The age old adage of quality vs quantity holds especially true for sleep. But when it comes to sleep, the secret is a combination of the two. We all know that not getting enough sleep will leave us feeling stressed, tired, and irritable. However, getting large quantities of poor quality sleep isn’t much better. Ten hours of tossing, turning, and waking up frequently is not going to relieve your daytime fatigue. The trick to feeling rested each and every day is to hit your target for high quality sleep. Different people need different amounts of high quality sleep to feel refreshed. But, getting this crucial down time isn’t always so easy. Guaranteeing a good night’s rest might involve adjusting your sleep schedule, evening habits, and even your daily routines.
Tier4 mattress knows the importance of feeling rested. That’s why we offer the best name brand mattresses on the market at a price that people can actually afford. We guarantee that if your mattress is not up to par, that you will not get the rest you need. Once you’ve got a high-quality mattress in your bedroom, below are some steps you can take in order to gain more restful sleep every night.
Listen To Your Body’s Natural Cycle
Catering to your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as its circadian rhythm is a great strategy for getting better sleep. This means setting up a sleep schedule and sticking to it. People who go to bed and wake up at the same time each day generally feel more refreshed and energized. Consistency is key. Here are some steps to take when setting up a sleep schedule:
Identify a Realistic Bedtime
It is unlikely that you can just go to bed at a certain hour just because you said so. A bedtime needs to be repeatable so, start by identifying an hour that makes sense with your work schedule and when you also start to feel tired naturally. A good test to determine if your bedtime is working is how you feel when you wake up. If you are getting a sufficient amount of rest, you will wake up naturally without an alarm. If you are consistently slamming the snooze button, you may need to adjust your bedtime.
Try to avoid sleeping in – Although it might seem enticing, sleeping too much can throw off your sleep cycle. This means that if your weekend schedule is dramatically different from your weekday sleep schedule, it may be difficult to identify your natural circadian rhythm. If you’ve had a late night, try a daytime nap instead of sleeping in too late. This allows you to keep waking up at the same time, while still catching up on any sleep you missed out on the night before.
Don’t Abuse Naptime
Napping can be a useful strategy for staying well rested (as stated above). However, napping can also cause sleeping issues. If you generally have a difficult time falling asleep at night, napping during the day may exacerbate the problem. If you have trouble falling asleep at night but are truly exhausted during the day, consider keeping your nap to 15-20 minutes and only taking them during the early afternoon. For example, don’t fall asleep right after dinner because you might have a hard time falling back asleep at your normal bedtime.
Control Your Overall Light Exposure
You might notice that in the winter, it can be tougher to wake up on dark mornings. This is due to a natural chemical in the brain called Melatonin. Melatonin is secreted by your brain when it is time for you to get sleepy and, it is influenced by light. This means that Melatonin will increase when it is darker, and decrease when it is lighter.
There are a lot of different sources of light other than the sun that we are exposed to. Being exposed to bright lights at night can trick your brain into thinking it should be waking up instead of going to sleep. Exposure to LED lights or the light emitted from a TV, computer, or smartphone should be avoided the most during bedtime. A good rule of thumb is to avoid screens within two hours of bedtime if possible.
Fit In Some Exercise
It is probably not a surprise that exercise during the day can help us sleep better at night. Countless studies have highlighted the benefits that exercise has on sleep. Routine exercise combats insomnia and increases the amount of deep sleep you receive each night. Deep sleep is the most restorative type of sleep. The more deep sleep you have, the better you will feel. The benefits of exercise does depend on the amount of effort you put in. Vigorous daily exercise will have more significant benefits. But, even spending as little as 20-30 minutes walking each day will improve the quality of your sleep overall.
Although exercise is beneficial, it is still important to time it correctly. Exercise causes the brain to release a chemical called, Cortisol. This will boost your mood and energy levels. More cortisol in the morning and early afternoon will benefit you throughout the rest of your day. But, boosting your Cortisol levels right before bedtime could make falling asleep more difficult.
Sleep and Nutrition
Daily eating habits can also play a role in how well you sleep. There are some simple adjustments that you can make in your diet to improve sleep. At a glance, these adjustments include:
- Limiting caffeine – although our society seems to run on caffeine, it should come as no surprise that too much of this stimulant can negatively affect sleep.
- Don’t overeat late at night – Try to make your last big meal of the day happen during the early evening hours. But if you do need to eat late, avoid high-fat and heavier foods. This is because digestion can actually keep you up, so it isn’t wise to make your stomach work hard late at night.
- Limit alcohol before bed – There is nothing wrong with an alcoholic beverage at the end of a long day or; to accompany a special dish. That being said, consuming alcohol to close to your bedtime has been shown to disturb your natural sleep cycle.
Try To Relax Your Mind
Out of all of our recommendations, this is by far the most difficult. This is because there is no clear way that works for everyone. Limiting caffeine is easy, simply don’t drink it. But clearing your mind of stress before bed? That poses a much more difficult challenge. We are all familiar with stress and many of us are prone to stressful or racing thoughts at bedtime. But these types of thoughts can easily prevent us from relaxing and falling into a peaceful slumber. Different people do different things to manage stress and anxiety before bed. Exercise will help alleviate stress significantly, but if daily cardio doesn’t quite do the trick, consider trying out a simple yoga or meditation routine before bed. Here are some simple sleep relaxation techniques you can consider implementing into your bedtime routine:
- Practicing deep breathing – Start by closing your eyes and then inhale deep full breaths. Focus on your breathing, allowing each passing breath to become deeper and slower. Before you know it, you will be awake the next morning.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Progressive muscle relaxation involves systematic tensing of your body’s muscles. Start with your toes and work your way all the way up to your head until all of your muscles are tensed. Once each and every muscles is tense, completely relax them. Repeat this cycle a few times until you feel more peaceful.
- Visual Meditation – Many people use visual meditation to calm and focus themselves before bed. Just close your eyes and picture a calming and peaceful place or activity. Pay attention to how this place or activity relaxes you and shortly after, you will feel at ease. There are a number of free guided visual meditations available online, including Youtube.
Improve Your Sleep Surroundings
Where you sleep affects how you sleep. This means your sleeping quarters may be helping or harming you. Making changes to improve how relaxing your sleeping environment is can make a big difference in how easily you begin to relax and eventually fall asleep. Here are some recommendations:
- Take steps to limit sound – Irritable sounds can disturb us. If you sleep in a noisy environment (surrounded by noisy neighbors, traffic, etc.) consider masking these sounds by using a sleep sound machine or even a fan. The constant soothing sounds emitted by these machines will help to soften unwanted sounds.
- Cool rooms pay off – Temperature affects how easily we fall asleep. Cooler temperatures have been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes us to fall asleep. Consider keeping your room around around 65° F or 18° C.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable – This step speaks for itself. Your bed should be the epitome of comfort. Invest in pillows, blankets, sheets, and comforters that you love. Your mattress also makes a huge difference. If you frequently toss and turn or wake up sore, your mattress needs to be replaced.
Invest in A New Luxury Mattress Today
At Tier4 Mattress, we believe that the mattress makes the difference. Sleeping on a top of the line, luxury mattress will help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Choosing a mattress is important decision because we spend a large portion of each day asleep. Tier4 mattresses only offers the highest quality, name brand mattresses for our customers to choose from. If you are interested in investing in a better night’s sleep, visit one of our locations to try out a luxury mattress for yourself. If you are interested in what enticing models we currently have in stock, give us a call or, send us a message online today.