As children and young adults, we never had to pay that much attention to getting a good night’s sleep. It just seemed like regardless of what unhealthy dietary habits or sporadic bedtimes we threw into the mix, we were always able to wake up the following day feeling pretty darn good.
Fast forward twenty years, and that all starts to change. Suddenly, not getting the right amount of sleep the night before a big day at work spells major consequences, and the stress that goes along with those consequences only continues to fuel a downward spiral of sleep loss that can eventually take a toll on our long-term health.
You Deserve Better Sleep
Nevertheless, by implementing a few simple rules for yourself close to bedtime, it’s entirely possible to re-establish a sense of order and routine that will have you waking up feeling your best day in and day out. Without further adieu, here are a few doctor-recommended better sleep tips to help you get back on the right track:
Tip #1: Disconnect
One of the main sources of modern day sleep problems is the inability many of us have to disconnect from our “wired” lives before bedtime. Whether it’s constantly picking up our phones for Facebook updates, or being unable to close the laptop and stop responding to work emails, WebMD recommends shutting down all electronic devices a solid hour before you turn in for the night.
The benefits of this are two-fold. First, it lets you finally put your brain at ease after a long day of stressful events at work and emotional interactions with family/friends. Secondly, there’s a biological benefit from not being exposed to “blue light” that’s typically emitted from devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions.
Tip #2: Ditch the Alarm Clock
In an age where we all have a smartphone with an alarm clock built into it, do you ever sometimes wonder why you still also keep an alarm clock next to your bed? After all, having a clock next to your bed with a light-up display just results in a lot of unnecessary added stress throughout the night. Every take you wake up, your first instinct will be to look over at the clock and see how much time is left before you need to get up for work, which just stresses you out and causes you to lose more sleep. Not good, right?
We recommend ditching the alarm clock and using the alarm function on your phone instead. It will still work even when your phone is turned to silent mode, so you don’t have to worry about being interrupted with buzzing texts or emails as you sleep.
Tip #3: Keep Naps in Check
We all know a mid-afternoon nap can be crucial from time to time when our biological fuel tanks are bone dry. It’s important to remember, however, that any nap over a half hour will just make it even harder to wake up. Longer naps, especially those a few hours before your normal bedtime, will also throw your body’s natural clock off of rhythm.
Tip #4: Don’t Sleep-In on Weekends
This one really takes discipline, but it comes from the same line of reasoning as not napping close to bedtime. When you sleep later on weekends than you do during the week, it completely throws off your body’s circadian rhythm. (Circadian rhythm is your body’s built-in 24-hour clock that tells your brain when to wake up in the morning and when you should be turning in for the night.) Through a weekend jarring of the established cycle you’ve spent all week acclimatizing to, you’re just setting yourself up for an extra difficult Monday morning wake up.
In addition to these helpful tips for sleeping better, we are continually surprised by just how many people neglect the quality of their mattress when it comes to the overall role it plays in waking up feeling their best. The bottom line is that top rated mattresses address body aches and pains in a way that most beds simply can’t. At Sherwood Bedding, we hold ourselves to a higher standard in terms of the quality and safety of raw materials that make their way into every mattress we make. We invite you to visit a retailer in your area to experience the Sherwood Bedding difference first hand.