It refreshes us like nothing else. It can be occasionally elusive, almost always comforting, and definitely essential to our survival. And although we spend 33% of our lives asleep, we barely give it a moment's notice....until we can't sleep. Then we think about it to the point of obsession.
For millions of people, the consequences of a poor night's sleep – higher stress, increased mistakes, difficulty concentrating – are every day occurrences. But it doesn't have to be this way.
What Can I Do?
A New Mattress is Only Component of a Great Night’s Sleep. Purchasing the right mattress and box springs is an important first step in creating the right environment, and environment that is conducive to sleep.
We all have too much to do, so take time out and recharge yourself by getting a good night's sleep. The quality and quantity of your sleep can make all the difference in how productive you'll be the next day. The Better Sleep Council and the National Sleep Foundation have pooled their expertise and resources to develop the following list of Ten Tips for Better Sleep to help you get the sleep you need and deserve.
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment.
- Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Avoid nicotine (e.g., cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.
Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary.
Your bedroom should be quiet and relaxing. Unwelcome noise or light, an uncomfortable or worn-out mattress and foundation, or a room that's too warm or too cool can prevent you from getting the sleep you need. There's no reason to settle for anything less than perfect sleep.
Is your bedroom conducive to a good night's sleep? These four factors can make a difference:
- Mattress and Foundation. Be sure your mattress and foundation meet your needs for both comfort and support. If you sleep with a partner, your mattress should also allow you both enough space to move easily. Sleeptronic recommends purchasing the largest size that will both fit in the bedroom and that you, the purchaser can afford. Since 1999, the number one selling size of bedding is Queen.
- Light. Light is one of the body's most powerful time cues. The rising sun can wake up the brain long before the alarm goes off. A dark room is the most conducive for sleep – day or night.
- Noise. Sudden, loud noises from inside or outside the home can disrupt sleep. Steady, low sounds, such as the whir of a fan or air conditioner, are soothing because they help block out distracting noises. Known as ‘white noise,” some companies now manufacture machines to produce “White Noise” sounds that are conducive to sleep.
- Temperature. The ideal bedroom temperature is 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 22 degrees Celsius). A room that's too warm or too cool can disrupt comfortable sleep.
- Relaxation Destination. Take the television out of the bedroom. Experts agree that the bedroom should be destination for relaxation and is best reserved for sleeping and romantic encounters. Many experts would argue that when the bedroom is used primarily for sleep, subconsciously your mind will relax quicker and your body will fall asleep more easily as a result of mentally associating the environment with the purpose of sleep.