A comfortable mattress is the foundation to getting a good night’s sleep.
A lot of mattress stores will tell you they guarantee that you’ll get great sleep with their mattresses. I’m here to tell you that I can’t control how good your sleep is, but I can get you a great head start.
In order to a great night’s sleep, there are a lot of factors that you should be aware of.
The most important thing you can do to get better sleep is to stick to a schedule. Your body likes to stick to a cycle of being asleep and being awake. Being consistent every night helps your body get into a rhythm and will help you fall asleep more easily.
This rule counts on the weekends, too. It may be tempting to stay up late and sleep in on the weekends, but it’s ruining your body’s cycle which will affect your sleep quality during the week.
2. Limit Naps
Naps always sound like a good idea until you accidentally sleep until 9pm and can’t fall back to sleep for the rest of the night. If you are really tired, a 30 minute nap in the early afternoon is really the max amount you should sleep during the day.
If you need to nap to get a full 8 hours of sleep, a nap can help get you there. Just make sure it’s only 15-30 minutes. If you sleep longer, you run the risk of waking up while your body is in REM (deep) sleep. You will feel extremely tired if you wake from this cycle and you will be tempted to sleep even longer, which will impact the sleep you get at night.
3. Physical Activity
Regular exercise will lead to deeper sleep. Even just 20-30 minutes each day will help, and it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Take a walk, ride your bike, do some gardening or housework, play with your kids – all of this can help you get better sleep.
An obvious thing to avoid to get good sleep is caffeine, but there are other things you can eliminate as well. Heavy, fatty foods take a long time to digest and can keep you awake. Spicy or acidic foods can cause problems, too.
Alcohol is commonly thought to help you sleep, but actually, it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. So, try to avoid that before bed.
Drinking a lot of fluids in general can cause you to have to wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night too. Stay hydrated, but don’t overdo it.
5. Pre-Sleep Ritual
A bedtime ritual is a great way to get your mind and body to know that it’s time to relax. These should be simple and calming habits that you do each night before bed. Dimming the lights while doing these things can help.
Some examples include:
Take a bath
Listen to calming music
Read a book
Do some easy stretches
Do simple prep for the next day
6. Get comfortable
Like I mentioned at the beginning, being comfortable is really the foundation to getting a great night’s sleep. Finding the perfect mattress will greatly improve your sleep. Beyond that, some comfy pillows and soft sheets will help you relax.
Make sure you have enough room on your bed to move around if you toss and turn at night. If you feel restricted in bed, you are more likely to wake up.
Find a bed that makes you feel good,