7 Tips to Help Encourage Healthy Sleep
by Sheryl Brooks - Certified Health Coach at Miraval Resort & Spa
We all know how important healthy sleep is. If you throw yourself from one side to another for half the night you can bet you will drag yourself through the next day, fighting to stay awake. Find the way back to a baby’s sleep with these seven valuable tips!
1. Your bedroom should be a personal haven that you look forward to curling up in each night. Create it to be relaxed and inviting by choosing soft, soothing colors, clearing out clutter or anything else that doesn’t promote what bedrooms are made for. Televisions, computers and laundry interrupt sleep and romance so don’t bring them in.
2. Your sleep hormone, melatonin, is interrupted by light. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible to promote sleep. Consider room darkening shades or wear a comfortable eye mask if you want that night light on. If your room is dark and you wake up easier when there is light, consider an alarm clock that shines light to wake you or set a timer on your bedside lamp so it turns on a few minutes before your alarm goes off.
3. Sleep in a cool room, but make sure your bed is warm, but not too warm. Our temperature preferences can change. Experiment and find the right temperature for you, but remember that you may need to compromise if you share your bed. Most people sleep best in a room that stays in the mid to upper 60 degrees Fahrenheit respectively around 18 degrees Celsius.
4. A comfortable mattress that is “just right” can improve your sleep and leave you feeling less achy in the morning. Do some testing to find the one that supports your back. Some of us have curves that feel better with a less firm mattress, so find out what feels best for you. It isn’t about how expensive the mattress is, it is about the body that lays on it. Also, make sure it is big enough for two if you have a sleep partner.
5. Bedding matters a lot, so pay attention to what works best for you. Many of us have a favorite pillow. Notice what you like and don’t like about pillows and get the one that works for you. Stomach sleepers usually find a think, soft pillow helps with the neck and shoulder pain they often experience. Back sleepers often like a firm pillow. You won’t really know until you experiment. Then, you have to decide on your favorite filler. Do you like feathers, foam and polyester? Then, indulge in sheets and pillow cases that invite you in for a snuggle.
6. Create a quiet zone for sleep. If you have outside noise try a sleep sound app or machine, or even a fan to create a steady, soft sound to block intermittent sounds that can wake you.
7. Bring relaxing scents into your bedroom as one more way to signal your body that you are there to relax and sleep. Reserve your lavender or other sleep enhancing scent for only the bedroom to condition your body and brain to know that sleep is coming when you smell that scent.
“As you find your seat, relax, and completely be yourself,” says Susan Gwaltney. “Then delight in that feeling.” The key to a comfortable and happy meditation, she says, is to find a comfortable seated posture where you can breathe fully, and then use the breath to keep coming back to the present moment. (...)