Tips for Improving Your Sleep Quality
It’s a new year and like many people you’re probably attempting to turn over a new leaf. You’ve been exercising, doing stretches, adding more green veggies to your diet and you don’t feel like the pinnacle of health just yet. Since you’re here and reading this, you probably have already come to the same conclusion: your sleep quality needs to improve.
Sometimes we underestimate how much sleep we need. We also don’t fully understand why sleep is so important. Tired? An energy drink or a large iced coffee should do the trick! Or will it?
Despite all our best efforts towards fitness and health, we sometimes don’t consider how important sleep is to our overall health. We have had fitness influencers, friends, or even ourselves proudly proclaim that they stayed up till the wee hours of morning, but still went to their spin class at 5 am.
As SELF Magazine and their experts point out: “It will make you hungrier. Five to six hours for a week really prohibits your cognitive and hormone functions. You really need seven to eight hours. Working out harder or better or eating less isn’t the answer. It’s about getting enough sleep.” If you’ve had trouble sleeping or haven’t gotten enough sleep over the course of the week, it would be healthier to continue getting sleep than to wake up to workout.
A chronic lack of sleep can reduce your overall health and increase your risk of heart disease, cognitive issues, and diabetes. While 30 minutes of exercise per day or a total of 2 and half hours per week is recommended for exercise to help reduce the risk of many of these issues, without sufficient sleep you aren’t helping your body in its efforts.
We need sleep in order to repair our muscles and access the energy we need to exercise effectively. Another factor to consider is that if you are experiencing a mental fog from the fatigue, you could put yourself at risk of injury.
Also, there are the more practical issues to think about when considering exercising on poor sleep: your body might not be able to keep up.
Whether you’re trying to optimize your workout or just get the quality sleep you deserve, here are some tips on how to get quality sleep:
1) Go To Sleep At The Same Time Every Night
The first and maybe hardest step is going to sleep at the same time every night. Creating consistency around your routine will help your body regulate. Have you ever woken up feeling unrested and a bit confused?
It’s not only your mind that is feeling that way, but also your body. An inconsistent sleep schedule causes the body to release sleep hormones at odd parts of the day. By creating a consistent schedule, not only will your mind feel clearer, but your body will know what to expect.
Having a consistent schedule of going to bed at the same time every night will also naturally lead to your waking up being around the same
2) Avoid Blue Lights
When we start to wind down for the night, instead of feeling rested, we might be wondering why. Unfortunately, it could be the device you’re even reading this on that’s contributing to that feeling of unrest.
For many of us, we’re surrounded by our screens. Even in moments where we want to relax, we might pull out our phone to watch videos or find our tablet to read a novel. Unfortunately, each of these screens unless designated as such all emit blue light.
Blue light mimics the daylight in a sense and our body is unable to understand that the blue light isn’t the sun. So at night when our body’s are naturally producing melatonin which is a hormone released at night to help our body’s to get ready for sleep.
When we continue to use our phone or watch tv or watch any screens emitting blue light, our body is more likely than not going to interrupt the cycle. The body will get the message loud and clear: it’s daylight and it’s not the time to sleep. When in reality it’s almost midnight and we’re wishing for sleep.
While we want to catch up on our shows, it’s recommended to stop using your screens 30 minutes to an hour before bed. That way your body can begin to adjust.
3) Enjoy Some Sunlight
While we all have different ways we prefer our bedroom when falling asleep, for those with the black out curtains and eye masks, this can feel counterintuitive, but: when you wake up, open the curtains. Especially if you notice you’re very fatigued in the morning, dragging your feet in the darkness of your bedroom — the remaining darkness could be contributing to this. Instead you’ll want to enjoy some sunlight first thing when you wake up. Maybe open the curtains and do a bit of meditation with the sun glowing on your face. Or head out for a walk around the block. Whatever comes easiest, but the sun is key.
4) Chill Out – Literally
Imagine falling asleep after a long day. Maybe you think of your comfiest pjs, or your hair wrapped up for the night. Maybe you think of your linen sheets and the cool side of the pillow. But do you think of the temperature of your bedroom? What is the most comfortable temperature setting?
Thinking back to the cool side of the pillow, our bodies actually find the bedroom temperature around 65 degrees to be the most comfortable and relaxing to fall asleep in. Of course, this does depend on your own individual needs and if you’re in a warmer climate and have gotten used to that. Just remember if you’re struggling to sleep on a hot night, it might be the heat that’s part of the problem.
5) Invest In Your Bed
We spend so much time in our bed. A third of our life is in fact sleeping, or attempting to sleep. That’s a lot of time. If you’ve ever woken up with a stiff neck or pain in your lower back, you know how important having a better bedroom set up is.
Investing in your bed from the pillows to the mattress itself is so vital for our overall health. While the boxed brands have cornered the market with pre-made, fast shipping, boxed mattresses that inflate out of the vacuum sealed package…are they really the best for you? You may need a mattress right now and at a particular price point and so making a short term buy with the long term goal of buying a better, long lasting mattress is important. Don’t settle when a third of your life is on the line.
Gardner Mattress has two mattress collections:
- The Natural Sleep Collection offers all-natural and organic products as alternatives to foam and other mattress materials. Worried about synthetic materials and their long-term effects? Put those worries in the past with the natural sleep collection. Each mattress from start to finish is made using natural and organic materials free from toxic chemicals.
- The Traditional Collection is the heart of the Gardner Mattress collections. Why? As a company that has existed for almost 100 years and continues to innovate and improve on their traditional mattresses, it is no wonder many of their most signature styles are included in this collection. And don’t worry, Gardner may choose materials that are synthetic for this collection, but always keep your health in mind to create a toxic-free mattress.
The comfort and support offered by Gardner mattresses doesn’t stop there. As you’re heading to sleep each night, you might be also affected by a base and frame that aren’t offering enough support for the mattress and therefore your body. Gardner offers adjustable bases that are designed in a split style so if you need to sleep upright and your partner needs to be on the flattest surface known to man — the base can help with that.
Once the foundation of your bed is set up and ready to support you, you should consider investing in nice sheets. If your sheets are scratchy and uncomfortable, they won’t help you fall asleep. Your bedroom should be an oasis or as close as you can get. Investing in yourself is so important and maybe when it comes to your sleep even more so.
You’ll be shocked by how easy it is to have more quality sleep. By creating a consistent sleep schedule you might be surprised by how easily you not only will fall asleep, but wake up at the same time each day. You might even be excited at the prospect of sleep when your bed devoid of blue light and screens truly becomes a safe haven after a hard day. Are you looking to get started and not sure where to turn first? Visit one of your showrooms and talk with an associate today!