If you find this article makes you nod off, our work is done! Seriously, sleep is something few of us really enjoy. So while we’ve created a mattress to get excited about, we’ve also done some research on some simple steps that can improve your sleep. Let’s talk a bit about sleep and some other nuggets of wisdom to help ensure you get your best rest. Some of these may seem obvious, but they sure bear repeating. If you’re serious about getting a good night’s rest, ponder away on these suggestions.
Pick a Time. Any Time Will Do.
Decide that at the same time each night, you’re going to bed. Many will watch tv or play on a computer and wait to get sleepy. If you’re serious about better sleep, train your body to know that at a given moment each night, you’re going to go to bed. Stick to it. Make it a routine.
The 30-Minute Rule:
Each night, devote at least 30 minutes to the act of getting ready for bed. It’s a time to relax and unwind. After the kids are in bed or the dog’s been walked, start dimming lights in the house. Turn down any loud volumes. Be mindful that you are shutting down for the day. Put away books, tablets and phones. Straighten up the kitchen. Lay out clothes for tomorrow. Take a bath or a good warm shower. Be mindful you’re getting ready for bed. If it helps, tell yourself it’s time for sleep.
Follow Darth Vader
Go to the Dark Side. Unless you need a night light in your bedroom, get it as dark as possible. We’re biologically programmed to get tired when it’s dark. Shades are good. Having it cooler is not a bad idea either.
Phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, games and anything that has a screen of artificial light. Turn them off. Put rechargers in the hallway or kitchen.
This is the time to turn inward. Ignore the outside world. Acknowledge the day. Was it a good day? Highs? Lows? Acknowledge it then let it go. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s time to rest.
Only Two Activities
Today, many of us have large bedrooms with sitting areas, TVs, computers and more. The bedroom is full of so many distractions. Treat your bed like you would a sacred space. There are only two things you need to do in a bedroom. And one is sleep. If you have to ask what the other purpose is, you’re too young to be reading this. The mind can be triggered to associate the bedroom with work, eating, entertainment and more. Let’s train the mind to think of the bedroom for sleep and adult activities.
Use the Sun!
What??? Well, let’s explain. When you wake up, it’s good to strengthen how you wake up. Open up the windows in the bedroom or the kitchen. If you can, have coffee outside on a porch, deck or anywhere that morning sun can zap you with good Vitamin D. Consider taking it in the morning.
Ask Your Doctor
This is also known as the “Duh!” tip. People lose sleep for many reasons. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are just two of them. Talk to your doctor. Lack of sleep can affect your day to day but long-term effects are very unhealthy. You might function just fine on 5 hours a night, but in the long term, it’s going to cause health issues you’ll be forced to address later.
Some Noise is Good
It’s called White Noise. There is plenty of documentation that the brain craves sensory input. A steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound can be used to mask unwanted sounds and produce healthier sleep. For some, soft, relaxing music works, but for others, sound machines that were designed for babies are embraced today by adults.
You’d be surprise just how simply practicing conscious breathing before you go to bed can help. Do nothing more. Think nothing else. Feel your breath enter your body and as you exhale, feel it again leaving the body. What you’re doing is connecting the mind and body. Hopefully, you’re less likely then to think about whatever it was you were obsessing over earlier in the evening.
And that about does it. Wonderful, helpful and free tips to give you a better night’s sleep. It’s easy to dismiss many of these, but if you’re serious about improving your overall health, commit yourself to taking better care of your sleep. If you find yourself wondering or breaking these habits, be gentle with yourself and get back on the mindful path of better sleep. Here’s to better sleep!photo credit