Tough mornings are the worst; the stiffened joints and aching limbs, the dazed dizziness, and don’t even get us started on the inconvenience to our day. Without practicing proper sleep hygiene most of us will find ourselves falling into the trap of mishap mornings like the one described.
A good nights’ sleep is more than an opportunity to recharge your body and mind. Those who practice proper sleep hygiene have been found to have better immune systems, general moods, memory, and increased productivity when compared to their sleep-deprived counterparts.
Conversely, lack of sleep can have some damaging and long lasting effects. Don’t lose too much sleep over it. As always, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re ready to improve your sleep hygiene, check out this list of nifty nightly tips for better sleep.
1. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
According to the CDC, the average adult requires around 7 hours of sleep every night for optimal health and wellbeing. Though you may vary from the approximation, it’s important to build this time into our daily routine.
Figure out which time you generally turn in for the night and maintain this as your “bedtime.” Be wary of too much variation from this bedtime, especially on weekends and holidays. A consistent sleep schedule reinforces your sleep-wake cycle and helps prevent those restless nights.
2. Create a Relaxing Environment
We realize that schedules can be hectic but a relaxing environment is as important to your sleep as sheets and blankets. Too much stress and distraction can shake us from the sandman’s embrace and keep us tethered to the problems of the awoken-world.
Embrace ‘quiet and peaceful’ before bedtime with scented candles, soft-music, and a good read. If you can’t control the environment around you, consider investing in earplugs, ambient sleep sound apps, sleep-masks, and whatever else quiets the noise to bring you peace. ‘Tomorrow’ can wait until tomorrow.
3. No Daydreaming in Bed
We’ve been there too: the clock has struck to yet another ungodly hour, the sky is pitch black, and the home is silent. Yet, there we lay, wide awake and surfing through the clutter of our minds. As fruitful as reflection can be, bedtime is no time to ponder.
Instead, get out of bed when you find your mind racing and leave the room. Try something calm and relaxing, like reading, drinking tea or hot chocolate, and meditation. Giving yourself this chance to power down is crucial for a great nights’ sleep.
4. Shut Down the Electronics
You’ll hate to hear this but your phones, tablets, and televisions may be the culprit preventing you from better sleep. Even if you’ve maintained a consistent sleep time and created a peaceful environment, all of your efforts can be wasted by the addictive glow of your favorite screen.
The light emitted from our electronics can hinder the production of melatonin (the hormone that controls circadian rhythm) making it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, abandon the endless sea of content an hour or so before bed. Use this time to read something good, listen to something soothing, meditate, or plan for the following day.
5. It May Be the Mattress
Many of life’s great solutions are found right under our noses. If you’ve maintained a consistent sleep schedule, managed to create a peaceful environment, and cut down your screen time but still have trouble sleeping, the problem may be your mattress. From bad dents and bent springs, to worn fabric and inconsistent softness, a bad mattress can ruin any sleep regimen.
However, not everyone wants to buy a new mattress at every whim. Instead, try out the 2-inch thick mattress topper from our Hotel Collection. The super-cozy down alternative filler can turn any bedtime into a primetime night of sleep. We also have a hypoallergenic option available.
6. Sheets & Blankets
The wrong sheets and blankets can ruin any night of sleep. Whether they’re too thick with poor ventilation, too thin with bad heat retention, or just so uncomfortable you shouldn’t have to bare them another night. Instead try out the high-quality sheets and blankets from any of our stellar collections. We include all pertinent product details to ensure you choose the bed sheets and blankets that are right for you.
7. Limit Napping
As much as we look forward to our afternoon nap, it could be what’s keeping us up at night. Though a 15 - 30 minute rest can be reenergizing, anything over an hour can harm our circadian rhythm--throwing off our sleep-wake cycle, causing insomnia, and
damaging overall health and well-being. Additionally, longer naps can leave us feeling even groggier, foggier, and more agitated. Keep power naps to a maximum of around 20 minutes. The day may be rough but the night will be a dream. Remember, there’s no replacement for a good nights’ sleep.
8. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
We don’t mean to be ‘buzz-kills’ (pun intended) but too much caffeine throughout the day or alcohol in the evening can cause restless and anxiety-filled nights of poor sleep. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that charges the mind and body while disrupting your internal clock. This not only leads to less sleep but poorer quality sleep that leaves us achy and angry in the morning.
Alcohol is a known depressant that is quite popular for its sedative effects. This drowsy result is due to the production of a chemical known as adenosine. Consumption of alcohol causes an increase in adenosine production, making it easier to fall asleep. However, the effects of adenosine quickly subside, increasing the likeness of disrupted and poor quality rest. Replace your caffeine and alcohol with water, decaffeinated tea, or hot chocolate as your nightcap.
9. Avoid Large (And Late) Meals
Sometimes, it’s the little things we miss that keep us up at night. In this case, too large a meal before bedtime or too close to bedtime can leave us with discomfort that’s hard to sleep through. If you’re planning on having a big dinner, try to space it out so that your body has a few hours to digest the meal. Additionally, if you’re looking at a late-dinner, opt for something light and easily digestible. You should never go to bed hungry but sleeping with an overstuffed belly is much harder than it looks.
When all else fails, there’s nothing like sweating out a solution. This day and age, many of us find ourselves confined to a desk in the working hours. Though we may be mentally exhausted, our bodies still have steam to burn. Sign up for a gym membership, club, class, or engage in any physical activity that you enjoy. Not only will this increase endorphin production (improving mood and decreasing stress) but regular aerobic exercise promotes healthy sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm, normalizing your metabolism, and depleting energy stores.
Tough mornings are the worst. We defeat them by adopting good sleeping habits and proper sleeping hygiene that works for us and our routines. We hope this list of better sleeping tips helps you get that great nights’ sleep you deserve.