Sleep well

Almost everyone has trouble sleeping occasionally. Not getting enough sleep here or there is nothing to worry about. On the other hand, sleep problems that last for weeks or even months can really interfere with your life. If you’re worried about your sleep, we can help.

Sleep is essential to good health

Problems seem bigger and harder to deal with when you’re tired, so getting a good night’s sleep is essential in helping you overcome the challenges you’re facing.

Restful sleep has been found to:

  • reduce stress
  • improve your memory
  • lower blood pressure
  • improve your immunity
  • make it easier to maintain your weight
  • improve your mood.

Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours' sleep a night. This isn't always easy to get, but it's a good target to aim for.

Reasons for poor sleep

You might be lying in bed worrying, or have developed some bad habits like having too much caffeine late in the day or late-night screen time.

The first step to improving your sleep is to identify why you’re not sleeping well.

Keeping a sleep diary for a week or two can help you identify the reason for bad sleep and what you need to change.

Just before going to bed, record the activities of the day and evening, and anything you ate or drank in the hours before going to bed. You may be able to see a pattern.


There are specific factors that affect sleep quality. Some simple changes can help you to get the best possible sleep: 

  • listen to your body clock
  • make sure your bedroom is restful and comfortable
  • avoid cigarettes, alcohol or sleeping pills
  • avoid using electronic devices within an hour of going to bed
  • exercise regularly, but not within two hours of going to bed
  • relax your mind by learning to meditate. 

Take action

Healthy Sleeping

Use the Healthy Sleeping tool and answer questions about your typical sleeping behaviours. The tool offers tailored advice and tips to improve your sleep and optimise your mental and physical functioning. The Healthy Sleeping tool is available on the High Res app.

Getting help

If you’ve tried self-help strategies but you still can't sleep, you might benefit from additional support.

A GP is always a good place to start when trying to overcome sleep problems. They can help you to understand your particular problem with sleep and refer you to an appropriate specialist for further assessment if necessary. 

If you are having sleep difficulties due to nightmares, Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling may be able to help. Call 1800 011 046 for free and confidential 24/7 support. Support is also available to the family of veterans.

See also

  • call us 1800 011 046


    Open Arms can provide individual, couple and family counselling to help improve your resilience, as well as enhance your mental health and wellbeing. Call 1800-011-046 for free and confidential 24/7 support.
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    Contact us / feedback

    If you are looking for counselling or support services, call us any time on 1800-011-046.
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    Group program

    Sleeping better

    A 2-day workshop to help you manage disturbed sleep.