Getting a good night’s sleep is key to a healthy lifestyle. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has studied sleep habits and determined that people spend an average of 26 years of their life asleep.1
For some of us, however, sleep is elusive. According to Canadian health experts, the average person will spend seven years lying awake, unable to get much-needed shut-eye.2 Recent studies have shown people are reporting a decline in both the quality of their sleep and the time they spend asleep.3 Fortunately, there are a few ways you can rest easier and enjoy a better and healthier night’s sleep.
Sync Your Body’s Natural Sleep-Wake Cycle
Your body has a natural sleep-wake cycle known as a circadian rhythm. One of the best ways to fall and stay asleep is to maintain a regular sleep schedule. You’ll feel more energized following a schedule than going to bed and waking up at different times each cycle.
Go to bed when you naturally feel tired – Your body has an internal clock, and following that clock optimizes the quality of your sleep. Go to bed when you naturally feel tired to reduce the chance you’ll toss and turn.
Avoid sleeping in (even on weekends) – If you need to make up for a late night, try napping in the early afternoon for no more than 20 minutes to avoid disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
Control Your Exposure to Light
Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone found in your brain, helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain releases more melatonin when it’s dark – making you sleepy – and less when you’re exposed to light – making you more alert.
Many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s release of melatonin, shifting your circadian rhythm. These are some ways to minimize this disruption.
- Limit screen time before bed: Blue light emitted from a phone, tablet, TV or computer screen is especially disruptive to your brain.
- Expose yourself to sunlight during the day: Exposing yourself to sunlight throughout the day minimizes the release of melatonin in your brain, waking you up and keeping you alert at work.
- Lights out at bedtime: Darken your room by using heavy curtains or a sleep mask to block any light from windows. This will ensure no disruptions to your sleep-wake cycle.
Practice Smart Food and Drink Habits
Eating habits play an important role in how well you sleep as well. Here are some things to limit or avoid altogether, especially in the hours before bedtime.
- Big meals at night
- Alcohol before bed
- Drinking too many liquids at night
- Sugary foods and refined carbs
(white bread, pasta, white rice)
- Caffeine and nicotine4
Pick the Perfect Mattress
Choosing the right mattress for your body and needs also has a profound effect on your quality of sleep. If your mattress doesn’t have the right level of firmness or is too old, it may be time to invest in a new one. Here are some tips for those ready to purchase their perfect mattress:
Don’t focus on price tag or brand – Instead, focus on what you want in a mattress, as everyone’s needs are different.
Take mattresses for a test drive – Much like you would test drive a car or try on clothes before buying them, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to lay on a mattress for 20 minutes to see if it’s right for you.
Cradle pressure points – Lying on any part of your body reduces the blood flow to that area, which deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients. This triggers an impulse to roll over, restoring blood flow but also interrupting your sleep. Find a mattress that cradles your pressure points to avoid sleep disruption.
10-year rule – If you keep your mattress for too long, the materials inside will break down, compromising its ability to support your body. Go mattress shopping at most every 10 years.5
Find Your Perfect Mattress at Bed DRS in Scottsdale and Phoenix, AZ
At Bed DRS, we believe in the power of a good night’s sleep. We invite you to take our mattress style quiz today to help you find the style that’s best for your sleeping needs.
As your local mattress store, we promise to treat you like neighbors because you are! With locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix, there’s no reason not to stop by today to discover your perfect mattress. After finding the one that’s right for you, you’ll get a 120-night satisfaction guarantee. Visit us online or call toll free at 1-844-243-3080 today to start getting a better night’s sleep.