It affects your mood, your productivity, and even your overall health. Despite this, many people take sleep for granted and never get their 8 hours in. But even when you want to get a night of good sleep, a lot of people struggle to do so. I, myself are one of those people. So below I’ve listed a few tips that I found to really help me improve my quality and duration of sleep.
Having pillows that provide proper support for your head not only helps you in getting a night of good sleep, but it’s important for your neck and back. Pillows that are too low-profile offer little support and place pressure over your cervical vertebrae in your neck. Have you ever woken up in the morning and had a sore neck? That’s probably the reason why. You’re in bed for around 7-8 hours, that’s a lot of time your neck has pressure on it if you have bad pillows. I recommend bamboo or memory foam pillows. Choose either the medium or high profile spending if you’re a back sleeper or a side sleeper.
Fresh Linen & Mattress
Changing your bed linen frequently is not only good hygiene but also beneficial for your sleep. Your bed sheets and pillowcases attract dust and allergens, even if you are an immaculate and tidy person. It’s unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay on top of it. These contaminants are bad for your health since you are breathing in these contaminants all night long and you are in very close proximity. Make a habit of changing your bed sheets every two weeks, which may seem unnecessary but trust you’ll notice the difference getting into clean sheets every night. But I didn’t stop there, I had my mattress professionally deep steam cleaned and deodorized once a month by Empire Upholstery, my local upholstery and mattress cleaners.
Your body’s natural reaction is to awaken when it detects light. It’s an evolutionary predisposition. It makes sense then to have a darkened room during the hours you want to sleep. When you are planning on going to sleep, keep lights off in the bedroom and even try to keep lighting throughout the house an hour before bed. This helps tell your body that it’s getting towards sleep time. Don’t sleep with the TV on either, that is a lot of lighting emitting in your bedroom. Buy yourself block out blinds. That early morning light, particularly in summer, can wake you several hours before you might want to get up. If this is not an option because of expenses, buy a night-mask. The kind you get on a plane. That’s a quick and easy fix.
The big trick to having a great night’s sleep is routine. Your body has its own natural clock, your circadian rhythm. This clock tells your body what time of the day it is in terms of when to rest when to be active etc. Morning people are morning people because they have their circadian rhythm set to be most active at that time of the day, they are alert and ready to go and then when it’s night time their body is set to sleep. For your body to know it’s time to sleep, then it needs to be sleeping at the same time every night, pretty much to minute (give or take a half hour). Have a routine before bed at the same time every night. Start relaxing an hour before bed, no eating, try not to watch TV or if you do watch something light. You want your mind to know it’s not go-go time it’s sleep time.
In today’s world, pretty much everyone is on their mobile phones or some other device in their free time, and most people have their primary free time before bed. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the worst things you could do to harm your quality of sleep. The lighting on mobile phones and other electronic screens, called blue light, not only causes a lot of strain in your eyes (even more at night) but it also tells your brain to stay awake. If you are watching something stimulating, then it’s even worse as it is keeping your mind even more active. For starters, make sure to turn your device to “warm” lighting in the evenings, or purchase some blue light glasses. And do not use your phone in bed, put it down and even turn it off until morning. Use an old fashioned alarm clock, put your phone out of your mind and just relax and let your body rest and drift off to sleep.
There we have it. Those are some of my favorite tips for helping yourself achieve a better quality sleep. They have been very effective for me, they may not be for everyone. But most of them have been scientifically proven to help so at least give them a try. Sweet dreams everyone!