Few gifts have the power to improve your quality of life on a daily basis. Most of them — a new car, a new house, a new job – are expensive or difficult to obtain. It’s rare that we get a chance to appreciate our sleep, let alone consider it a gift. But if you take a moment to recognize all the positive benefits of quality rest, it’s easy to see why prioritizing sleep will amount to a favor for your future self. This holiday season, skip a few fleeting indulgences and give yourself a gift that keeps on giving. Here’s how you can improve your sleep and make it stick.
Set Better Boundaries
The only person who can give you better sleep is you. Unless you live alone, however, you’re going to need your family members or roommates to pitch in. To make better sleep sustainable, you’ll need to set clear expectations and be consistent in making sure they’re respected. Tell the people who share your space about your commitment to better sleep. Get them in on the game. When they slip up by running the blender at midnight or failing to turn off the alarm in the morning, be sure to (calmly) call them on it. Perhaps the conversation will lead to better boundaries all around.
Commit to a Routine
The first rule of sleep hygiene is to establish a consistent sleep schedule. Circadian rhythms are real, and by going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day, we get ourselves in sync with them. Following a routine could be the hardest part of giving yourself the gift of great sleep. Like any lifestyle change, it’s difficult and takes commitment. Maybe the wisest thing about that “early to bed, early to rise” saying is that it recommends consistency.
Get a New Mattress
This one isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, you know who you are. If your bed is ready to bite the dust, do yourself another favor and shop smart. Doing your research is just as important as making the purchase. Do the unthinkable and spend time in a mattress store laying down in public. It’s far less embarrassing than you might think. Research your options and pay attention to your body’s needs. Only then will you be able to get the best mattress for you at the best price. We suggest making A Goodnight Sleepstore your first stop, and no matter where in the continental United States you live, we hope our Lowest Price Mattress Guarantee will make it your last.
Pay off your Debt
Sleep debt that is. While your financial liabilities might keep you up at night, failing to meet your sleep needs can adversely affect every aspect of your life. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s time you got up to speed. Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you need and how much you’re getting. The more that deficiency builds up, the less able you are to heal, function, and assess your own sleep needs. Sleep loss is a vicious cycle that can cause fatigue and distraction in the short term and memory loss, weight gain, or heart disease over the long run. Fortunately, with a little effort, you can chip away at your sleep debt and improve your quality of life.
Get a Sleep Study
Housemates or worn-out mattresses can cause some sleep problems. Others require the input of a physician before you can achieve restful sleep. If you’re spending sufficient time in bed and still waking up fatigued, there could be more going on than meets the eye. Chronic pain, trouble falling or staying asleep, and nagging fatigue can all be signs of an underlying condition. Talk to your primary care physician about your sleep or tiredness issues, and ask about the possibility of a sleep study. Your conversation with a doctor can shed light on the problem and lead to more efficient, healthier solutions. As lovely as sleep can be, there’s no more fabulous gift you can give yourself than good health.