Find it hard to nod off? You’re not alone. Follow these simple tips to help you get the best nights sleep possible…
When it comes to sleep, there’re few things more important in life. Sleep is where we rest, where we heal and where we dream: we spend up to one-third of every day zonked out under the covers! So, it makes sense to invest in this most valuable use of time, practically and strategically. Here are five tips to help you get the best nights sleep possible.
1. Peace of Mind, Peace of Body, Peace of Sleep
Human sleep is divided up into handy little chunks. These chunks are called REM cycles, and they last about ninety minutes, give or take, per person, as Psychology Today explains here. The more REM cycles you can fit in and the less they’re interrupted, the deeper and more refreshing your sleep. Sounds simple, right? Right! So, before bed, make sure any and all interruptions are taken care of; ensure peace of mind and body. Have you been to the bathroom? Have you taken any necessary medications, had a full meal, brushed your teeth and gotten comfortably dressed? The calmer you are going to sleep, the better, and the fewer things there’ll be to wake you up halfway.
2. Your Resting Place
As above, humans spend around one-third of their lives lying down, resting or asleep so it’s really important that the place you’re lying down is snug and warm; namely, your mattress. The ideal, best bed is a large one: no lumps, no bumps and certainly no squeaky springs. We recommend you invest in a comfortable mattress (such as this Casper king size mattress.) Be careful when choosing a traditional memory foam mattress though as, over time, you may find yourself sinking ever deeper into the foam! It’s important you shop around and don’t rush into anything before choosing the best bed for you.
3. Light Management
Light, both natural and artificial, is vital to the process of sleep and daily function – light can be as powerful as a Starbucks pumpkin latte right before bedtime. When it’s bright, our brains wake up. When it’s dark, they drift off to rest. You can use this natural set of cause and effect to improve your sleep. Be sure to stay away from glaring computer screens before bedtime (preferably for about an hour) and keep the curtains shut and moonlight out. Similarly, open your curtains in the morning and let the sunlight in ASAP, or get an alarm clock that brightens as it gets closer to rising time (Lumie Sunrise Alarms are especially great for winter months). The more you reinforce the habits of light, dark and sleep, the better quality your sleep will become and the more energy you’ll have in the daytime.
4. Noise, Noise, Noise
Some folks can’t sleep without the T.V. on in the background. Others need absolute quiet. Others still need noise to drift off at first but will then wake up regularly if it’s left on too long. Sleep is a tricky thing – and, if you’re sharing your bed and you both want different things, then the situation is even trickier! We recommend earplugs or perhaps sleep headphones as a cure-all. Headphones such as these fit snugly around ones head without wires or fuss, blocking out unwanted noise and bringing in ‘wanted’ noise. You could play an audiobook, a podcast, or just some relaxing music to help you drift off. The important thing is that you’re chilling out and you’re not disturbing anyone else in the meantime.
5. Habits Set in Stone
Sleep hygiene is all about baby steps. You incorporate the above one day, one night, one sleep at a time, and before you know it you’re waking up fresh as a daisy 24/7. To get there, however, you’ve got to be sure to make a habit of things. Sure, it’s fine to have a lie in every once in a while. Sure, it’s ok to nurse a hangover in bed and binge Netflix on a Sunday. But it’s all about consistency: light management is no good without noise management. A comfy mattress is no good if you’re getting up to go to the bathroom three times a night – after all, you want the best nights sleep possible.
The important thing is: don’t stress. Eventually, you’ll find the best way for you to sleep. And, when you do, you’ll be happier, healthier and all the better for it. (And hopefully our tips for the best nights sleep possible will make it even easier.)