Sometimes, when we’re staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night, it feels like we’ll never get another good night’s sleep. The fact is that it’s not quite as simple as shutting your eyes and waking up refreshed eight hours later. It actually takes a little doing.
The veteran Sleep Specialists at Mattress World Northwest offer a few practical tips on how to sleep better, ensuring your days are productive and focused. Never underestimate the importance of quality sleep — it is a key component to a healthy life!
The Mayo Clinic suggests teaching your mind and body that it’s time to wind down each night perhaps with a warm shower, a good book (light fare rather than emotional or thought provoking reading), or some soft music. This could be a restful hour that takes the edge off wakefulness and guides you into drowsiness. This also means that it’s definitely time to power down for that last hour—lights are dimmed and cellphones, TVs, and laptops are shut down. The light from the screens in addition to feeling that you can’t miss anything are sleep destroyers.
A heavy meal late at night is a sure bet to keep you up. The body is not set up to digest heavy foods while sleeping, particularly protein which is particularly tough on the digestive system. Keep your evening meals light, and your system will thank you with a good night’s sleep. The same goes for alcohol at night—it may make you drowsy and relaxed at first, but the alcohol soon turns into a stimulant.
A survey done in 2013 by The National Sleep Association found that “regular, vigorous exercisers” reported getting the best sleep. But the body can also use a good wind-down before bed –some easy stretching, meditation, yoga, visualization, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation will slow the heart rate and allow the body to drift more easily into sleep.
A 2005 study on the use of scents to induce sleep found that even a whiff of lavender was enough to help a woman fall into a deep sleep. The Wall Street Journal confirmed that finding in a 2008 study which found that the scent of lavender helped women, even those with chronic sleep disruptions, fall asleep more quickly.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which an individual stops breathing for very short intervals throughout the night, usually for several seconds. For a severe apnea sufferer, these interruptions can happen hundreds of times a night. The result is that a person with apnea is not able to get the restful uninterrupted sleep that can help the body recharge.
The ultimate sleep destroyers are light, noise, and physical discomfort. That means to maximize a good night’s sleep you may want to create a dark, quiet almost womb-like sleep space free of gadgets, distractions, and stressors of any kind.
Eight hours of deep restorative sleep every night are recommended by sleep specialists. A key feature of your ultimate sleep space is of course your mattress. But with so many models and materials to choose from, mattress shopping can be a daunting prospect. That’s why we’re here to take the mystery out of shopping for a new bed. At MattressWorld Northwest, our talented team will help you find a mattress that is best suited for your individual needs and characteristics, and you will be forever happy and well rested.
Come see the Sleep Specialists at Mattress World, the largest quality mattress retailer in Oregon and discuss what sleep solutions can make sense for you.
Stop by one of our 11 Oregon mattress store locations throughout the Portland area–including Wilsonville, Salem, Canby, Clackamas, Gresham, Washington Square and Beaverton.