Sleep, or lack thereof, has a huge impact on the way we feel and our ability to function. It can be the difference between alert, happy, and healthy or sluggish, frustrated, and sick.
And, as much as we know that and may want to sleep, sometimes a good night’s sleep can be elusive.
Thankfully, there are some things we can do to help promote sleep, and get our bodies back into a healthy sleep pattern. Here are some of them:
Most of us live a very connected life, so disconnecting at the end of the day doesn’t come easy. In fact, we think of browsing the web and social media in bed as a form of relaxation.
Survey says… nope. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the blue light from our devices actually tends to promote wakefulness, not sleep. So turn off those devices a minimum of one hour prior to bedtime.
2. Be consistent.
In their article 6 Steps to Better Sleep, the Mayo Clinic recommends going to bed and getting up at the same time every day to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. And, for consistency, limit the difference between your weeknight and weekend sleep schedule to no more than one hour.
3. Cut the caffeine.
Everyone’s body handles caffeine differently. Mine, for example, typically interprets caffeine consumption to mean that I’m not interested in sleeping. Ever.
Try limiting caffeine intake to mornings only – in moderation – to see how it affects your sleep. If there’s no impact, experiment with cutting it out completely.
4. Don’t eat too late at night.
At bedtime you want your body to be focused on rest, not digesting dinner. Eat early or, if there are times when you can’t avoid a late dinner, eat light.
5. Have a “sleep-friendly” bedroom.
Take the time to create a restful environment by adjusting temps (cooler is usually better), closing blinds, turning off lights, clearing the clutter, and adjusting noise levels. Some may prefer complete silence (ear plugs), while others can benefit from a fan or white noise.
6. Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise is known for releasing stress and having a positive impact on all sorts of ills, including sleep issues.
It’s a simple fix that can be hard to commit to sometimes, but if you get moving (not too close to bedtime), you’ll be glad you did!
7. Clear your mind.
WebMD’s Tip’s for Better Sleep suggests winding down from the day this way: “Put aside any work, touchy discussions, or complicated decisions 2 to 3 hours before bed… If you’ve still got a lot on your mind, jot it down and let it go for the night.
Then, about an hour before you hit the sack, read something calming, meditate, listen to quiet music, or take a warm bath.”
8. Get the right mattress (and pillow).
Your mattress and pillow are literally the foundation for a good night’s sleep. If they’re worn out or completely uncomfortable, your odds of a good night’s sleep are pretty slim.
And if finding the perfect mattress seems daunting, it doesn’t need to be.
You’ll find simple tips to make mattress shopping easy in our post (aptly named) “How to Shop for a Mattress“.
And we have knowledgeable Sleep Zone specialists in each of our showrooms that are ready to guide you in choosing from our broad range of price, comfort level, and style options to find the best sleeping solution for you.