Making simple but important changes to your daytime and bedtime habits can benefit your quality of sleep
There is a reason why we spend about a third of our lives asleep - sleep is an important function that restores and repairs our minds and bodies each night. Sleep is one of the three pillars of good health, the others being Nutrition and Exercise. Sleep is undoubtedly the most important of the three pillars because if you get too little sleep and you’ll immediately feel groggy, out of balance, stressed, confused by simple situations or even ill after just one tough night. Comparatively, you could easily eat badly or skip a workout and in the short term not notice the negative impact that has on your body. With sleep being such a crucial component to overall health and wellness, it’s a wonder we don’t spend more time focusing on this restorative activity. In short, good health is nearly impossible without good quality of sleep - so let’s take a look at some of the simple steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Watch What You Eat
Foods that are sugary, overly refined, or extremely “heavy” can make it hard to fall asleep. Spicy or acidic foods can cause reflux if eaten too soon before bed, and overly rich or fatty foods can impede the body’s natural ability to rest. Finally, when you eat is important, too. Some people can eat right before bed and fall asleep just fine, while others suffer from indigestion when partaking in a late meal or pre-bed snack. Analyze your perfect dinner time for better sleep.
Limit Smoking and Drinking
Smoking is never a wise choice, but smoking before bed has been directly linked to sleep issues. And while partaking in a small drink before bed may seem like it has a calming effect, the opposite is physiologically true. Alcohol has been shown to negatively affect normal sleep cycles once the person is actually asleep. So, while alcohol may help you get to sleep faster after you’ve gotten to sleep the alcohol will degrade your quality of sleep by interfering with all-important deep restorative sleep!
Relax Before Bed
The time to overstimulate with television, portable electronics, social media status updates and other distractions is NOT right before your head hits the pillow. In fact, try to find a relaxing thing to do an hour or two before bed that does not involve electronics. Use the hours from 9-10:30 pm, say, for doing the dishes, folding laundry, reading a good book, or even cleaning up the house. Keep the stressful or overly complicated tasks for another time.
Learn to Decompress
Decompressing is a nightly ritual that can be used to calm your mind, minimize intrusive thoughts, and get your body tuned and prepared for a great night of sleep. Deep breathing techniques are a terrific way to slow down and minimize outside interference, as is progressive muscle relaxation. In this activity, you’ll tense up various muscle groups (start with your toes and work your way up to your head) and then relax them. This exercise calms the body and the concentration required forces the mind to focus on just one thing at a time.
Swap Out Your Pillow
You’ll spend a good share of your life with your head on a pillow, so ditch the big-box store pillow and invest a little more in a quality pillow. There are numerous options available on the market today, but experts agree that you simply cannot beat a top-quality water pillow. These pillows offer responsive support through an adjustable waterbase. They also come in a variety of pillow fill options to meet your sleeping preferences, including down, gel memory foam, and fiberfill. With water pillows, you control the level of support to create a customized experience. The good news? These pillows are often available for less than you’d expect to pay for many other pillows which may not work nearly as well.
Create the Right Sleep Environment
Ever tried to sleep during the day when you’re not really that tired? Part of the problem is likely the time of day, but the other factor is the brightness of the room. Try to create a bit of a cave-like ambiance in your bedroom - think blackout drapes, closeable blinds, and minimal noise intrusion. If you insist on keeping a TV in your bedroom, don’t watch anything during the hour or so leading up to bedtime. Your room should be cool, comfortable, and dark.
Getting enough sleep is a big deal, and focusing on these basic steps can improve your quality of sleep and ensure the best sense of health and wellness for you and your family members. For more information about top-quality water pillows and how a new pillow can support you on your mission for an enhanced sleep, contact Mediflow today!