How You Should be Improving Your Sleep

How You Should be Improving Your Sleep
January 21 17:03 2019 Print This Article

Sleeping is one of the most innate human behaviors, but you could be doing it wrong.

Everyone knows that our sleep is important, and most people could probably tell you off the top of their head that the recommended amount of daily sleep is somewhere between seven to nine hours. What people don’t know is that even if you’re racking up on your quantity of sleep, your quality of restful sleep may be suffering.

There are various factors that affect your sleeping quality, and if you don’t pay attention to them you’ll start feeling the painful effects of sleep deprivation. Even after spending eight hours in your bed at night, you can wake up feeling hazy, achy, and exhausted to the point that you’re counting down the hours until you can hop in bed again.

Don’t let yourself suffer. Maximize on the quantity of your sleep by taking more time to evaluate the quality of your sleep in every way you can.

Re-evaluating your sleep environment

bedroom

If you don’t have your bedroom optimized for your best night’s sleep, then you’re missing out.

When it comes to creating the perfect sleep environment, there are a few things you should do. First, hang up blackout curtains to prevent any sources of light pollution that disrupts you while you sleep. If you’re worried about being able to wake up in the morning without your source of natural light, you could consider a wake-up light that mimics the stimulating effects of daylight.

Next, work on blocking out any sounds that are waking you up in the night. If you live in an urban area, this could be a critical step to improving your sleep. One way to manage nighttime noise disruptions is by relocating your bedroom if it’s backed up to a busy road or sidewalk. Another easier way to avoid nighttime noises is to try out using a white noise machine. White noise and other sound machines mask background noises by reducing the difference between background noise and loud disruptions, decreasing your chances of waking up.

Once you’ve eliminated the risk of light or noise disruptions, make sure there’s nothing else interfering with your ZZZs. Is a cool draft bothering you in your sleep? Maybe you need to move your bed so it isn’t under an air vent or turn the fan off. Are you tossing and turning in your sleep? Maybe it’s time for a more comfortable bed or bedding accessories.

Make sure you do everything you can to create your own personal sleeping oasis. For more inspiration on how to create the ideal bedroom, check out advice from experts like The Spruce on bedroom design.

Fix your sleeping position

Do you find yourself waking up with aches and pains often? If so, the cause may be your sleeping position.

Stomach sleepers put their bodies at high risk for morning soreness. This position puts immense stress on your lower back, especially when you use thick pillows which force your upper body to arch even higher off the bed. This position can also cause stiffness in your neck in the morning due to the need to have your head completely turned to one side in order to breathe.

Side sleepers also experience pains from their sleeping position. When you sleep on your side, half of your body is put under the pressure of the other half of your body. This can lead to pain especially in your shoulders, hips, and knees.

Ideally, you should be sleeping on your back. If you aren’t, it may take some time to adjust, but it’s the best position for keeping your spine in proper alignment and protecting you from morning soreness.

If you’re committed to your sleeping position and can’t imagine making any changes any time soon, you can optimize your sleeping structure to better support your position. There are mattress options specifically designed for side sleepers or even people with back pain which can help you make the most of your sleep.

Create a wind-down routine

The issue you may be having could be caused by being overstimulated before bed, causing difficulties when you try to fall asleep and preventing you from reaching deep sleep.

The last hour or two before you plan to fall asleep can have a big influence on the quality of your sleep. To set yourself up for a better night of rest, implement a wind-down routine into your evenings.

Wind-down routines can help prepare both your mind and body for a great night of restful, deep sleep. Ideally, your routine should start within one or two hours before your bedtime (which should be at least seven hours before you have to wake up!)

Man reading book in bed

Your wind-down routine should include relaxing activities that help prepare you for bed. First off, turn off the technology. The blue light that is emitted from technologies such as TVs or smartphones stimulates your brain and inhibits melatonin production, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycles. Instead of binge-watching your favorite show right before bed, try reading a book, putting a puzzle together, or any other activity that doesn’t require technology usage.

Other activities you can include in your wind-down routine are taking a warm bath or having a cup of warm tea. Raising your body temperature by a few degrees in a warm bath can help you fall asleep quicker when you jump in bed and experience a temperature drop. To make it even more enjoyable, consider adding a few drops of an essential oil like lavender or chamomile as these scents are known to help you relax in the evening.

If a bath isn’t your cup of tea, consider doing some nighttime yoga stretches that can help clear your mind and relax your body. Often, holding in stress makes it difficult to fall asleep and some simple yoga with deep breaths can help you clear your brain before bedtime.

Keeping up with better sleeping habits

Once you correct your sleeping environment, manage your preferred sleeping position, and implement a nightly wind-down routine to help you relax, you should be set up for better night’s of quality rest.

Be sure to stay consistent and never let anything get in the way of your restorative nights of sleep!

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About Article Author

Laurie Larson
Laurie Larson

Laurie loves writing on home, health, and lifestyle topics. She's always looking for the next great book to read and always appreciates a good recommendation.

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