Tired Of Being Tired? 5 Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep!
Spending night-time hours just tossing and turning? Are you tired of being tired? Sometimes it can be tough to get a good night’s rest and actually sleep peacefully through the night.
If you’re concerned you aren’t getting enough sleep, it helps to have a sleep goal. So just how much sleep do we need each night? According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should log about seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
But what are some signs that you are, in fact, really sleep deprived? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) notes that you could experience the following symptoms if sleep deprived:
- Nodding off during the day
- Mood changes (AASM includes irritability, anxiety and general unmotivated behavior)
- Slowed reaction time (this could be extremely dangerous on the road)
- Impaired focus
- More mistakes than usual (think about work tasks and assignments)
Of course, there are many other symptoms that could point to sleep deprivation.
Tired Day, Tired Night: Coping with Temporary Sleeplessness
According to the AASM, too little sleep for too long can also cause physical issues; your blood pressure may rise, and you could be more prone to gaining weight and developing diabetes.
Over time, those missed hours of sleep night after night can make a tremendous impact on your quality of life.
If you are having a difficult time falling asleep at night, what can you do? Coping with a slight case of sleeplessness is frustrating, but worrying about falling asleep often makes it even worse. Especially when you keep looking at the clock (we’ve all been there).
When a slight case of insomnia is ruining your night, here are a few coping strategies:
- Don’t look at the clock (don’t do it… you will stress!)
- Close your eyes and count (sheep, unicorns, dogs… whatever)
- Write down your worries (this is called a worry journal)
- Read a book (reading sometimes calms the mind and tires the eyes)
- And one of our favorites is to practice slow breathing (breathe in and count 3 to 5, hold for 3 to 5, and breathe out for 3 to 5)
But what do you do if that one night of sleeplessness is turning into night after night of no sleep? Sometimes there are reasons why our bodies can’t seem to rest.
When lack of sleep is becoming a frustrating nightmare, here are a few sleep tips to help ease you back into dreamland.
Tired Tips: Put The Gadgets Away and Turn off the T.V.
Those screens can be the primary culprit in sleep robbery. Why? They emit blue light. And blue light is notorious for disrupting our body’s natural circadian rhythms.
The screen is tricking your body into staying awake. Blue light also is emitted by the sun, so those screens are essentially casting daylight in our sleep quarters.
Plus, checking what’s happening on Instagram or Twitter keeps your mind ticking over when it should be relaxing. It’s best to put the electronic devices away an hour before bedtime so you can wind down and get a clear mind before turning in for the night.
Just because you can’t watch television or play on a device doesn’t mean that you have to turn in for the night. Instead, grab a book or a magazine. You can even do a crossword puzzle or something else that relaxes or tires the mind.
Tired Tips: Dim Or Turn Off All The Lights
Do you know what else emits blue light? Fluorescent and LED light bulbs. Probably the same bulbs in the lamps sitting on your nightstand. Or maybe they’re hiding in your ceiling fan or overhead fixture.
Don’t turn them on! They will contribute to you feeling awake and may impair your ability to doze off. Ever woken up and looked directly into the light? Bright, right?
Exposing your eyes to light when you’re trying to fall asleep will trigger your brain instead of soothing you to sleep like the sound of waves softly crashing onto the shore might.
And remember, do not peep at your phone or gadgets in the middle of the night either… while they’re small, the power of their light might not be.
If you need something to light the way to the bathroom, use a small nightlight. The soft light won’t interfere with your sleep, and you won’t go bump in the night!
Tired Tips: Adjust Your Room’s Temperature
The suggested temperature for a perfect night’s sleep is around 60-67 degrees because a lower temperature (but not too low!) allows your body to know that it’s ready to snooze.
If this temperature sounds cold, you’re right. It is. For those who live in hot climates (or those who have hot summers), keeping the thermostat low may even break the bank in electricity costs. To save money, use a fan to lower the temperature in your bedroom so you don’t have to keep running the air conditioning.
Lower room temps are a great goal for cold winters, though. Plus you’ll save money on electricity (or gas) when you drop your thermostat lower.
But how do you keep your body comfortable when it’s that chilly in the bedroom? Add lots of blankets or a comforter to provide a cozy cocoon.
If the temperature guidelines still make you shiver, don’t stress. Your ideal temperature might be different so experiment to find out what works best for you.
You might wonder if you should consider an electric blanket. While some may love the extra heat, too much heat may keep you tossing and turning. Or make you sweat.
Instead, opt for natural warmth. Use down (or down alternative!) comforters, or fleece blankets and sheets. Warmer pajamas also up the natural heat. When you choose to add layers of warmth, you can toss them off when you feel too warm.
A weighted blanket is another option; this type of blanket is almost like a big hug for the body. So why is the blanket good for sleep? Weighted blankets help decrease cortisol levels and boost serotonin (aka the happy hormone).
