Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Avoid a Sleepless Night

I love sleep. Who doesn't? But it's difficult to sleep well when your body is on a crappy mattress and your head and neck are on an even crappier pillow. To me, it's worth it to spend a little bit more for comfortable bedding, including mattress, pillow, and sheets because I spend roughly one-third of my life in bed! I need good sleep to be able to keep up with my busy lifestyle of homeschooling five kids and running several businesses, which include proofreading and writing, which really require my very best brain power and focus.

Something important you need to do that you might not be thinking about is ensure your mattress and pillows suit your sleeping style. Your sleeping style? That’s right! Think about these other factors, as well, when searching for a good night’s sleep:

  • Do you toss and turn or do you rest peacefully in one spot most of the night?
  • Do you prefer a hard or soft mattress?
  • Do you prefer one or two pillows? Flat or puffy? Feather or foam? When my kids were younger they didn’t want pillows at all. As they get older they always want one, and when they start to hit the tween years they insist on two pillows! My husband and I each use two pillows, and one of mine is a Tempur-Pedic that should probably have been replaced a long time ago!
  • Do you sleep alone or with your spouse? A Sleep Number bed might just be the answer if you and your spouse have differing opinions and tastes in mattresses.
  • Do you snore? Get a pillow that fits your neck well so that it’s more comfortable for you to sleep on your side, where you are less likely to sound like a freight train all night long!
  • Do you need a noise machine or fan to help you fall asleep?
  • When was the last time you changed your mattress?
  • What kind of sheets do you prefer? Super soft or anything goes? Maybe even flannel sheets in the wintertime might make you feel cozier and help you sleep better.

Better sleep tips:
·        Limit caffeine at bedtime, unless you are like me and are hardly affected by caffeine at all!
·        Stop smoking! Nicotine is a stimulant.
·        Avoid alcohol 2-3 hours before going to bed. Seems like a glass of wine would knock you out, right? But for most people it has the opposite effect, giving them the unwanted gift of restless sleep.
·        Know yourself. For some, exercising before bed helps them rest well, as it tires them out. For others, it gets them fired up.
·        If you just can’t destress but don’t want to become dependent on sleeping pills, consider taking the natural supplement of melatonin. You won’t wake up feeling groggy or hung over.
·        Make sure you go to the bathroom before going to sleep and also keep water near your bed so you don’t have to get all the way up out of bed if you get thirsty. You definitely want to be able to fall right back to sleep if you wake for any reason.

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