Chris Winter told ABC Radio Adelaide's Mornings program one of the first things people needed to do if they felt like death warmed up was to figure out whether they were sleepy or fatigued.

Sleepy was simply defined as having trouble staying awake.

Fatigue, according the Dr Winter, was more a physical feeling of tiredness.

'Touchscreen-toddlers' sleep less, researchers say

The study in Scientific Reports suggests every hour spent using a touchscreen each day was linked to 15 minutes less sleep.

However, those playing with touchscreens do develop their fine motor skills more quickly.

Experts said the study was "timely" but parents should not lose sleep over it.

There has been an explosion in touchscreens in the home, but understanding their impact on early childhood development has been lacking.

The study by Birkbeck, University of London, questioned 715 parents of children under three years old.

Natural sleep aids: Tackling Insomnia without drugs

There are countless others herbal teas promoted as sleep aids however, including valerian, kava, passionflower, hops and lavender.

But do they really help you sleep better?

It's hard to know, because like many natural products, there's little solid evidence behind them, says chair of the Australian Sleep Health Foundation Professor David Hillman.

How coffee naps can help you power through the day

Both make you feel alert and can enhance your performance, whether that's driving, working or studying.

But some people are convinced that drinking a coffee before a nap gives you an extra zap of energy when you wake up.

How could that be? Is there any evidence to back the power of these so-called coffee naps?

Or are we better off getting a good night's sleep?

Feeling sleepy?

Night-time loo trips 'linked to salt in diet'

The problem - called nocturia - which mainly affects the over-60s, leads to disrupted sleep and can significantly affect people's lives.

In a study of more than 300 volunteers, researchers found that reduced salt intake led people to urinate less.

Advice to follow a sensible diet could help improve symptoms, UK doctors said.

The researchers, from Nagasaki University, presented their findings at the European Society of Urology congress in London.

Getting your newborn to sleep

Talk to other new parents just about anywhere and you will soon find that you are far from alone.

And with an overwhelming amount of advice available in parenting books and online, new parents can be forgiven for not knowing which way to turn.

Mary Kirk, the director of nursing and midwifery at Canberra's Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre, said new parents struggled with this issue.

This is why you should have enough sleep

Every living creature needs to sleep, whether it be during the day or night.

For humans, appropriate sleep durations, vary (as shown below, according to a most recent report published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation by the National Sleep Foundation).

·         Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day

·         Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

·         Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

Sleep tips: Avoid afternoon coffee, over-50s advised

A report for the charity Age UK says sleeping soundly gets harder as we age but getting enough rest is important to keep mentally sharp.

It recommends older people get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and gives tips on how to achieve this.

As well as avoiding tea and coffee, older people should keep daytime naps to shorter than half an hour.

Other tips include:

§  Get up at the same time every day

§  Expose yourself to natural sunlight during the daytime

10 hacks to help you sleep better

Of the 20,000 people we surveyed for our recent sleep snapshot, just 12 per cent said they wake up feeling refreshed — and 75 per cent said they have trouble falling asleep at least some of the time.

If these results are anything to go by, many of us struggle to hit the hay and get good sleep.

But since you're going to spend a third of your life dozing, it's worth developing some healthy habits.

Sleep 'prioritises memories we care about'

Eighty non-Welsh speaking participants were taught Welsh words before either a period of wake or sleep.

Those who slept showed an increased ability to learn the words, and the effect was greatest in those who placed personal value on the language.

This suggests that memories perceived as important undergo preferential treatment by the brain during sleep.

While it has long been established that sleep helps the consolidation of memories, this is the first study to show that the effect is influenced by how much you care about the memory.