Sleeping issues can affect most people at some point in their lives, and many have experienced restless nights tossing and turning in bed that can ruin the following day.
Changes in sleep patterns become more frequent as people get older, however other factors can alter sleep including stress, trauma, an uncomfortable bed, a new job, noise pollution, children, mental issues, or medical conditions.
More often than not alterations in sleep patterns are temporary and are only experienced by the majority of people occasionally. The human body is usually able to regulate the circadian rhythms associated with sleep by reacting to changes in light during the day. However, this innate ability to regulate sleeping patterns weakens as people get older.
Struggling to sleep at night isn’t uncommon, but if it becomes a trend and someone isn’t getting enough sleep then apart from causing tiredness and bad moods, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health effects including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
Poor sleep can lead to a myriad of mental and physical problems as well as disrupted work and social life, with that in mind here are six ways to help you get enough sleep at night.
1. Get A Mattress That Suits You
The comfort and quality of a mattress have a noticeable impact on how well someone sleeps, however before rushing to get a mattress it is best to find a bed that fits your room nicely and a mattress that is the right size and firm enough. For bedrooms big or small you can find a useful guide to different sizes of mattresses available at Puffy detailing a range of dimensions and specifications. The choice of mattress size will vary depending on how many people will be sleeping on the bed and how much space is desired.
When laying on any part of the body for a long time during sleep, the weight and pressure will reduce the blood flow to blood vessels in that area depriving it of oxygen and nutrients, thus causing nerves to send pain signals to the brain. The result being cramps, pins and needles, and aches which force the person to turn over or get out of bed. Mattresses can help to mitigate these issues by reducing and displacing pressure so blood can flow more freely.
The ideal mattress doesn’t have to come with a big price tag or be so soft you sink into it. A suitable mattress for most people balances firmness and softness. However, the choice of mattress is down to personal preferences as some people sleep better in very soft beds and others can sleep like a log on hard mattresses.
2. Upgrade Your Pillows
The purpose of a pillow is to provide support to the upper body and maintain a neutral alignment of the spine so for this reason it must be the right size and type for a person’s body type and preferred sleeping position.
There are several kinds of pillow fillings providing a range of support. Pillows with natural fillings like down or feathers give less structure and support, whilst other types of fillings such as specialized orthopedic pillows containing polypropylene capsules or memory foam are considered to offer the most support.
3. Be Careful What You Drink Before Bed
If you are often having restless nights, then you may want to take note of what you are drinking in the evening. Some drinks can have adverse effects on your body’s natural sleep cycles in several ways such as delaying, disrupting, or cutting them short.
The most common drinks to avoid if you want to get a better night’s sleep are alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, and soda.
Even though alcohol can make you feel drowsy and may even help you get to sleep, some well-known side effects can affect your quality of sleep. Amongst these is the commonly experienced increased need to urinate throughout the night. Drinking alcohol before bed can also lead to broken sleep patterns and increase the chance of insomnia.
The caffeine boost from a morning coffee, soda, or energy drink is a sure-fire way to wake up and get going. However, consuming drinks containing caffeine in the evening or night can adversely affect sleep including reducing sleep duration by pushing back the onset of sleep, sometimes by hours.
4. Make Sure Your Surroundings Are Calm
The quietness of a bedroom is crucial to most people getting deep and undisturbed sleep. Ideally, it is best to get rid of any unwanted background noise such as loud music or the TV playing. However, it isn’t possible to eliminate all sources of irritating noise, for example, external noise like traffic. To drown out background noise some people use a fan, calming music, or a white noise machine. Other options to block noise are earplugs or headphones.
Other ways to make your bedroom an oasis of calm perfect for a night of good sleep are ensuring lights are off or dimmed, adding more pillows and cushions, updating decor, removing clutter, and separating your office or desk space from your bedroom.
5. Get The Temperature Right
The ideal temperature for sleeping comes down to individual preferences, although generally, the room should not be too hot or too cold as either will likely cause fragmented sleep. However, the widely considered optimal temperature for sleeping is around or below 18 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit. To regulate the temperature in a bedroom many people will open the window to allow for a cool breeze, place a fan in the corner, or use an air conditioner.
6. Use Aromatherapy
Essential oils are a simple, affordable, and natural way to create an atmosphere of calm in your bedroom. The main benefit of using essential oils in aromatherapy is stress relief which can promote a more relaxed state of mind and better quality of sleep. Essential oils can be applied in a variety of ways depending on the products, with some added to hot baths, used in massages, and sprayed onto pillows. Some common essential oil ingredients are lavender, cedarwood, marjoram, and chamomile.
The problems caused by a lack of sleep can range from mild to severe, however fortunately there are several easy steps you can take to improve your quality of sleep.
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