Is it possible to improve your sleeping habits in four weeks?

When we think of creating healthier habits it’s exercising, eating nutritious meals or drinking more water that are usually the first things we change.

But one important habit that often gets overlooked is sleep.

If you asked me a couple of months ago how I felt about my sleeping habits, I would’ve said “it’s fine,” not thinking much of it because I used to be one of *those* morning people.

But after doing the ABC Health Check Quiz, I realized I wasn’t paying enough attention to the sleep I was getting and seems I’m not the only one. A third of Australians agree they don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (around 7–9 hours every night for adults).

Poor sleep can contribute to anxiety, depression and chronic diseases like diabetes — which is a condition some of my family suffer with — and as a First Nations woman, data shows I’m four times more likely to get diabetes compared to my non-Indigenous friends.

It’s why I’ve made exercise part of my daily routine and why I’m trying to eat more nutritious foods.

But I didn’t realize sleep could contribute to diabetes too.

So last month I decided to take my sleep more seriously and tried a four week “sleep experiment”.

Using some advice from the ABC Health Check quiz I decided to stick to a consistent wake up time every day (including weekends), create a bed time routine, reduce naps to around 20 minutes and create a separate space for pets to sleep.

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