How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Have you ever felt so tired that you just couldn’t sleep? Ever blamed it on your bed, your mattress, the noise of the neighbor’s dog? While it may seem ironic, many women who lead hectic lives often find themselves staring up into the ceiling until the wee hours of the morning, and it really has nothing to do with the bed or the neighbor’s dog. If mornings typically find you dragging yourself groggily out of bed and feeling out of sorts with the world, it’s time for a change. Not being able to get quality rest and sleep can wreak havoc with your health, leaving you at a higher risk for heart problems, anxiety and depression. You are also more vulnerable to stress and overeating, which contributes to a slower metabolism and a sluggish predisposition.
Health experts recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Sleep allows the body to repair damage at the cellular level. Scientists have also found that it is during sleep that the brain has a chance to process data received throughout the day, so that events and information can be converted from short-term to long-term memory storage. Thus, if you are consistently getting less than optimal sleep, you often find yourself having difficulty remembering things or focusing on tasks.
That being said, just how can we finally get the quality sleep that we need and deserve? The following steps should get you right back on the sandman’s good graces:
- Set a good ambience for sleeping. Dim the lights, lay out fresh sheets and turn off the radio and the TV. Getting into the right mindset for sleep requires your mind and body to relax.
- Turn down the thermostat. When we sleep, the body’s core temperature drops as our metabolism powers down for the night. You can help the process along by making the bedroom comfortably cool.
- Create a soothing nighttime routine. It can take as little as fifteen minutes to train your brain to go from active mode to resting mode. Have a warm bath and slather on some lotion or creams to create a luxurious me-time for yourself at the end of a busy day. A warm cup of herbal teas (or any beverage that doesn’t contain caffeine or too much sugar) should also help you relax.
- And finally, it’s all in the mind. Lying in bed isn’t going to do much good if your mind continues to race over the myriad worries and tasks of the day. Banish negative thoughts (at least for the next eight hours) and just give yourself over to the comforts of the bed. It can take a bit of practice to master this last one, but the feeling of waking up well-rested and refreshed the next morning, every morning are definitely worth making an effort.
Chrystal Ventura is a registered nurse who also works full-time as a freelance writer. However, as she shops for quality mattresses online, she gets enough sleep to survive her daily frantic pace.