Nothing beats a great night’s sleep. But if you are like half of all Americans who struggle with getting enough sleep, you know that it isn’t always easy. Unwinding into a great night’s sleep can be a process. Here, we offer these tips to help you create the sleep sanctuary you need to get those precious zzzzzz’s:
- Adjust the temperature.
Though everyone is different, according to experts, you should keep your bedroom at about 65 degrees for optimal sleep. A too-hot room interferes with the body’s natural dip in necessary body temperature for sleep. In the summer, lowering the air conditioning and using specifically designed cooling pillows can help. In the winter, keeping your house cooler and bundling up with blankets instead of blasting the furnace is better for your utilities bill, and your sleep.
- Pick the right mattress.
Choosing the wrong mattress can be a real problem for sleep. Too firm or too soft often results in a lack of support and back and/or neck pain. The best way to figure out if a mattress is right for you is to test it out! Go to a local mattress retailer and try out mattresses of different firmness levels and different materials, and take your time testing them out—the quality sleep you’ll get later will make your patience pay off.
- Try essential oils.
Using scents you enjoy is lovely and can also help you sleep better. The National Institutes of Health research shows that using lavender oil decreases blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature in people who are asleep. Participants in the study also reported feeling more active, fresh and relaxed as a result of using essential oils to relax before sleep. Spray a linen spray with a blend of lavender and a hint of mint, sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue and place it under your pillow, or use an aromatherapy diffuser.
- Keep the screens away.
Our constant access to technology means that people are spending more time looking at screens in bed than ever. That’s not good for sleep, because light from our electronic devices suppresses melatonin, which we need to sleep. Move TVs out of the bedroom and stop using phones, tablets and laptops an hour before bed for better sleep.
- Use the right light.
Light and dark cue our body’s activities, creating the circadian rhythms that lead to better sleep. Keep your bedroom dark when you go to sleep and make it gradually lighter as it gets closer to waking time to take advantage of the body’s natural rhythm. This can be as simple as leaving your blinds or curtains open, but many areas have streetlights and other factors that lead to light pollution. In those cases, close the blinds or curtains and equip your bedroom with a wake-up light that corresponds to a natural sleep cycle.
- Try white noise.
Noise pollution, whether from outside or inside—the sounds of passing cars, train horns, the early morning garbage truck, slamming doors, or other common household sounds—can disturb you from sound sleep. Ambient white noise reduces the difference between background sounds and those more jarring sounds, making it easier to sleep serenely. Common household items like fans and air purifiers generate white noise, but if you need something more, there are plenty of white noise machines you can try.
- Enjoy your freshly made bed.
Making your bed can make you happier and more productive, preparing you for other chores throughout the day, neatening your bedroom, and giving you the nighttime ritual of turning down the bed before sleep. Giving the tidy sheets a spritz of your linen spray before turning in can give you a sense of an orderly bedroom, which can help quiet the mind before a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Get Adjusted
Getting regular chiropractic adjustments helps the nervous system to be more in balance, allowing the body to sleep more deeply and easily. If you are struggling with insomnia or other sleep troubles, give us a call at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Scarborough, Maine to schedule your spinal check-up to see if underlying health issues could be the culprit: (207) 883-5549.