It is easy to overlook how important a good night’s sleep is to your health and well-being. Often contributing as much or more than diet or regular exercise. Many people who toss and turn every night blame their stressful or busy lifestyle without realizing that by adjusting some simple things in their routine they can achieve not only better and more fulfilled sleep, but reduce their stress and anxiety. There is a plethora of things that can be done to improve the quality of sleep, but the task of figuring out where to start can be daunting. Here are some recommendations that can start you on a path to creating better balance in your life.
Eliminate Blue Light
Our bodies are built with an internal clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness, called the circadian rhythm. Ideally, this helps regulate our sleep/wake cycles but can easily be thrown off by what we put in front of our eyes, or fluctuations in our daily schedules.
When the sun goes down, our bodies produce melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy. When undisturbed this is one of our greatest helpers in maintaining a good sleep schedule, but sadly the increased use of electronic devices that produce blue light affect this.
Blue light fools your body into thinking that it is daytime, which sends you into a state of alertness even when it’s dark outside. To avoid this, it is recommended to limit or cut out your computer or phone screen usage for a few hours before bedtime. Most phones are now equipped with a nighttime screen option that helps limit blue light, for those that feel still the need to scroll before hitting the hay.
The Right Mattress and Pillow
One of the more obvious things that can improve sleep is making sure you have the correct mattress and pillow for your body. It is essential to not only purchase a new mattress every 7-10 years, but also to make sure you are choosing one that fits your sleeping style. If you are unaware of which style or firmness is best, or have had issues finding a mattress off the shelf that fits what you are looking for, or just want to get the best sleep possible, a custom mattress might be just what you need!
Whether it is finding a mattress that is hypoallergenic, adjustable, or that reduces the pressure points on your body, a mattress designed just for you could be the answer to your sleepless nights. Once you have your dream mattress, the next step is purchasing a pillow that will help even out your body and reduce pressure points even more.
It may not seem like daily routine will have the biggest effect on how well you sleep, but it is essential to setting yourself up for a restful night.
Try and keep yourself on a regular sleep/waking schedule by limiting the naps you take. In addition, most people know that drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can affect one’s sleep, but not as many people are aware that alcohol, nicotine, and your eating schedule can also play a role in this. Alcohol might make you feel sleepier or help you fall asleep faster, but will often cause you to toss and turn more throughout the night, as could eating too large of a meal right before bed or going to bed hungry.
Proper sleep is crucial to creating a balanced life where health and wellbeing are front and center. Being aware of these three things will set you on a good starting path to figuring out your ideal sleep routine and setup.