A Sleep Hygiene PSA
Sleep hygiene has become a hot topic in recent years, due not in small part to an American obsession with productivity and research revealing widespread sleep deprivation. As advocates of quality sleep, we feel it’s our duty to share information that will help our customers and members of our communities to achieve better sleep. At the very least, we hope that our posts help you understand the importance of sleep to a healthy lifestyle and the devastating symptoms caused by sleep deprivation.
Sleeplessness, Only Worse
For Americans with insomnia, sleep deprivation is a double-edged sword. It’s hard enough to get adequate sleep when your circadian rhythms are on point. But imagine never being able to achieve sleep when you do have the time to fit it in! If you suffer from chronic sleeplessness, sleep hygiene has the potential to be one of the most beneficial behavioral changes you can make. By engineering the circumstances of your life to be as sleep-friendly as possible, you can naturally combat the forces that keep you awake.
Sleep Hygiene Essentials for Insomniacs
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. That doesn’t just mean devoting 8 hours to sleep every night. It means lying down and waking up at the same time every day – even on weekends. While establishing your schedule, it helps to start with your wake-up time and adjust your bedtime based on how sleepy you feel.
Spend your nights in the dark. Get as much sun as possible during the day, as early in the day as possible. Once the sun goes down, limit your exposure to light. If you get out of bed in the middle of the night, keep the lights way down.
Naps are a no-no. If you’re not sleeping at night, daytime naps can further disrupt your sleep schedule. Lay down, close your eyes, and relax if you need a break. Keep it short and avoid falling into a deep sleep.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. Prescriptions from your Doctor are fine, but lots of people try to ease into sleep with over-the-counter sleep aids or alcohol. Those sleep aids are a crutch that won’t address your underlying insomnia problem. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it makes the overall quality of your sleep even worse. It prevents you from accessing all the stages of a healthy sleep cycle.
Keep quiet. If you can’t sleep, go into another room, keep the lights down, and do something relaxing. Avoid backlit screens and stimulating activities that will make you less likely to fall asleep.
Kick the caffeine. Everyone’s bodies handle stimulants differently. To ensure your coffee or soda can’t keep you up at night, limit your intake or eliminate caffeine entirely. Enjoy your jolt as early in the day as possible and institute a fixed cutoff time. Cutting out caffeine is hard, but so is living with insomnia.
Slow down. It’s not uncommon for teens and adults to run full-bore all day, then crash at bedtime. Our bodies don’t work very well on an all-or-nothing schedule. By scheduling time for rest and relaxation relative to the remainder of your day, you’ll give your body time to transition into sleep mode.
Lay a strong foundation. Insomnia is a problem with your body that’s affected by many external factors. Your sleep space is one of those factors. If you’re chronically unable to sleep – especially if you have good sleep hygiene – your bed is an obvious variable. Pay attention to how you feel while lying in bed, both before you fall asleep and when you wake up. If you experience pain, or if you feel better when sleeping away from home, your bed could be to blame.
A Goodnight Sleep for Everyone!
Your mattress can have an immense impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. When it’s time to improve your sleep surface, get in touch with A Goodnight Sleepstore. We deliver the guaranteed lowest prices on everything from organic mattresses to Serta’s iComfort line with free shipping to every state in the continental United States. Our sleep experts are always on hand – in store and online – to help you solve your sleep problems and get the best rest of your life.