You can have the most comfortable mattress known to mankind and still wake up feeling like you didn't get a wink of sleep. How does this happen? It happens because of stress.
Stress impacts sleep more than most people realize. Not only can stress lead to insomnia, but it can also cause you to toss and turn throughout the night once you finally fall asleep, making the sleep you do get feel like you've been hit by a train. In fact, it's not uncommon for those with stress to feel sore and even more tired after waking up from sleeping than they did when they went to bed. For now, let's take a closer look at how stress affects sleep and what you can do about it.
You're Thinking Too Much
When you're stressed, you tend to overthink things. Whether it be bringing your work home with you or worrying about a sick relative, these issues will be maximized in your mind if you are stressed and they can cause you to lay awake at night. And once you finally fall asleep, overthinking will stick with you and impact the way you transition through various sleep stages, causing you to feel restless when you wake up.
You're Drinking Too Much Caffeine
Waking up in the morning and feeling stressed can cause you to turn to caffeine as a way to get your sleepy head out of its fog. And while a temporary caffeine boost may seem worth the aftereffects, the truth is, it isn't. In fact, caffeine can increase your stress levels, making it even more difficult to fall asleep at night.
Your Cortisol Levels are Out of Whack
When you're stressed, this increases the amount of cortisol your body produces. And while cortisol is essential to your fight or flight response, you don't want too much of it because it can keep you up at night. Your body will feel threatened due to a lack of sleep, and as a result, cortisol levels will send your body into flight response mode, giving you a boost of energy, which only compacts your restlessness and sleep problems.
Combating Stress to Get a Better Night of Sleep
Create a Nighttime Routine
One of the best ways to reduce stress and enjoy a better night of sleep is to create a routine and stick to it. For example, you will want to cut out all caffeine after 4:00 p.m. as well as make sure you put your phone and electronics away at least an hour before you intend to fall asleep. The blue light emitted from these electronics is known to keep you awake, so you'll want to put them away at least an hour before bedtime.
Enjoy a Few Minutes of Exercise
One of the best ways to release stress is to exercise. Even if it's a 10-minute workout, this can greatly improve the quality of sleep you get each night.
Better sleep starts with less stress, so make sure you follow the tips outlined above to start enjoying a more restful night of sleep.
Are you sleeping right? It may not seem like there’s much to the actual process of getting to sleep. Slip under the covers, pull them up, close your eyes, and count those sheep…right? It turns out there’s a little bit more to your comfort than meets the eye. In order to enjoy the most restful sleep possible, it’s important to stay cool during the night. What makes it such a vital component in your mission to improve your overnight habits? There are several reasons that your temperature matters so much.
How Heat Disturbs You
You may feel warm and cozy at first, but as the night wears on you might discover that it’s not quite so calming. The problem is that the body overheats. As time passes, you might start to sweat and have trouble getting truly comfortable. The result is a seemingly endless night of tossing and turning that prevents you from enjoying proper rest. This isn’t always your fault—you could be wearing the most lightweight bedtime attire imaginable, but if you don’t have an air conditioner then you’ll end up paying the price at night. Simply put, heat is a nighttime disturbance that ranks right up there with noise. The good news is that it can be prevented.
Why Sleeping Cool Helps
There are many benefits of sleeping cool. First, consider the obvious. If one of the main reasons you can’t fall asleep is because you’re too warm, then a cool room will instantly resolve your discomfort, relax your body, and allow you to comfortably drift off into dreamland. Heat disturbs your normal body temperature, while cooler air allows you to retain a normal temperature that won’t keep you up the entire night. There’s a certain science behind sleeping in a cool environment, too. Your body goes through natural temperature fluctuations throughout the day. It’s typically highest in the afternoon and lowest early in the morning. You can help urge it to its lower temperature when you get into bed by keeping the room cool. As your body naturally loses some of its heat, it helps you feel more tired. Sleeping in a cooler room encourages heat loss and increases your exhaustion, which may in turn help you fall asleep faster.
Melatonin is a popular sleep aide, but it’s also a hormone naturally secreted by the body. The body responds to certain conditions and produces more melatonin based on your surroundings. If you’re in a bright, warm room, your body won’t produce nearly as much as if you’re in a dark room with a temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Mercola. A little melatonin boost could be all you need to enjoy a better night’s sleep!
The Right Bedding
So how to keep cool when sleeping? Try some cooling bedding products. SensorPEDIC mattresses, pillows, and toppers are designed with innovative technologies that transform the average sleeping experience into an unforgettable one. Options include the iCOOL Technology System, which contributes to cooler, more breathable fabrics; GelMAX Cooling Technology, which provides continuous cooling; ComfortCOOL Technology, which formulates foam that is up to four degrees cooler than traditional memory foam; and Ideal Comfort Technology, a memory foam type that helps regulate your body temperature.
Life’s just not the same when you aren’t sleeping well. Study after study has revealed that superior sleep—or lack thereof—directly contributes to your quality of life. According to the National Health Service, symptoms such as headaches, lethargy, difficulty paying attention and general grouchiness are all common when sleep quality is compromised.
Most adults need around eight hours of sleep, but just as important as the amount of sleep we get is the quality of sleep we actually achieve. Many people are missing out on good sleep, but there are many more people who don’t even realize they aren’t getting proper sleep at night. Common symptoms can be blamed on other factors, causing undue confusion and concern. Avoid this by following a few simple guidelines to improve your sleep.
Maintain a Healthy Bedtime Routine
Most parents instinctively do this with kids and toddlers—a routine of bath time, story time, hugs, kisses and stuffed animals all help to indicate to children’s minds that it is time to relax and fall asleep. But many adults neglect to use this method in their own bedtime, contributing to their poor quality sleep.
We’re never too old to program our minds and bodies to prepare for rest. Having a regular bedtime, when we finish up our work, turn off the television and begin the process of settling in, will help facilitate regular sleeping habits.
In the tradition of bedtime stories, reading a few chapters in bed is fine, too. But it’s probably best to avoid high-impact thrillers that will stimulate your mind right before sleep. It is also recommended not to spend too much time reading, using electronics, working or watching TV in the bedroom. When we use our bedrooms as a place for sleep, our minds automatically associate being in bed with going to sleep. But if our bedroom becomes a place of work, it can wire our minds to start thinking of work instead.
When in doubt, work out
Working out, jogging, walking or whatever form of exercise you like, is a good way to improve your sleep. However, there are a few things you should know.
First, be sure not to work out too close to bedtime. Exercise elevates your heart rate, increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates endorphins and hormones of all sorts. Needless to say, it will be quite hard to fall asleep under these conditions! Try to give yourself at least six hours between your workout and your bed time, and be sure to stay hydrated.
Use Proper Bedding
Because our beds and bedding are the last things we experience every day, it can be easy to forget about their importance. But having the right bedding- sheets, pillows, and mattress are crucial parts of having a comfortable night’s sleep. If they are old and worn out, getting comfortable can be extremely tough. Experts recommend replacing pillows as soon as every 6 months and every 7-10 years for mattresses. If it's time to replace, consider some our high quality SensorPEDIC products.
Have an honest look at your sleep pattern to determine what steps you are already taking, and what steps you need to consider when trying to improve your sleep and—well, your life!