You've likely heard that you should avoid blue light before bed and also you shouldn't be consuming caffeine in the evening. You are also aware of the fact that alcohol and heavy meals before bed can reduce sleep quality.
You might be thinking "tell me something I do not know” and that is exactly what this article is going to share with you today!
But first, let’s understand a problem that's not widely talked about. If you're having issues with sleep that means you are likely facing one or even both of the below-mentioned conditions:
- You're not able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep for a longer time.
- You always feel tired when you wake up.
These two are very different issues, and they require different strategies to handle. Various factors can play a part in the quality and quantity of our sleep and an understanding of these is essential to maximize our sleep time.
Sleep enough, not too much or too little
Just as not sleeping enough can lead you to feel tired, sleeping for an excessive amount of time can cause you to feel even worse. To figure out how much sleep you need every day, attempt to sleep without an alarm for a week. You can either do this on a holiday or go to sleep quite a bit earlier to make sure you wake up on time.
Of course, you can still set an alarm just to be safe, but attempt to go to sleep early enough in order that you wake up before the alarm goes off. This way, you will be able to figure out exactly how much time of sleep you need to get yourself recharged. Once you get adequate sleep your body desires, you won't feel the need to sleep at any time of the day again.
A perfect bedtime ritual
The most important step is probably to allow plenty of time for the nervous system to unwind and relax before going to bed. A very good tip is to spend the last five minutes before bed in reviewing the events of the day, from the movement you woke up that morning to the present.
Doing this review every night, and writing down anything that has to be remembered for the next day, will enable the mind to enter into sleep more freely. Your subconscious will appreciate not being given the nightly task of resolving your life's problems anymore, and the quality of your sleep will soon improve.
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
You probably own a comfortable sleeping space, but is your room a sleep sanctuary? Your body and mind should only associate your bed with sleep. Anything else like reading, playing on your phone, working, watching TV, etc. should be done elsewhere. If you associate your bed with things that keep you awake, your body and mind will automatically want to remain awake when you're lying in bed. And it will be not too late until this becomes a habit.
Take the TV out of your bedroom, put the book on shelf, keep your laptop on the desk, and consider leaving your telephone in another room. If required, you can buy an alarm for a couple of bucks but “I use my telephone as an alarm clock” is not the best reason to keep it on your bed or in your bedroom. Everything about your bedroom should promote sleep, from your sheets to the curtains to the temperature and décor.
Additionally, the mattress you sleep on can greatly impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep, yet it’s important to buy a perfect one that is suitable for your body. If you are unable to find the best mattress for you, a sleep expert can address any of your questions and consult you on a perfect mattress.
Take naps wisely, or not at all
Naps can make you feel great, but at times they can also be a worse option. Limiting your period of nap to less than 30 minutes will basically help their effectiveness, but more than that will give you a tough time falling asleep at night.
If you are used to taking frequent naps, try to avoid them for a short time and see if that helps you sleep at night. If you do have a hard time falling asleep and you still want to nap, try to do it before noon. Late naps can affect your sleep badly!
Develop a sleep strategy
There are occasions at night that your body will actually want you to rest. At that very time, if your brain is thinking, it will not command your body to rest but to stay awake. As such it may be helpful to perform some relaxation techniques, such as slow breathing or yoga. There are a number of free resources available for relaxing meditation practices.
If you still can’t sleep or find it difficult to stay asleep, don't remain in bed for more than 20 minutes. Instead, do some other activity like folding your laundry, organizing your desk/wardrobe, or arranging your stuff for the next day.
Have a better sleep hygiene
Not only is this effective for productivity's sake but it will take all of those thoughts out of your head and with these practices, and you should be able to sleep well. If you're currently taking sleep pills, attempt to kick them. They really only assist you to nod off, and this is often also true for natural remedies like bedtime tea and melatonin. While they can be effective, they won't help you stay asleep for a longer time. As stated above, sleep medication may be a better alternative without any side effects.
Remember, we can’t control what’s happening in the world, but we can control our behaviors and dampen the impact of the outside world on our sleep.
As experts in sleep since 1969, Mancini’s Sleepworld is dedicated to selling quality mattresses and furniture of top brands at fair prices across the San Francisco Bay Area. You will find a variety of mattresses including plush king mattress, Sealy mattress, hybrid mattress, bed-in-box, and more.
You can check out any mattress by visiting one of our 34 locations across Northern California. All locations are open for walk-ins or by appointment. To learn more, contact Mancini's Sleepworld or call 800-647-5337.