Did you think you had read ALL of the tips and sleep advice out there? Well, we thought we’d covered most of it.
Sleep is a complicated and often personal thing. Your habits might not match those of others and what works for some might be a complete no-no for you. There is no need for all the gadgets and you don’t need to buy into every new fad when looking to improve your sleep. Sometimes the answer could be as simple as exchanging one habit for another.
For a lot of us, our biggest sleep related problems come from the things we do right before we hit the hay. A simple change in the way that you approach sleep, what you do in those few hours before bed, could have you sleeping better than you ever had before!
At The Mattress Warehouse, we are mascots of great sleep, which is why we sell nothing but the finest, most comfortable and affordable mattresses. But we know that sleep is about more than a superb bed. So in the interest of helping you sleep better, we’re looking at nightly habits that could damper or improve your sleep!
Reading or watching a screen
This can be a tough one. If you don’t enjoy reading, it will be difficult to make this adjustment. But let’s break down these two options:
It is true that reading a couple of pages, or a couple of chapters if you happen to be a book addict, is a part of many peoples nightly routines. And studies have been done into the effects on reading before bed. These studies have concluded reading can reduce stress as much as other stress relieving activities such as going for a long, peaceful walk.
When reading is a part of your nightly ritual, it can become the trigger that tells your body that you will soon be asleep. This, in turn, helps your body and mind to slow down and drift off to sleep. But what is important to note is that reading is only peaceful so long as the material you are reading is calming. Exciting books or violent stories can have the opposite effect. Exciting books can also make you want to continue reading and before you know it, half the night has passed.
TV and sleep are not compatible at all. The television is not only a drain on your mind because it can be very entertaining, but the blue light that is emitted from the TV can also hamper your sleep. The entertainment factor can keep your mind active for hours, preventing you from resting while the blue light is known for diminishing the production of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.
Melatonin is the hormone that works to regulate your sleep and wake cycle. When the melatonin is reduced it is not only more difficult to fall asleep but it can also lessen the quality of the sleep you do eventually get.
So in the battle between reading and TV before bed, reading is the winner.
Exercise vs. meditation
The question for many would be, why not both? But let’s compare the two.
A brisk walk or gentle workout can relax you. However, the experts are out on the verdict about the effects of vigorous exercise just before bed. When you have a hard workout, the body temperature rises, which can make falling asleep very difficult. Then there are those who claim that a hard workout before bed leaves them feeling exhausted enough to fall asleep.
In general, there are benefits to regularly exercising but what you need to take into consideration is the times that you exercise. If you want to experience the benefits of a pre-bed workout, then be sure that you cool off well before you get under the covers.
Although you are probably familiar with meditation, and if you have been following our blog, you already know that there are so many great benefits related to meditation, you might not be doing it. Very few people even attempt to meditate because it can be difficult to calm and clear the mind. However, once you have been able to get into the right frame of mind, you will find that you can quickly rid your mind of stress and anxiety, making sleep easier while you also improve the quality.
The winner in this showdown is meditation.
The midnight snack or a nightcap
This one will have many people divided because both are often a part of the nightly ritual, but which should you adopt and which should you be ditching?
Eating right before bed is considered by many to be the wrong approach to dinner. It can leave you feeling bloated and it can give you heartburn. Basically, eating at the wrong time can make you feel too uncomfortable to rest properly. Avoiding food closer to the time you are going to get to bed, can help alleviate the unpleasant side effects of eating late.
Some swear by having a nightcap of their favourite drink before bed. They say it relaxes them and calms their senses. But alcohol is a diuretic and might end up waking you in the night with an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Alcohol can also leave you feeling dehydrated and it can make you snore.
In the case of the snack or the nightcap, we’re going to say that the snack is the better option to go with.
At The Mattress Warehouse, we have everything you need to improve your sleep. With great mattresses for sale, along with all of the bedroom accessories you could possibly need to help you get a great night’s sleep, our team of consultants are waiting to help you find the right bed.
But in order to get the best possible sleep, you need to have the right routine. We hope this blog helps you adopt or abandon the habits that could be lowering the quality of your sleep.