Campbell Mattress Blog--News About The Health Benefits Of Sleep

Best Sleep Tips

Americans are in the midst of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called a national sleep epidemic, and society is feeling the impact. In fact, nearly 8 in 10 Americans admit they would feel better and more prepared for the day if they had an extra hour of sleep.

Luckily, solutions are not out of reach. The sleep tips below are from the Better Sleep Council’s trusted solutions to help avoid the damaging effects of sleep deprivation and general grogginess after a poor night’s sleep.  In short, these tips on how to sleep better can make Monday mornings – and every other morning – a lot easier to handle.

  • Make sleep a priority. Keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule – even on the weekends. If necessary, try adding sleep to your to-do list. And don’t be late.

  • Maintain a relaxing sleep routine. Create a bedtime routine that relaxes you. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.

  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a haven of comfort. Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best sleep possible. Consider a bedroom makeover.

  • Evaluate your sleep system. Your mattress and pillow should provide full comfort and support. Your bed and your body will naturally change over time, so if your mattress is seven years old (or older), it may be time for a new one. Pillows should generally be replaced every year.

  • Keep work materials out. The bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. Keep stressors, such as work, outside the bedroom.

  • Banish technology. Television, smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers should be kept out of the bedroom. Intense backlighting of electronics triggers stimulating chemicals in the brain that tell your body it’s time to be awake.

  • Exercise early. Complete your workouts at least two hours before bedtime to ensure quality sleep. Even a brisk walk can increase blood flow and improve your sleep.

  • Assess your space. Did you know that for couples who sleep on a “double”, each person only has as much sleeping space as a baby’s crib? Whether you sleep with a partner or alone, your mattress should allow enough space for you to be able to move freely and easily.

  • Replace caffeine with water after lunch. Caffeine can remain in your system longer than you might realize. Stay hydrated with water instead of having coffee, tea or soda in the afternoon.

  • Drink alcohol earlier in the day. If you need to indulge, a glass of wine soon after work can calm your nerves and help worries melt away, while still giving your body ample time to digest the alcohol before bed.

  • Take 20 to 30 minute naps.  Short naps can be restorative without disrupting your sleep. Experts say even a 10-minute nap can improve alertness for 2.5 hours when you’re sleep deprived and for up to 4 hours when you are well rested.

  • Eat light in the evening. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.

  • Keep a worry journal. Distance yourself from things that cause stress and anxiety. Writing down the things that are bothering you can give you perspective and help you relax. Just don’t keep your journal in your bedroom.

  • Set a snooze button quota. Only hit the snooze button once per day, and set it for the latest setting possible in order to still wake up on time. You will feel more refreshed if your sleep isn’t disrupted multiple times.

  • Buy an alarm clock.  And keep your phone in the other room. Smartphones in particular can represent a source of stress during the day, and proximity to the bed can disrupt sleep – even if it doesn’t make noise or is set to vibrate.

LACK OF SLEEP CAUSES MEMORY LOSS

A study of more than 1,000 adults showed that 25 percent of those who spend less than five hours sleeping suffer from memory loss that affects their quality of life.

Participants aged 18 to 80 years old were asked to measure their sleep against five different “everyday” memories: having to check whether they’ve done something; forgetting to tell somebody something important; where things are normally kept; doing something they intended to do such as writing a letter but finding it difficult to concentrate.

Poor sleep was described as under five hours a night and the results found that low levels of sleep affect all aspects of memory. The most commonly reported memory failure was having to check whether they had done something with 50 percent struggling with this problem at least once a week but the figure rose to two thirds for poor sleepers.

This was closely followed by people forgetting to do something they intended to do – a weekly problem for 44 percent rising to 60 percent for those who slept for under five hours. Forgetting where things are kept was a weekly problem for 25 percent of respondents though when they had slept poorly it drastically increased to two thirds.

Half of poor sleepers surveyed said they “regularly” struggled with concentration in relation to their working life illustrating the profound issue lack of sleep has on everyday memory and wellbeing.  On average, those who slept for less than five hours a night were 25 percent more forgetful than those who slept for longer.

The independent academic research by psychologists at University of Leeds looked at the effects of sleep on memory and how people function day-to-day, outside of a lab, among the general public. Dr. Anna Weighall, a developmental cognitive psychologist with expertise in sleep research who led the study said:  “Good sleep leads to improved memory performance and this leads to a better quality of life. It proves to us beyond doubt that those people getting a good night’s sleep can potentially have a better quality of life and hopefully, as a result, be happier."