LIGHTS OUTZZZzzzzzzzz Back­ing Ar­mistice pro­grams

I can nor­mally run with lit­tle sleep for a few months then my brain func­tion be­comes a bit foggy ’

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Ivy Wise

MOST of us are not get­ting enough sleep each night.

Ac­cord­ing to 75 vot­ers who took part in the River­ine Her­ald’s on­line poll, 78 per cent are get­ting less than seven hours sleep a night.

And only 22 per cent get eight or more hours.

Be­tween seven and nine hours is rec­om­mended for adults.

Alarm­ingly, 23 per cent are get­ting less than five hours.

Echuca’s Cas­san­dra Hol­droyd one of them.

She gets be­tween three to four hours a night.

‘‘I can nor­mally run with lit­tle sleep for a few months then my brain func­tion be­comes a bit foggy and I get a lit­tle short tem­pered,’’ she said.

‘‘I started not sleep­ing after hav­ing kids, hav­ing a pre­m­mie baby where I needed to wake every four hours, then a child who had seizures with a breath­ing alarm.

‘‘As a sin­gle mum, that really is con­creted the not re­quir­ing much sleep to func­tion too.’’

Re­searchers from Neu­ro­science Re­search Aus­tralia (NeuRA) are high­light­ing the im­por­tance of sleep for men­tal health and well­be­ing as part of Men­tal Health Week.

NeuRA Sleep and Breath­ing Lab re­search sci­en­tist Hanna Hensen said sleep in­flu­enced the func­tion of key or­gans in the body and played an im­por­tant role in our 24-hour bi­o­log­i­cal rhythm.

‘‘It is dur­ing sleep sev­eral brain pro­cesses take place, mem­ory con­sol­i­da­tion oc­curs and neu­ral con­nec­tions are strength­ened,’’ Dr Hensen said.

‘‘Sleep is also an im­por­tant time for pro­cess­ing information we have ac­cu­mu­lated across the day; and in­ad­e­quate or poor sleep can have a direct im­pact on men­tal health af­fect­ing de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and emo­tional in­sta­bil­ity.

‘‘A good night sleep can im­prove men­tal health, gen­eral well­be­ing and boost work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity.’’

Good sleep starts with good habits which can be in­tro­duced at home.

Dr Hensen sug­gests a reg­u­lar sleep rou­tine and bed time, not us­ing your smart phone one hour be­fore go­ing to sleep to avoid blue light stim­u­la­tion, bring­ing the lights down in your en­vi­ron­ment and avoid­ing caf­feine after 4pm.

Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to start a new sleep rou­tine to en­sure they sup­port their men­tal health and well­be­ing. MEM­BER for Far­rer Sus­san Ley is en­cour­ag­ing in­ter­ested lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties across the elec­torate to ap­ply for Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment fund­ing un­der the Ar­mistice Cen­te­nary Grants Pro­gram.

Mark­ing the of­fi­cial end of Aus­tralia’s An­zac Cen­te­nary Pro­gram, ap­pli­ca­tions open next month to help sup­port projects or ac­tiv­i­ties in our re­gion which will com­mem­o­rate the end of World War I.

Ms Ley said the Cen­te­nary of An­zac 2014-2018 is one of the most im­por­tant remembrance pe­ri­ods in our his­tory, al­low­ing us to prop­erly ac­knowl­edge ser­vice­men and women from all con­flicts who “fought for a just and se­cure peace”.

“One-off grants from $3000 are avail­able, and I en­cour­age any­one in Far­rer who wants to con­trib­ute to this sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment in our na­tion’s his­tory to sub­mit an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est through my of­fice,” Ms Ley said.

“An in­de­pen­dent lo­cal com­mit­tee will as­sess each ap­pli­ca­tion to en­sure we com­mem­o­rate this cen­te­nary with the re­spect and promi­nence it de­serves,” she said.

Each of Aus­tralia’s fed­eral elec­torates has been al­lo­cated $50,000 to mark the oc­ca­sion.

The An­zac Cen­te­nary Pro­gram be­gan with the Al­bany Con­voy Com­mem­o­ra­tive Event com­mem­o­rat­ing the 100th anniversary of the de­par­ture of the first con­voy of ships to the war.

It will con­clude on the 100th Anniversary of the Ar­mistice on Novem­ber 11 next year. ■ For de­tails call 1300 303 203 or email far­

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