Catching Zs and Sweet Dreams: How to Ensure a Healthy Good Night's Sleep
We all know that obtaining adequate sleep contributes to an improved overall quality of life in terms of our health, weight, mood, ability to focus, and more. However, it is estimated that 1 in 3 adults regularly falls short of the recommended 7 to 9 hours. Adopting the following tips can go a long way towards helping you achieve a healthy, good night’s sleep.
Create a Restful Environment
Our sleep tends to be much more productive when we create an environment that encourages rest. Because our internal clocks respond to both light and dark, make sure that you sleep in a dark room. If necessary, consider the use of blackout curtains or a mask.
The temperature of our bedrooms also plays an important role in the quality of our sleep because our bodies naturally expend energy attempting to regulate normal body temperatures. This means that if our room is not at the optimum temperature, we will spend more time tossing and turning and less time resting. Most experts agree that 68 degrees is an ideal bedroom temperature.
Another important consideration is the creation of a quiet environment. Noises are notorious for disrupting sleep cycles. If you need to drown out the sounds of neighborhood noise or your partner’s snoring, consider adding some white noise by turning on a fan.
It should go without saying, but we often fail to consider the condition of our mattresses. Factors such as age, size, and firmness play a role in contributing to or detracting from a good night’s sleep. If it is time to consider replacing your old mattress.
Establish a Nighttime Routine
Going to bed and waking up at consistent times is an important aspect of realizing quality sleep. In order to aid in facilitating this healthy habit, consider creating a nighttime routine that encourages a consistent bedtime. Contemplate taking a walk after dinner, a warm bath, reading a chapter of a relaxing novel, or drinking a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk to encourage relaxation.
Strenuous exercise, heavy meals, alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine should before avoided several hours before bed as these can disrupt your sleep. Remember to avoid electronics and bright lights at least one hour before bed. Try setting an alarm an hour before you plan on turning in to remind you to take the time to wind down.
Assess your Daytime Activities
You may not realize it, but the choices you make during the day can serve to encourage a good night’s sleep. Sunlight helps regulate normal sleep cycles, exercises contributes to improved sleep, and proper stress management allows you to rest rather than worry each night.
Investing energy into a good night’s sleep will go a long way in ensuring not only a better morning but a better quality of life overall. Making sleep a priority does require forethought and effort, but following these simple suggestions will go a long way towards helping you catch those Zs.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. If you are looking to get a better night’s sleep, Lizzie recommends getting a new mattress from the Restwell Mattress Factory.