The world’s gone crazy and you’re looking for a place to hide. Usually that means sanctuary of the bed and a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, however, good sleep is easier said than done.
When you need a good night’s sleep these dos and don’ts can make a big difference.
Do have a comfortable bed and pillow
If the bedding you sleep on feels more like a medieval torture device than mattress and pillow, you probably need new bedding.
The American Sleep Association compares buying a new mattress to buying a new car, test drives are crucial to finding a comfy mattress.
A few important factors make or break a good mattress and pillow combo. For pillow selection consider if you’re a side, back, or stomach sleeper and get a pillow designed for that style, and for mattresses look for comfort and support that makes sense for your body.
Also, a room that is tidy is going to make for a calm environment. So be sure to have a convenient place to store all the extra cushions away neatly.
Do have a darkened room
Long ago, before we knew how to make night day with artificial lighting, nature gave us cues to go to sleep when the sun went down. The natural light and dark change drives a rhythm to your life. Your circadian rhythm.
Once the light-bulb came to town we started living in 24 hours of light, not a good thing for sleep. So, when you retire to your sleep chamber make the lighting work for your individual rhythm.
Today’s lighting technology even lets us simulate the evenings fading sun and morning’s easterly rise.
Do have a comfortable temperature
Sleeping in an ice-box or an oven isn’t a comfortable thought, and for most a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit provides the best experience.
Snuggling under a nice warm quilt in the winter or feeling the coolness of fresh sheets in the summer do wonders to make the body and mind comfortable and relaxed.
Most people can control their bedroom’s ambient temperature, but if you can’t be sure to wear loose and light clothing under thin bedding when it’s warm, and comfy fleece pajamas and your favorite heavy quilt when it’s cold.
When it’s really hot , maybe and outdoor floor fan blowing some cool air through an open window is just the remedy.
Do be comfortable
Hard to imagine going to sleep wearing a thumbscrew. So why wear too tight clothing?
If you’re not sleeping in the buff, what you wear to bed can help or hinder restfulness. Tight and restrictive clothing becomes uncomfortable quickly, binding the skin giving you pins and needles.
Silk, cotton, or fleece all make good bed clothing, and the bedroom is the one place where it’s okay, and fun, to wear silly prints or provocative styles.
Do move the clock
Yeah, that glow in your face is a constant reminder you’re not sleeping. So, move it.
Watching and waiting for the clock tick away another minute is a sure way to stay awake. Particularly if your face has the agonizing glow of the clock bedside.
If you’re the type to hit snooze a few times in the morning make sure you can completely dim or turn off your display.
Don’t go bed angry
Anger takes a lot of energy. You don’t want a lot of energy in bed, well, sometimes you do, but not when you’re trying to sleep.
When we’re angry it is usually focused at another person. The good news is anger can be easily fixed with some simple talk.
Maybe it’s an apology, maybe it’s a hug, but whatever it is, do it. Not only will it help you go to bed with a clear mind, it might also help you have a better relationship.
Don’t drink caffeine before bed
Energy drinks and coffee have a special place for many people, few find in the evening before bed a good one.
Everybody knows caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants are the opposite of what the body needs for sleep. You may not know where caffeine is lurking though.
It isn’t just coffee and energy drinks, there’s caffeine is some chocolates and most all soft drinks. The best thing to drink before bed may be water.
Neutral and essential, water is an excellent drink for anyone before bedtime.
Don’t overthink your day
Having a river of thoughts flowing in your mind isn’t about to help you sleep. Instead, imagine floating peacefully down a river.
When you’re overthinking things in bed, one thought leads to another and it’s easy for the brain to whip up a frenzy. Before long, your brain is too busy for sleep.
Look up some meditation techniques, breathing is a simple and good one. In through the nose, out through the mouth. It’s all about breath and breathing. Focus on that and soon breathing is a soothing mantra stopping a frenzied mind.
Don’t bring the office to bed
Beds are made for two things: Sex and sleeping. So, unless it’s a fantasy, keep the office at the office.
Bringing work to the bed means the hassle of the office is where you need it the least, where you go to recuperate.
Your brain needs a slowdown period to relax for sleep mode, and it takes a while. Getting the bosses report ready isn’t exactly a recipe for that. Make your bed and your bedroom a sacred place when it comes to rejuvenation.
Don’t fight the feeling
If you haven’t fallen asleep after 25 minutes or so, forget it. Not for ever, but for a few minutes.
Once you get into the no sleep tonight groove sometimes getting out of it means getting into a different setting.
Go ahead and get out of bed and out of the bedroom. Visit the sofa and read a book, magazine, or this article. Reset your mind and get it off the idea you can’t get to sleep. You’ll give your mind a fresh view and wash away previous sleep issues.
When it comes to sleep and sleeping, just relax and don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff after you go to bed. That’s the ticket to good sleeping.