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Getting a good night’s sleep is skill that takes practice, repetition and commitment. Too often we take sleep for granted and only put effort into sleeping well after we feel sleep deprived.
Luckily, there are some proven methods to improving your sleep that will help you get healthy today and lengthen and enrich your life as whole.
Stick to a schedule
Having a sleep schedule means going to bed at the same time every night and, just as importantly, waking up at the same time. Your body works best when it is following a pattern, and if you are going to bed or waking up at different times day to day, your body will be working against you.
Develop a bedtime ritual
When you follow the same patterns before going to bed, you communicate to your body that it's time to start shutting down. For some people this means taking a hot shower, simply washing their face or changing into comfortable sleepwear. Whatever you do for your ritual make sure you do it in the same order every night.
Carefully evaluate your bedroom conditions
The three factors you want to pay attention to are lighting, temperature and noise in the bedroom. While you should create the sleeping environment that is best for you, sleeping in complete darkness (or close to it) is strongly encouraged. Anything that beeps, buzzes or uses always-on indicator lights should be stored outside your bedroom.
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Know what to avoid before bed
In the hours leading to bedtime, your sleep will be deeper and healthier if you avoid heavy meals, caffeine, strong alcohol and cigarettes. A heavy or spicy meal will make it particularly difficult to sleep soundly, but nothing will make it more difficult than a high dose of caffeine in the late evening.
Sleep on a good bed
There is an old saying that you should invest in what goes between you and the ground: shoes, tires and mattresses. We use our mattresses daily, so be sure to use a mattress built to perform better and last longer than your typical mattress. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to improve your sleep.
Use your bed for sleep, not entertainment
When you watch TV, browse the web or eat in bed, you are sending mixed signals to your brain. To help your body and your brain associate your bed with sleep only, retire to your bed when you are ready to sleep.
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Focus on relaxing
When you make sleep the focus of bedtime, you invite stress when sleep doesn’t come. Instead of checking the clock every five minutes and worrying you aren’t getting enough sleep, focus on relaxing as best you can.
Take time to meditate, listen to white noise, stretch your body or do whatever works best to get you relaxed. You’ll be surprised how quickly this leads to falling asleep.
Regulate sunlight and screen time
To the best of your ability, spend your daytime hours in natural light and limit unnecessary screen time in the evening. Doing this will boost your body’s natural production of melatonin, which is proven to help fight sleep disorders and keep you healthy.
Learn your sleep preferences
Sleep preferences include information like the ideal amount of time you should sleep each night and the kind of mattress that works best for you. Find out if you need a softer bed to help with pain relief or a more firm mattress to aid your posture.
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Practice healthy lifestyle habits
A good night’s rest is just one important part of a healthy life, which should also include regular exercise and a balance diet. Once all these healthy habits start working together you’ll experience the deepest, most satisfying sleep of your life.
When all is said and done, sleep deprivation cheats us all of health benefits. Doing your best to create healthy sleeping habits will help you live a longer and fuller life.
For more information on how you can get better sleep, call Intellibed at 888.435.2339.