Isn’t sleep wonderful? Every night we get to drift off into dreamland, forgetting our worries from the day, and then waking up refreshed the next morning. Ready for whatever life has to throw at us? But what happens when we are not getting enough sleep? We’ll try and see. It’s likely you will be become more grumpy, exhausted and generally not yourself. So what can be done if you are experiencing poor sleep? Read on for some small changes that might just change your life.
Get a New Bed
When dealing with poor sleep, most people tend to look at their bed first. Our beds are one of the most important pieces of furniture in our homes. They support us during our night’s sleep, and they are the place where we go to relax and recuperate when we are ill.
But having the wrong sort of bed can cause you some serious issues. If your bed is too old, it may not support your posture like it should. Beds need to be replaced regularly to ensure that they stay in tip-top condition, and that is if you haven’t got a toddler using it as an impromptu trampoline. Check your bed frame often for breakages and sagging, and replace when possible.
There are two essential parts to any bed, the mattress, and the frame. Some people choose to buy these separately. Or you can opt to purchase them together. Remember that if you are particularly tall, a bed with a footboard can hamper you getting a decent night’s sleep. This is because you can’t stretch out and move around properly without hitting your feet.
Mattresses can be a source of confusion when trying to get the perfect bed for a good night’s sleep. What firmness do you need? Should you buy a spring mattress or memory foam one? Well, it all depends on the position that you sleep in. In fact, not having the right mattress to support your posture is a major cause of poor quality sleep. As you will be tossing and turning through the night, trying to relieve the pressure on your joints.
If you sleep on your back, you will have a greater contact area between your body and the mattress than if you sleep on your side. This means you can go for a softer mattress. This is because the space that hits your body doesn’t need to support as much weight to keep your posture right during the night. It also means that if you are a side or front sleeper, you will need to go for a firmer mattress to give you a good night’s rest.
Stop So Much Light Getting Into Your Room
Unfortunately for a lot of people having too much light in the room is another thing that can interfere with the quality of your night’s sleep.
Many people find it difficult to get off to sleep if there is too much light in the room. This is because our bodies are programmed to recognize that light means being awake, and darkness means sleep.
Now we have access to light at all time of the day; our bodies can become very confused as to what time it is. It’s therefore easy for them to get out of their natural rhythm making drifting off difficult.
Another light issue that can affect sleep is sunshine coming in from the outside. To combat this problem, you can use blackout curtains, or fitted blackout blinds which let a lot less light into the room. They also work well for those mornings that you want to have a lie in but the sun is already up.
Another light related issue that some people suffer with is if their partner goes to sleep at a different time to they do. They can be all tucked up and ready to drift off, but their other half needs the light on to get ready for bed or read, or uses their phone. A good solution for this is an individual sleep mask. This will block the majority of the light, so the person going to bed earlier will not get disturbed
Watch What You Eat and Drink After 7 pm
Of course, there are other things that can affect how well we sleep during the night. One of these is the food and drink that we have consumed that evening.
Most people know that caffeinated drinks are meant to make you more alert, but sometimes they forget and have 2 or 3 in the evening. For a restful night’s sleep it’s better to limit your caffeine intake to before 7pm. You can give yourself an even better chance of getting off by drinking a relaxing chamomile tea blend at bedtime.
Few people realize though that there are some foods that can help you get to sleep. Anything high in protein like cottage cheese or sliced turkey is a good thing to eat before bed. This is because high protein foods take more energy for your stomach to digest. This mean your body will divert your energy to your stomach, and this will leave you feeling more sleepy and ready for bed.
De-stress Before Bedtime
Another major difficulty for those attempting a good night’s sleep is their stress level. It doesn’t matter how supportive your bed is, how dark the room is, or how much chamomile tea you have to drink! If the moment your head hits the pillow all you can do is worry, you have a problem.
That is why it’s so important to have some kind of stress relieving or relaxing practice to your evening routine. Some people prefer bedtime yoga or meditation. While others have found success in progressive muscle relaxation or guided visualization.
It doesn’t really matter which activity you pick, just as long as it works for you. Remember your aim is to relax your mind and body and let go of your problems and worries so you can drift off to sleep quickly.