Update: Although National Sleep Comfort month is not until November, we are revisiting this post now, because we know that millions of Americans are under a lot of stress, concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus Disease.
There is a circular relationship between stress and sleep. If you are worrying a lot (and who isn’t these days?), you will not sleep as well. Then, as you get sleep your body will have a physical stress reaction and your mood will also be affected. As a result, your ability to effectively deal with the stressors in your life will be impacted.
And round, and round it goes. Lack of sleep and high stress levels also impact your immune system, making you more susceptible to germs and viruses.
Following these tips won’t change what’s going on in the world, but they will help you cope with them better.
Pay special attention to the first tip and avoid “news and media” overload, especially right before bedtime. We also recommend taking a look at our post about how to make the most of your time spent home social distancing.
For most of us, November brings in the beginning of the holiday season, but it’s also set aside as National Sleep Comfort Month – perhaps to coincide with the end of Daylight’s Saving Time where we actually get an extra hour of sleep? Believe it or not, there is actually research that shows that this time change can have negative effects for some people, so we think some tips for a good night sleep are just what the Sandman (and doctors) ordered.
We’ve all had that feeling when you just can’t wait to crash into your bed at the end of the day, and you can barely keep your eyes open on your way to bed. But then you finally collapse into your bed and…your body’s not having any of it; tossing and turning unable to drift off into the deep sleep your body is craving. Maybe once in a while you try the old technique of counting sheep or drinking a hot chocolate or that weird unexplained urge to sleep the wrong way up on your bed (that’s not just me, right?).
There are better ways of soothing your mind and ensuring you will get a full night’s rest; here’s three ways to make sure you wake up refreshed every morning.
Ahhh… the restful slumber of a sleeping babe!
Use Your Technology Wisely!
Our world is full of technology and on the whole it makes our lives easy, quick and we can learn and connect with the world all the time. Let’s face it; most of us couldn’t imagine a world without it now!
But as some of you might be aware, the blue light our screens admit to our eyes can actually knock our body clock off sync. Our brain perceives it as daylight and so if we’re looking at our devices in the evening our brain doesn’t start winding down for bed like it should do.
However, technology is on our side! Most tablets and phones can now put a slightly red filter over the screen to counteract the blue light, which helps the brain to start its natural process of preparing for sleep. If you have an iPhone 6 or newer, the night shift mode built into the phone will switch on the red filter. For earlier iPhone models or for any Android phones such as Samsung, LG or Motorola, you can simply download an app such as Koala Browser or Twilight, to get the right color balance on your screen in the evening.
Just a head’s up though, once you have the red filter on, don’t text in bed with your phone above your head… you might drop your phone on your face as you doze off. We’ve all been there!
Make Your Bedroom Your Sanctuary
Aren’t beds the best? I’m pretty sure everyone thinks their own bed is one of the greatest places on earth and so we should do! I could happily spend hours in my bed; lazy Sundays, evenings reading an old favorite one more time or listening to a new album that’s just been released. I want to get into bed right now just thinking about it!
When you’re wrapped up in your freshly-cleaned bedding with your pillows surrounding you, it’s hard to imagine how that lush, cushioned space could be anything other than bliss. Except that when you wake up with a sore back or a crick in your neck it’s a whole other story. And buying a new mattress can be pretty costly, but there are great alternatives to cushion the blow.
The right pillow or mattress topper can drastically improve where your bed is currently lacking- and nothing in your bedroom should be lacking! A mattress topper can add another layer to either make your bed feel firmer or softer, depending on what you need and will find most comfortable.
But whatever you do, pleeeeeease don’t underestimate a good pillow!
They come in all shapes and sizes to give you padding right where it’s needed most. From specific neck pillows, to memory foam pillows to whole body cushions you can wrap yourself around, there is something for everyone, and you won’t have to dig too deep in your pocket to find one of good quality.
Wakey, Wakey. Rise and Shine!
I think that sing-song phrase can be an annoying sound to wake up to (sorry mom, I know you mean well)! Especially when you’ve barely slept and all you want to do it shove your head under the pillow for another hour. But don’t just swap that classic tune out for some screeching alarm clock that wrenches you back into consciousness with an unwelcome jerk- and only just in time for breakfast and a shower.
There’s nothing that I love more in the morning than singing…and dancing… in the shower to get me energized for the world outside of my front door. However, to get to that point it takes on average 6 pre-set alarms and 4 snoozes to open my eyes and engage my brain to move my limbs. If you’re the same as me, or just want something a bit different, why not try a music alarm clock that can play a morning motivation playlist or tune into the local radio station for a mixture of great songs and the news to get you up to date with the world. Knowing that you have finally found an effective alarm clock means that you spend more of those few precious hours at night in a deep slumber, rather than a lighter, more disrupted sleep with your mind slightly on-edge whilst you try to rest.
Well there you go, three great ways to improve your sleep that you can put into action in no time!
We could learn a lot from our furry feline friends about the importance of sleep.
Keep in mind that it is important to get 8 hours sleep a night; ideally at the same time every night. We all know this is a pretty difficult thing to stick to but making a conscious effort to start winding down half an hour or an hour before you need to be asleep will help you to feel way more refreshed by sunrise.
And if you’re lost trying to decide which mattress topper, pillow or alarm clock to get, check out Top Products for more advice … happy sleeping everyone!
Eloise Bonney, TopProducts Staff Writer