December 28, 2009
Sleep Resolutions for the New Year!
New Year, Better Sleep
Your A – Zzzz Guide
At the end of every 365, many of us look back and make a pledge to do something in the New Year to better our lives. Finally start using that treadmill (instead of just hanging clothes on it), break the fast food habit, kick a cigarette habit once and for all – the possibilities are endless.
Those are all certainly worthy goals. But have you considered taking steps to improve your sleep, too? This year, make a pledge to reclaim the restorative sleep you know you lost somewhere along the way. The below A-Zzzz Guide is full of great tips to help you get started.
Getting regular, quality nights’ rest can help improve your performance at work, your health, your mood – and heck, it’s a lot easier than fighting off the allure of some French fries.
From all of us at Findmymattress.com, thank you for your interest in our products and your patronage. We wish you and yours all the best in the New Year!
Always put sleep first. If you’re regularly getting less than 7 or 8 hours a sleep a night, see what you can do to adjust your schedule or habits.
Before hitting the sack, avoid caffeine and extensive physical activity. Both can keep you “wired” when you’d rather be off in Dreamland. (Give yourself about a 4 hour gap time.)
Comfortable bedding cannot be underestimated. Surround yourself with snuggly linens, and sleep on a mattress that you’re 100% satisfied with. Anything less and you may toss and turn, or even wake up in pain.
Dark rooms are best. Even minor amounts of light, like the glow from a VCR’s display, can keep you awake or prevent you from slipping into deep sleep. Block all sources of glow – close the TV cabinet, shut the blinds, etc.
Every night, go to bed at the same time. Regular bedtimes can help you drift off to sleep easier when you’re ready to hit the sack. (Yes, that means weekends, too.)
Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed can dramatically affect the quality of your sleep – either disturbing it, or preventing it all together. Speak to a professional about how you’re feeling to get the help you need to feel better.
Find a Psychologist Near You
Get out of bed if you’re tossing and turning. If you stay tucked in, you may begin to equate “bed” with “stress” in your mind, which doesn’t bode well for future nights. Instead, sit in the living room for a bit until you feel the Sandman setting in.
Help a snoring partner train himself to sleep in a new position. For some people, simply switching from sleeping on one’s back to his side will do the trick. Prop up a pillow “no roll” barricade…or just give him a good hard nudge. (Better sleep for him, and for you!)
Insomnia – trouble falling and/or staying asleep – is treatable. Don’t brush off these troubles as a “that’s the way it is” circumstance. Mention them to your physician.
Jay Leno may be a must-see in your house, but try not to fall asleep with the TV on. The light and sound can make getting a solid night’s sleep difficult.
Keep a list of all medications – Rx or over-the-counter – that you take, and bring it to your doctor. One may be at the root of your poor sleep, and you may not even know it.
Lose weight, if you need to. Obesity is a major cause of disrupted sleep, and it increases your risk of sleep apnea – a dangerous condition that can cause you to actually stop breathing several times a night.
Meditate! No, it doesn’t have to be in that knees-crossed on a straw mat in the woods sort of way. Just 5 or so minutes of meditative relaxation at home a day may help your sleep woes. Learn How
Nap if you need to, but keep it to 15-20 minutes. More than that and you’ll be left sleepier than before – and your nighttime sleep may be thrown off to boot.
Opt for a warm bath just before slipping into your PJs. The warm water, nevermind the solitude, can help relax you.
Prop your head up in bed if you regularly experience acid-reflux/heartburn that wakes you. The adjustment in your positioning can help keep burning, wake-you-up acid from bubbling up high in your esophagus.
Quietly turn down the heat toward the end of the night. Though some family members may balk if they catch you, keeping rooms cool can aid with slumber.
Rise and shine at the same time, 7 days a week.
Sleep-promoting supplements sound like a quick fix, but be sure that you speak to your doctor before using them. They may interfere with other medications you’re on, leading to side effects that may affect your sleep further.
Travel smart. Bring your pillow with you if you often find that your rest in hotels, or on Aunt Millie’s cot in the rec room, is less than great. Body positioning and weight can make one pillow comfortable for one person, and torture for another.
Use your bed for sleeping and sex only.
Very quiet rooms are sanctuaries for sleep. Institute an “inside voices” time in your home, if folks stay up late, or consider a white noise machine or earplugs to help you block sound. (Some people find that turning on a fan helps drown things out, too.)
Winston the Weiner Dog may be cute and cuddly, but you’ve got to boot him back to his bed when he comes looking to nestle with you. Pets – large or small – can upset your sleep as they move through the night (or takeover your side of the bed).
X out your habit of drinking water right before you turn your sheets down. There’s a good chance you’ll wake up having to urinate at night.
You may want to check the time when you wake up throughout the night, but don’t. Realizing you’re up at 3 a.m. – again – can raise your anxiety and make it more difficult to zonk out again.
Zzzzzz. Zzzzzz.Zzzzzz. Oh, sorry. We took our own advice and nodded off there for a second!
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