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This article is brought to you by MetLife, Child Care Super's insurance provider. Child Care Super works closely with MetLife to ensure their members and their familes are protected should anything happen to them. The article provides you with useful tips and information about how to look after your health and well-being, because good health is your greatest asset.

There are a lot of things that can easily make people anxious and stressed. This is natural when there are unknown factors in your way. Fear and anxiety can cause strong emotions, which may result in difficulty sleeping. When our sleep is poor, or we cannot get enough sleep, we may not function normally during the day when awake. 

Sleep is important
When it comes to mental health, good sleep, a healthy diet and exercise are all critically important. Inadequate sleep can make our feelings of anxiousness and stress seem worse.

A lack of sleep may make it difficult to think clearly or make sensible decisions and make it difficult to concentrate. We can become angry, and irritable more easily. Poor or insufficient sleep can also affect our general health and can negatively impact our diet and physical activity levels. Importantly, sleep helps us fight off infection as our immune system is impacted when we have poor sleep.

The sleep cycle is very complex and the impacts on our immune system is of vital significance to reduce the risk of illness and infection.

How do I get a good night’s sleep?

Whether you are concerned about your mental health or not, it is important we prioritise our sleep and health. If sleep is an issue, there are a number of things that you can do during this time:

1/ Limit media exposure
Keep up to date but try to limit your exposure. If you want to get news, make sure it is from a valid source.
See our flyer on Getting the Facts Straight. Try to avoid exposure to media late in the evening.

2/ Relax
At night, make sure you watch or read something that is not related to COVID-19.
This is especially important in the two hours before going to sleep, so that you can go to sleep with a relaxed mind.

3/ Look after yourself
Focus on getting a regular routine, some exercise, eat well, don’t drink too much alcohol, and avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Importantly, do something that you like each day.

4/ Keep connected
Try not to go to bed with unresolved issues. Talking to someone about your worries can often help and often solve them. You need to remain socially connected while physically distancing.

5/ Look after your brain, be mindful
We are all worried at this time, that is normal. Practicing mindfulness can be beneficial and there are some simple apps to practice mindfulness that can help you relax and facilitate better sleep.

6/ Use your bed for sleep
Your bed should be for sleep. Try to avoid watching TV in bed and don’t use phones while in bed. If you cannot get to sleep or wake up and cannot get back to sleep – get up, in a dim light and do something relaxing like reading a book. When you feel tired again go back to bed.

7/ Be routine
Going to bed at the same time each night, and getting up at the same time each morning is important. Also try to get outside in the morning as it can help to regulate the melatonin in the body to support your body’s natural regulation.

8/ Managing fatigue
Having a bad night’s sleep is not uncommon. It is likely that the next night you will sleep better. If this continues for a long period try not to have daytime naps as this can be bad for your routine. Try to stay awake intil a reasonable hour in the evening as falling asleep early due to fatigue may mean you wake overnight more often.

It is difficult to get the balance right – following these tips and ideas may help to improve your sleep but it can take some time, particularly if your mental health is affected. If you still are unable to sleep after trying all these steps, you may need to speak to someone or visit your GP. Take your sleep and mental health seriously.

Some mindfulness tools to try

Mindfulness Toolkit for kids & adults - ABC iView

Smiling Mind - Thrive Inside app

Calm - Mindfulness app

Where to get help if you think you need it

If you, or someone you know needs help and are not coping, here are some links and numbers to contact.
Reaching out is winning, it should not be considered defeat.

Sane Australia
(people living with a mental illness) 

Beyond Blue
(anyone feeling depressed or anxious) 
Black Dog Institute
(people affected by mood disorders)
Lifeline
(anyone having a personal crisis)
Suicide Callback Service
(anyone thinking about suicide)
Ph: 1800 18 7263 Ph: 1300 22 4636 or chat online Online help Ph: 13 11 14 or chat online Ph: 1300 659 467

Tel: 1800 060 215 (8am–7pm AEST)  or visit childcaresuper.com.au

360Health provides solutions to help prevent and manage serious illnesses at every stage of your health journey so that you can360Health provides solutions to help prevent and manage serious illnesses at every stage of your health journey so that you canlive healthier for longer. MetLife 360Health, your health partner.

360Health services are not provided by way of insurance (including health insurance) and the provision of these services is not dependent on the occurrence of an insured event under the policy. Access to these services will be at MetLife’s absolute discretion and MetLife reserves the right to discontinue or change the services at any time. The information provided is general information only and is not health or medical advice. If you have a health or medical concern, please seek professional medical advice immediately. You should always consult a licensed health care professional for the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and before starting or changing your health regime.

Whilst care has been taken in preparing this material, MetLife Insurance Limited (MetLife) does not warrant or represent that the information, opinions or conclusions contained in this presentation (information) are accurate. To the extent permitted by law, MetLife does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information. This information was current at the time of publishing. Guild Trustee Services Pty Ltd. ABN 84 068 826 728. AFSL 233815. Trustee for the Guild Retirement Fund (which includes GuildSuper and Child Care Super) ABN 22 599 554 834. RSE Licence Number L0000611. This document contains general advice only and doesn’t take into account what you currently have, want and need for your personal circumstances. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you make a decision about a superannuation product. You can get a copy of the PDS by calling 1800 060 215.