When it comes time for lights out, do you find yourself diving under the sheets and passing out? Do you toss and turn for a bit before finally going to sleep? Maybe you have a regular nighttime ritual you like to do before going to sleep.
Everyone has their own way of approaching that time of the night, and while some people may stick with a similar routine for going bed, others "play it by ear."
The question is, does it really matter in the end how you approach your bedtime or whether you have a routine or not? Or does it only matter that you get beauty sleep? Here are 5 common questions answered about getting a good night's sleep.
1. Routine or no routine?
If you have any difficulty falling asleep at all, then developing a regular nighttime routine will help with this problem. As you put yourself to bed at a regular time each night and rise at approximately the same time each morning then your body will become accustomed to this regularity and start to do it naturally.
According to the experts, the reason this works so effectively is that it reinforces your body's circadian rhythm. You can establish a sleep routine by not only going to bed and rising at about the same time every day, but participating in some calming activities prior to going to bed. Here are a few things you can do before going to bed to reduce stress and prepare you for a restful night:
- Take a warm bubble bath
- Read a relaxing book
- Use diffusers with calming oils like lavender
- Play soft, slow music
- Do some gentle stretches
- Practice deep breathing exercises
2. Does it matter if my pet sleeps in bed with me?
Americans love their animal companions. According to the statistics, "sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet." In addition, about three-quarters of pet owners sleep with their pets. If you're a pet owner, there's a good chance you are in that number.
For the pet owner, snuggling at the end of the day with their pampered pooch or cuddly kitty is pure delight, but will it help or hinder your sleep? It all depends, say the experts. If you have allergy issues, then obviously putting Fido to bed with you is going to cause more sniffling than snoozing. Another thing that may get in the way of your sleep is if your pet is fidgety or takes up too much room.
On a positive note, pets are great for your overall health and can help relax you. Some studies show that petting an animal can help lower your blood pressure and help a person feel calmer. Overall, sharing a bed with your pets may prevent a full night of deep sleep. But it really comes down to what works for you.
3. What about the blue light on my electronic device?
You've probably heard that the blue light emitted from your electronic devices can also hinder a good night's sleep. The blue wavelengths that are common in our smartphones, tablets, and computers suppress our natural sleepy time hormone, melatonin. Your body creates melatonin naturally when it starts to get dark out to help you feel tired. But if your electronics are suppressing that hormone, then you won't be feeling sleepy like you should.
If you're like most people, you're probably in the habit of using some type of electronic at night. You may want to check your email, look at Facebook, or watch a video. There's no need to worry, however. Most newer phones come with a built-in blue light filter in the settings. You just have to turn it on. For your computer, there are free software apps that adjust the lighting on your monitor so you don't get too much blue light. Utilize those features and challenge yourself to use fewer apps before dozing off.
4. Help! My kid wants to sleep in my bed. What do I do?
Maybe you don't have a problem getting to bed. You have your routine and you fall asleep easily, but you have a child that comes crawling into bed with you in the middle of the night. For some people, this is no more than a brief interruption and they are right back to sleep again.
For others, a child climbing into bed is a big problem. It wakes them up and they can't get back to sleep right away. Subsequently, you may not sleep as well if your child kicks and squirms throughout the night. Breaking the habit of co-sleeping can be challenging, especially if the child wakes up in the night and stumbles into your room while you're sleeping. Here are a few tips to help transition into helping your child sleep on their own:
- Set a date for when it will happen (you could tie it to an age, holiday, particular grade, month, day, etc). That way they can prepare for it.
- Buy something for their bed to make the whole event more special so it's like a celebration and not something negative. It could be a fuzzy pillow, stuffed animal, new blanket, or new pajamas.
- Read a book about children overcoming their difficulties with sleeping in their room.
- Talk to your child and explain what will occur, what you expect, how they need not worry, etc. Address any fears they may have.
5. What if my mattress is uncomfortable?
If you have everything all in order for a restful night's sleep but then climb into bed only to find that it's not comfortable, then sleep won't come easy. A comfortable mattress is one of the most important parts of finding the sweet spot for sleeping. Maybe you have had your mattress for many years and you feel the springs poking you in the side. Or you never got a great mattress in the first place. A poor mattress will not support your body and you may toss and turn all night. You'll wake up feeling sore and fatigued, as well.
Follow these best practices for a peaceful night of rest every night. For more information about finding the best mattress for your needs or to get any other questions answered about getting a good night's sleep, contact Nest Bedding today.