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!