Australians are obsessed with finding ways to sleep. But there’s certain things you can do to try and improve the quality of your rest.
Australians are obsessed with finding ways to sleep. But there’s certain things you can do to try and improve the quality of your rest.

Here’s proof we’re obsessed with sleep

EARLIER this month mattress company Koala posted a task to community platform Airtasker, offering to pay someone $1000 to sleep.

Within a week of the "task" being live, there were 1375 applicants keen to be paid to be a "horizontal integration specialist". There were even more comments from people wanting to share their sleep habits or challenges.

It's the most popular task ever advertised on Airtasker.

The company's researchers said they were looking for people who fall asleep easily, in various locations and with little effort. Additionally, they wanted people who sleep through their alarm, nap during the week, or even doze off at work.

Those vying to execute the task were quick to boast about the amazing things they had managed to sleep through: fire alarms, earthquakes, lightning strikes, standing on a tram - and someone even boasted about sleeping for an entire 24 hours straight.

While some of the people commenting boasted of bountiful sleep, it clearly isn't the case for everyone, with many people citing diagnosed conditions like scoliosis, sleep apnoea, insomnia, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as reasons for keeping them up at night.

Tip one: Put the phone away if you want great sleep.
Tip one: Put the phone away if you want great sleep.

"The recent task posted by Koala shows that Australians are serious when it comes to their sleep. The task now has the most offers of any task we've seen on Airtasker," says Alex Tully, head of brand at Airtasker.

"Perhaps one of the reasons the task resonated so well is because sleep is a shared experience. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, we all want a good night's sleep".

The task has opened a whole dialogue on the nation's sleeping habits and here are some of the highlights:

"I am a shift worker so sleep is always an interesting endeavour! On night shifts I battle the sun and on day shifts I battle my husbands snoring!" wrote one commenter.

Another wrote: "I'm ex military and since leaving have done shift work all my life, I can sleep in the sun, sleep under florescent lights, in the rain on the lounge on a hard floor if needed."

One passionate sleep enthusiast wrote: "I'm not gonna lie, I have a problem. I'm not going to sugar coat it and say I have 'experience'. I have crippling addiction."

MORE: Why you're struggling to fall asleep at night

MORE: The secret to getting a good night's sleep

Liz Marin is the Sport and Nutrition Scientist for the Wallabies. She told that there were a few solid rules we should all follow if we're keen to improve our sleep.

1. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends whenever possible. This includes a digital detox, dim lights and reading a book or stretching.

2. Adopt a 'wind-down' regimen in the hour prior to going to sleep will help the body to fall asleep faster.

3. Create the ultimate sleep environment. Minimise noise, optimise room temperature, and keep the room as dark as possible. Investing in a good quality mattress and pillows will also improve your sleep in dramatic ways.

4. Optimise the daylight. Longer exposure to sunlight ignites our hormones to start many processes in our body. This includes appetite, controlling our digestion, our immune system, blood pressure, fat utilisation and mental energy. If we don't see daylight, we're not giving our bodies this tool it needs.

Kathleen Alleaume is an exercise and nutritionist and founder of The Right Balance @therightbalance

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