Sleep! We all need it, but it can be hard to come by. Even with an insanely busy schedule it’s still possible to create an environment conducive to sleep to help you get your zzz’s when you need them.
Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, has some easy steps to follow that can help you fall asleep quickly and get better quality sleep:
1. No Blue-Light Before Bed: Try to keep all electronics out of the bedroom. Blue-light emitted from TVs, computers, tablets, and smart phones inhibits the production of melatonin, which we need to fall asleep and stay asleep. Your bedroom should be for sleeping, nothing else. If you do use electronics in the bedroom, use a low blue-light night light and screen filters for devices.
2. Choosing the Right Mattress and Pillow: What is right for someone else may not be right for you. Reviews are helpful, but so is your own sleeping style. Choose the mattress and pillow that suits your body type. Take the time to make sure your mattress is truly comfortable. This is the best way to decide if a mattress or pillow are right for you. It may take a couple weeks or months for your body to adjust to a new mattress so make sure to look for 90-night (or more) guarantee that many companies offer so you are not committed to a mattress that doesn’t work well for you.
3. Temperature: Your bedroom should optimally be 65-68 degrees when you are sleeping. Of course, this will vary based upon how many covers you pile upon your bed! Crack a window and cool down to fall asleep.
4. Light: Your bedroom should be completely dark. Even a nightlight or bright alarm clock can inhibit melatonin production, which we need to fall asleep and stay asleep. If your bedroom windows let in a lot of natural light get blackout curtains or wear an eye mask.
5. Noise: We need to try and eliminate all noise from the bedroom. If this isn’t possible, invest in a white noise machine. Don’t use the other settings – rain forests and waterfalls may put you to sleep, but alterations in the recorded track will eventually wake you back up. Several options are available including the Sound Oasis Stereo Bluetooth Sleep Sound Therapy system that comes with pre-loaded sounds and gives you the option to add your own. If you don’t want to invest in a machine, download a white noise app for your phone, but be sure to keep your phone where you won’t be tempted to check it.
6. Sleep Routine: It is important to keep a regular bedtime and wake time, even on your days off. This keeps your internal body clock in a regular rhythm so it is easy to get up. We should aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. By getting in a routine we are allowing our bodies to fall asleep easily and maintain sleep. Turn off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bed. For some, taking a hot bath or shower helps them fall asleep easier. Maybe you want to prepare your to-do list for the next day. Some choose to pray or meditate until they begin to feel sleepy. You want to make your routine personal and stick to it each and every day.
Some experts in creating optimal sleep conditions also have some advice in choosing the right gear for your bedroom.
Mattress: Mark Quinn from Herobed advises that foam beds may “sleep hot”, while springs sleep up to 28% cooler in part because air can circulate in a mattress. Moreover, coils have active support which takes great care of your back but provides a really incredible comfort experience all at the same time. He also says that Sex is better on springs and many people complain about sex on memory foam products because you can’t transition into different positions very well. But, there are a lot of fans of memory foam mattresses as well. According to Muse Sleep, memory foam mattresses can be used on any base or put on your floor, creating a modern look and saving money over coil mattresses which need a box spring. Also, memory foam mattresses isolate motion transfer. Therefore, if your partner wakes at a different time in the morning, tosses and turns, or gets up throughout the night, you won't feel the movement. Memory Foam also conforms to your body, relieving joint pain and aligning your spine. Because what is best for you is very individual, think about your needs and know your options before investing.
Pillow: For good sleep you need a good pillow. Choosing a pillow is an individual matter. According to Muse Sleep, consider your body type and your sleeping position to avoid waking up with aches and pain. Options include extra low; low; medium; or high pillow loft. Don’t buy a pillow off the rack for everyone in the house. Consider everyone’s sleep positions and what they find comfortable before buying. Another option is Pillow of Health that allows sleepers to add and remove filing as needed for comfort and to maintain a consistent feel for the life of the pillow.
Linens: Here again choosing will depend on personal preference, which is why so many different types of linens are made. Kassatex is one brand that spans the gamut from silky to crisp. For those wanting smooth softness a sateen set is usually best, while linen offers exceptional breathability that helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For those that prefer a crisp, clean feel, you can’t go wrong with a classic cotton percale.
Contributor has no interest in anything or anyone mentioned.