We spend about 1/3 of our life asleep. So why are many of us still so tired?
People are more exhausted today than ever before. Our exhaustion has spawned an entire field of science to study sleep. Believe it or not, you can even hire a sleep coach! Sleep is now a $7 Billion a year industry.
I’m no sleep coach for hire, but I’ve done some research and learned a few things from my own experience that help me to sleep well. Not surprisingly, I learned that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to sleeping well. We are actually doing it all wrong. That’s funny. We can’t even sleep right! Maybe some of the following sleep tips can help you get that elusive restful sleep you desire. Because we should all be good at sleeping!
Pillow(s) – First of all, how old is your pillow? If it is more than a couple years old, you really should replace it. Old pillows are disgusting. I won’t tell you which pillow to buy, but you should get one to match your natural sleep position.
Mattress – Remember, you spend 1/3 of your life on the mattress so you should be comfortable. Good mattresses can be expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment. Plan for a new mattress every 7-10 years despite what the manufacturer says about their durability.
Pajamas – There is some interesting research on this one. Science says that your body goes thru some amazing regenerative processes in sleep. To optimize your comfort, Choose pajama fabrics carefully. For a female perspective, here’s how to know if your bedtime clothing choices are truly helping your body or actually causing one big nightmare. The bottom line is ultimately your personal comfort. Wear whatever makes you feel the most relaxed. If you have trouble sleeping, changing what you normally wear might help.
Keep it cool –Room temperature is an important factor. Various sources suggest keeping the temp between 60-67°F at night to optimize sleep. So save some money on your winter utility bill and turn down the heat overnight.
Darker the better – Your bedroom needs to be dark to optimize sleep. Use blackout shades, dark curtains, blinds, etc. as necessary to ensure your room stays dark while you sleep.
Eyes off the screen – Want to really sabotage your sleep? Keep right on with the TV watching and trolling social media on your electronic devices right before bed. The blue light messes up your sleep sensors. So shut it down 30-60 minutes before bed. Pick up a real book instead. Maybe use this time to talk with your spouse. Don’t get into heavy topics though. Keep it light.
Snack Time – This was a big one for me since I have acid reflux issues. Laying horizontal with a full belly is recipe for lousy sleep. While some argue late night snacks lead to weight gain, it is not always true. It depends what you eat, portion size, etc. For me, cutting off eating & drinking anything about 3 hours before bed works well. So if you have stomach issues at night, or you are trying anything to improve sleep, give this tip a try.
Add some noise – If you find yourself being awakened in the night by outside noises (ugh, blasted train!), I recommend enlisting the help of a fan or some other white noise maker that can run all night. There are even free phone apps with a variety of sounds to suit you. I use the app when I travel, otherwise we have a fan at home that MUST be on to drown out the train.
Stay on schedule – Our bodies love routine. Much like young children, adults function best when there is some routine. So get to bed at the same time every night to optimize your sleep quality. Of course that means you should get up at the same time every day as well. Yep, that includes weekends.
So there you have it. My ten tips to help you sleep better. Surely there are many other tips to great sleep, so comment below to share what works for you.