If you’ve been spending your nights staring up at the ceiling and getting more and more deflated about how exhausted you’ll feel tomorrow — and how much you’ll struggle to be on top of your game at work and home — then you’re in the majority. Up to 60% of Americans report having insufficient sleep every night or every other night. Joining the club might not make you feel much better, but at least we’re all in this together. Learn the best 10 tips for better sleep to help you fall asleep quicker, enjoy more restful sleep, and wake up feeling ready to take on the day!
Your sleep environment:
Your bedroom is your sleep sanctuary and should be treated as such. Many people’s insomnia troubles begin with allowing their bedroom to serve as an improvised den, office, or dining space.
Designate your bedroom as a place for sleep and snuggles only — there are far better places in your home to eat, work, and hang out, and your sleep hygiene will be better off for it.
And while you’re rethinking how you’ve been misusing your boudoir, keep these other tips in mind:
1. We’ve already told you to keep the leftover pizza and the overdue reports out of your bedroom, but now it’s time to banish your much-loved electronics too. Recent research at Harvard Medical School found that the blue-wavelength light emitted by smartphones and other screens suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that is important for healthy sleep.
2. Make sure a hot, stuffy bedroom doesn’t contribute to your sleeplessness. Your body temperature needs to drop a little for you to fall into deep, restful sleep, so you need to make sure your bedroom cooperates — adjust your thermostat to somewhere between 60-68°F.
3. And if you’re serious about temperature, choose a covering for your bed that will help you keep cool when it’s hot and stay warm when it’s cold — bedding products made from bamboo fibers which are much more breathable than cotton and regulate temperature very efficiently.
Your sleep preparation:
We don’t want you to feel like your sleep routine needs to be as elaborate as an endurance athlete preparing for his next ultra-marathon, but you could still do with a little optimization.
And you don’t need to make extreme changes to your preparation for sleep to enjoy some very tangible benefits — starting tonight. So treat your sleep as a serious element in your overall wellbeing and consider adopting these habits:
4. Even if you don’t usually take a shower at night, try a quick soak before bedtime. Although heat usually triggers alertness in the brain, studies show that showering 90 minutes before bed can provide a soothing effect that aids sleep.
5. If your mind is racing with a dozen troubles before bed, you may find it difficult to find the calm mental space that you need for good sleep. Many insomniacs find that 10 minutes of journaling shortly before bed can help to eliminate recurrent worry.
6. And if you’re like the tens of millions of people around the world whose sleep is disturbed by noise pollution, start using a white noise machine (or download an app for your phone) that will subdue the disturbance.
Your bed tips for better sleep:
Think of your bed as your base of operations as far as dealing with your insomnia goes. There are many things you can do to make your bed the haven of rejuvenating slumber that you want it to be, so be prepared to make a few changes in the name of better sleep hygiene.
So much of the experience of insomnia is tied to your mental and emotional state over the course of the day. This means that you can’t expect to be fighting fires all day at the office and expect to fall blissfully asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. But there’s still lots you can do to calm your mind and help your day’s stresses melt away:
7. Counting sheep may be the best-known remedy for insomnia, but most people find it doesn’t work very well. Here’s a variation that might just hit the spot: instead of taking tally of imaginary livestock, try something more mentally taxing like counting backwards from a hundred in sevens (or some other uneven number).
8. If you find that your body is tense and tight at the end of a long, stressful day, try a mindfulness exercise to help you unclench: close your eyes and visualize each part of your body from head to feet gradually softening and becoming more relaxed. If you’re lucky, you might drift off to sleep before you get as far as your feet.
9. And if you’re still looking for something to distract you, try coaxing a little more than a snuggle out of your partner! Sexual activity reduces stress hormone cortisol which should make it easier to forget what’s going on at the office for a little while — plus prolactin is released at orgasm which will make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
And if you’re still looking for one last thing to give you an edge over your insomnia, here’s a bonus tip for better sleep:
10. A premium-quality bamboo cooling weighted blanket from Aricove will provide you with a snuggly and calming coziness in bed that you haven't experienced since you were a newborn. And just like a baby, you’ll enjoy the release of soothing neurotransmitters like serotonin and oxytocin as you lie swaddled in this revolutionary smart-sleep device.
The smooth, silky-soft and hypoallergenic bamboo fibers used in all Aricove weighted blankets are naturally antimicrobial — meaning that they’re remarkably resistant to the yellow staining that is so typical of cotton sheets. Bamboo fabric also possesses natural bactericidal properties, which help in reducing inflammation on the skin for people with skin allergies and eczema.