Tired Tips: Consider New Pillows or Buy a New Mattress
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t seem to stay dreaming for long, it may be time to consider getting a new pillow or mattress. If you can’t remember when you bought your pillow then it’s probably a good sign it’s time for a new one!
According to the National Sleep Foundation pillows should be replaced every couple of years, especially if it has lost its support and comfort. For mattresses it’s recommended to start considering a new one after seven years as the pressure relief and comfort qualities start to become affected. But how do you know if your pillows or your mattress are the sleep snatching criminals?
If the pillow is the problem, you may be experiencing:
- A lack of fluff (obviously, your pillow may be flat as a board)
- Lower elevation (those who sleep on two pillows may feel less elevated)
- Sore muscles, especially in your neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Allergy issues (dust mites!)
When you’re due for a new pillow (or pillows!), shop around to find the best type that fit your sleep needs and your personal comfort level. And take care of your new sleep buddies; yes, you can wash pillows…and you should. Unless, of course, those pillows are foam…then, unfortunately, washing is a no-go so make sure to always use pillow cases.
What about your mattress, though? If the pillows aren’t the issue, then the mattress could be. Here are a few tips on figuring out if you need to go mattress shopping:
- Age: If it’s older than a decade, toss it.
- Condition: Are there big holes? Indentations? Busted springs? Replace the mattress.
- Bugs: Did you have a bed bug infestation in the mattress? Bed bugs leave behind feces, so you will want to discard the mattress.
- Physical discomfort: Are you waking up with sore muscles? If it isn’t the pillow (or anything medical), then those aches and pains may be the mattress.
- Temperature issues: Mattresses made of memory foam may feel hot. And this can cause sleep problems for some.
- Squeaking: Is that mattress singing with every movement? Lots of squeaking or movement may mean it’s time to replace the mattress. Just be sure to rule out bed frame issues, though (sometimes the squeaks may be the actual bed).
The realization that it’s time to replace the mattress might cause some anxiety. Mattresses are a big expense compared to pillows.
When you’re mattress hunting, you need to set a budget. There are six standard sizes for mattresses: Twin, Twin XL, Full (or “Double”), Queen, King and California King. Look at the dimensions of all mattress sizes to see what best fits your body, your room and your finances.
No matter what size you select, there are payment options to help make your purchase more affordable for your budget. When you shop with 2920Sleep, if you cannot afford to pay in full for a mattress, you can apply for payment options through Affirm. Once you’re approved, your purchase can be paid over the course of a year.
So when you discover that–seemingly out of the blue–you need a new mattress, try not to lose sleep over the price tag! Your purchase won’t be a financial nightmare!
Tired Tips: Set A Routine, Stick to It and Relax!
If you’re a parent, you probably have a nighttime routine for kids. Maybe it’s a bath, a book and then bed. But you’re probably consistent with this routine every single night.
Why? Many kids like to know what comes next and routines can be comforting for that reason. But grownups can benefit from routines, too.
Treat your bedtime as a ritual of sorts. Create a routine just for you that you follow each night. Then stick to it.
So what are some great bedtime routines for adults? The perfect nighttime ritual depends on each individual. But mix and match these comforting nighttime habits to form your own sweet dream routine:
- A warm/hot shower or bath
- Embrace aromatherapy (use drops of lavender oil on your pillow to soothe your nerves and calm your senses)
- Read a book
- Meditate or practice slow breathing
- Have prayer time (if you’re religious)
So what should you avoid (besides blue light, of course)? There are some practices that could keep you awake and make you too alert to fall asleep. Bedtime is not the best time for:
- Caffeine (step away from the coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks). Opt for a calming herbal tea, instead…caffeine free!
- Action-packed anything. If that a movie or video game is going to amp you up hours after you play, then avoid them too close to bedtime.
- Heavy workouts. Working out before bed may keep you up. If late workouts make sleeping difficult, choose another fitness schedule.
- Hydrating with lots of H2O. Yes, you need water during the day. But what happens if you drink too much water (or any liquid) at bedtime? You have to go to the bathroom. A LOT.
Whatever routine habits work for you, remember to be consistent. Stick to your routine so that your body can adjust; eventually, your body will anticipate the routine as a preparation for rest and relaxation. And sleep will come a bit easier.
We all have stressful days that lead to nights of open eyes and no sleep. If you’re tired of being tired, figure out what’s causing the missed sleep. Stress, bad habits, and even our environment can all impact our nightly dose of sleep. But sleep deprivation can cause many problems — both physical and mental.
When that one sleepless night turns into two, then three, then a week of sleeplessness, take control of your nightmare of unrest. Change your habits, your environment or maybe even your pillows and mattress to create the perfect dreamscape for your body and mind.
Turn those sleepless nightmares into the sweetest dreams of deep sleep. And wake up to a beautiful morning!
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