Quality, Not Quantity: Fixing Your Sleep
Have you ever woken up after eight hours of sleep and still felt unrested? Quality is as important, if not more, than quantity of sleep. Yes we all need an average of six-eight hours of sleep depending on who we are; but those hours also need to count. Ever since becoming a mother, I cherish any amount of sleep I can get. I also find making sure you set yourself up for quality rest can make all of the difference in your attitude, emotional state, energy and performance the next day.
So what can you do to make sure you get quality sleep? Read on to find out!
A Good Mattress
If you don’t have a comfortable bed, you won’t have a restful sleep. If your mattress doesn’t support your contours, you will sleep in a bad posture, and you will wake up with aches and pains. So, making sure that you have a solid foundation is paramount. You can learn more at Mattress-Guides on the best mattresses out there, but this is vital if you are consistently feeling like you could do with another couple of hours in bed. Before buying a new mattress, make sure you test it out. There are many mattresses out there where you can instantly tell if you will slip into a peaceful slumber. If you sleep on an uncomfortable mattress, you could lose up to an hour’s sleep a night, and when you add this up over seven days, this is pretty much the equivalent of one night!
Distractions in the modern world are abundant and most likely the number one culprit is your smartphone. We all feel tempted to look at our phones just before we go to sleep, but the blue light has an impact on our sleep hormone, melatonin. Scanning through social media can engage your brain too much, especially when our brains should be primed for sleep. Not only this, but stress and anxiety are things that will have a detrimental impact on our ability to sleep properly. Actively look for ways to relax, such as taking part in meditation, or relaxation techniques, they will all have a positive effect on how you sleep.
While many of us are trying to limit the amount of sugar we consume, we still have certain vices that will impact our ability to sleep properly. Sugar being one of the biggest ones, but also, having caffeine too late in the day, is something that will stop us sleeping properly. Caffeine stays in our systems for up to 12 hours. So it’s much better for you, if you feel tired throughout the day, to have your caffeine early in the morning, and stop by around midday. Having bigger meals earlier on in the day will also reduce the temptation to snack, which is another thing that can stop us sleeping properly.
Stress, diet, and how comfortable your bed is, are things that we can all fix as well as making sure we have a proper night routine. We feel that we’re supposed to shut down automatically as soon as we hit the hay, but this isn’t the case. If you remember when you were a kid, and your parents read to you, it helped you slip into a slumber. My boys have a consistent bath, brush teeth, book then bed routine. We need that as adults as well. Find ways to help you calm down towards the end of the day. Have a nice warm bath, read a good book, meditate or sniff some lavender oil then notice how you can slip in to a nice deep sleep.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!