You turn down the covers and climb into bed. The minutes pass. How long has it been? Why can’t you get to sleep? Is your body surreptitiously trying to drive you mad?! Take a deep breath and relax. Sleep is all about how you approach it. With these five rituals, you’ll sleep better and you won’t feel like killing anyone on your way to the coffeepot in the morning.
Who says you need to break your habits?
1. Set the Stage
You wouldn’t keep a blender in your living room, would you? No, such a device belongs in the kitchen. This concept underscores the necessity of keeping your bedroom a haven for sleep. People spend far too much time on their beds doing things that have nothing to do with rest or relaxation. Yet, you may not recognize the impact that all this activity has on your ability to shut off at the end of the day. When you have a habit of checking in on your smartphone every five minutes or so in the hour before bed, the temptation to continue doing so after the lights go off is still present. Keep the madness outside your bedroom, and reserve your 4Sleep mattress for sleep and recuperation. That way, when you climb into bed, your body knows what you are about to do and acts accordingly.
2. Practice Proper Bed Hygiene
Everyone loves the feel of crisp, clean sheets as they slide under the covers for a restful night. You should determine the right interval for keeping your bedding clean and comfortable. Pick an amount of time (e.g. one week or two weeks), and stick to it. Don’t forget to wash your blankets periodically as well. You will spend about one-third of your life on your 4Sleep bed resting, so this is the time to make sure that you are happy with every inch of it. Hate your pillow? Get a new one. Blankets too warm? Find something less stifling. Most importantly, keep it all tidy and clean. It might feel awesome to eat a huge bowl of Cocoa Puffs while you watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but you won’t enjoy rolling over on the crumbs overnight.
3. Focus on Comfort
Hours before you ever get into bed, you should also consider what you could do to feel better once you arrive. People have a habit of bringing their stresses in to sleep with them. However, a bad day with your boss does not have to literally turn into a nightmare. Afford yourself some simple comforts before you go to bed. You might:
- take a warm bath with lavender bath oils
- drink a hot toddy or nightcap
- sit down with a good book for an hour
- perform a relaxing stretching exercise like yoga
Your goal is to go to bed without taking all the cares in the world with you. Almost anything that makes you feel better will work, but you should take care to avoid things that energize you too much.
4. Build a Routine
If you have ever seen a toddler who missed out on the expected fourth reading of “Goodnight Moon,” you know that humans are creatures of habit. While adults have more coping mechanisms (and less demand for stories with oddly-illustrated pages), we still rely on routines to help us get through the day and night. Designate a number of rituals that you can reasonably follow each night. Bear in mind that this might have to change from time to time, particularly if you have small children or odd work hours. Once you have that routine, stick to it and avoid distractions once you have completed it. Your friend’s text with some sweet gossip can wait until tomorrow.
5. Visualize Good Sleep
Insomniacs often read sleep advice guides and think, “This is all very well and good, but it just doesn’t work for me.” That is the beauty of all of these ideas. They don’t force sleep like drinking an entire bottle of wine could. Instead, these tips send messages to your body that it is time to rest. If your body fights that, then you might have to get sneaky. Sleep experts say that you can get many of the benefits of sleep by simply resting. If you find yourself staring at the clock for hours, turn it away and close your eyes. Instead of worrying about sleep and your busy day tomorrow, tell yourself that you are simply resting. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed and pay attention to how comfortable your body feels on your nice 4Sleep mattress. You’ll fall asleep in no time.