Just about everyone has had to deal with the repercussions of bad sleep the following morning. The grogginess, moodiness and rundown feeling are indicators of just how important sleep is for our health. For the millions of Americans that deal with insomnia and other sleep disorders, these feelings are a common occurrence, and many turn to sleep medications hoping for a quick fix.
In reality, sleep medication is the worst treatment you can try. It’s costly, there are a number of risks involved, and you can develop a dependency. There’s no need to resort to sleep medications when there are a number of natural solutions that are even more effective without the side effects.
Get Yourself a Good Mattress
If there’s only one thing you do to get a good night’s sleep it should be getting a supportive, comfortable mattress. Your mattress could actually be the primary reason you can’t get to sleep. Mattresses that lack adequate support can cause muscle pains, allergy issues, and sore joints all of which make getting asleep and staying asleep more difficult. There’s also a possibility that the mattress just isn’t the best for your body. It could be too soft, not the right size or a material that negative impacts body temperature.
Mattresses are a real investment. If you’re concerned about budgeting for a new mattress make sure to comparison shop. You can also plan your purchase when there’s a mattress sale like during a holiday or Black Friday.
Purify the Air in Your Room
Another common cause of sleep problems is poor air quality. When the air quality in your room is subpar it makes breathing more difficult. If the body is having difficulty breathing sleep won’t come easy.
Try using an air purifier in your room at night. Some plants like orchids are natural air purifiers that clear toxins and release clean oxygen at night. If humidity is a problem a humidifier may also be needed. Replacing your mattress can help if it’s older because sweat, dust and mold spores can gather in it over time.
Cut Out Screens Before Bed
On average, adults get one hour less sleep per night than people did in the 1940s. One in four Americans now has acute insomnia. The issue of insomnia and sleep disturbance is growing in the U.S., and so is the use of smartphones, tablets and other devices with screens. Stress and obesity are partly to blame for the insomnia increase, but too much screen time has also been connected to poor sleep.
The artificial blue light from screens can actually suppress melatonin production, a hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. Devices also make you more alert, which is great during the day but counterproductive at bedtime. Before you take drastic measures, try turning off all screens about a half hour before you go to bed.
Create a Sleep Routine
Another easy way to ease yourself to sleep is to create a sleep routine. Our bodies have a way of adapting to our everyday behavior. Sleep experts suggest that people who are having trouble sleeping put a sleep routine into action in order to ready their bodies for sleep.
Start by getting to bed and waking up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. This will help get your brain and body on a sleep schedule, basically telling yourself internally when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake. Next, start getting ready for bed at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do the same things every night. For example, wash your face then brush your teeth before doing 10 minutes of gentle stretching or journaling. Again the idea is to send signals to the brain and body that it’s time for sleep.
Use a Sound Machine
If you don’t wake up feeling refreshed but you were “asleep” for 7-9 hours you may be waking up without realizing it. Abrupt noises can stir a person out of sleep many times each night without the person fully realizing it. Load abrupt noises can jar you completely awake.
A simple fix is a sound machine that generates white noises. The white noise drowns out background sounds that can disturb sleep.