What to Do to Get a Better Nights Sleep
Why Do We Sleep
We have to sleep in order to maintain normal cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. It also plays a significant role in brain development.
It really depends on you. Whether or not you suffer with any sort of back condition, whether you prefer a firm mattress or a soft one. Generally a firm mattresses is better for customers with back discomfort.
Memory Foam mattresses contour the entire body without any gaps unlike innerspring mattresses. Most often, medium-firm mattresses let the spine rest in a natural position. I struggle to get on with an ordinary firm mattress simply because it isn't cosy! A memory foam mattress however, is perfect. It's firm but you also sink into it without plunging into an un-supportive centre.
I know there are many factors involved in getting a good night’s rest. Consider these things; Are you switching off all technology at least an hour before going to bed? What are you reading? Is it something relaxing and easy to read, or it is a tense thriller that sends your mind buzzing, setting off all of those endorphins? Are you drinking caffeine based drinks before retiring to bed?
We should look to attain around eight hours uninterrupted sleep ever night. As we get older we need those eight hours even more, but typically we struggle to actually get it.
If an average person sleeps for eight hours a day, then they will sleep for 25 years of a 75 year life! Wow that's shocking isn't it? That sort of makes it apparent that we really do need to look after our bodies as we sleep. We need to let them rest and recuperate.
Help, I Can’t Sleep!
Try not to worry too much if you can’t get off to sleep but if it becomes an ongoing problem and you’ve tried all of the usual things then it’s probably time to visit the Doctor for some advice. You might like to try some natural sleeping tablets such as Nytol. These don't work for me but my brother swears by them.
I regularly use binaural beats as a form of relaxation. There are all kinds of variations available. Just pop over to youtube and take a listen for free.
Exercise is key. Try to raise your heart rate every day if you can. Even ten minutes or so vigorous movement will help.
If you are a fan of walking then that's great. You may not have the time for that though. I tend to do ten minute bursts. I mix star jumps with jogging on the sport and some weights. As long as you start to sweat a little then that's all that's needed. Not only does this encourage good sleep, it's also good for your health.
Avoid Napping In The Day Time
I used to work from home five days a week and I got into the very bad habit of taking a little nap around 2pm. I say bad habit because it definitely contributed to my lack of a good night's sleep.
It was also pretty unhealthy as I was in my thirties at the time.
This was quite a discovery for me. I'd never heard of it before. It's amazingly cool to sleep on. I have a duvet cover, sheets and pillow cases. It's super hypo-allergenic too. If you suffer from skin allergies or asthma then it really does help. It's breathable and it doesn't let the bugs in!
Make Your Bed Your Friend
What I really mean here, is make bed-time something to look forward to. Don't go upstairs assuming you're going to get a bad night's sleep.
Spray some lavender onto your pillow half an hour before you retire to bed. Take a relaxing read to bed with you, not a horror or a thriller.
Sink back into your pillows and visualise yourself lying there sleeping. Visualisation is a great way to tell your subconscious that you are already asleep. The subconscious mind believes whatever it's told, so tell it your are asleep already!
If you don't believe in all that woowoo stuff then take a cup of camomile tea to bed. Make sure your bedside lamp is not too bright. Prop yourself up with your pillows behind your lower back and clear your mind as best you can.
When chatter pops in (as it inevitably will) don't fight it, get angry because you can't stop ridiculous thoughts from bombarding your brain. Let them be there and try not to engage with them.
The less you fight with yourself, the more likely it is you will get a good night's sleep.