5 No-Fail Tips for Getting a Great Night’s Sleep
Most people will agree: there’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep. Whether you’re finding yourself dragging into work each morning, resorting to way too much caffeine, or threatening to chunk your alarm clock out the window, we’ve rounded up five of the smartest, most reliable ways to help you fall asleep quickly, sleep great all night, and wake up feeling rested in the morning.
1. Impose a Screen Curfew
You’re guilty of it; we’re guilty of it–it’s so easy to spend a half hour or so in bed, scrolling through your phone. More often than not, we’ve got the TV going, as well! This is bad news for our sleep health, however. Scientists tell us that watching screens before bed can make it so that we have a hard time sleeping.
With sleep deprivation side effects like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and lack of brain function, this is nothing to play around with! If you normally sleep with your phone next to your bed, try moving it to another room, even if that means you now need to purchase a separate alarm clock. Trust us–your email will be fine until tomorrow!
2. White Noise
It sounds weird to say that you’ll sleep better by turning up the noise in your room, but it’s true! Many people report falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer by using white noise.
White noise consists of sound that comes out evenly across all “hearable frequencies.” It masks the sudden starts and stops that happen in the night–a car horn honking, a partner snoring, etc.–so that you can stay asleep. You can use an app on your phone, or a machine like a fan or humidifier, or you can purchase a machine that specifically plays white noise. Many will allow you to choose different settings, such as a babbling brook or jungle rainstorm.
3. Get Active
Studies have found that aerobic exercise, like walking, hiking, or biking, can improve your quality of sleep, even if it’s just ten minutes a day. Regular exercise seems to increase the sleep impact even more as well as lower the risk of things like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Keep in mind that the initial rush of endorphins your body experiences after a workout can make you more energized. This doesn’t seem to bother everyone, but it might keep you from being able to sleep well if you work out just before
4. Create a Routine
When new parents are trying to help their new babies sleep, they often create elaborate routines: baths, books, songs, the same pajamas, special blankets, and so forth. Turns out, adults are much the same! We’re all creatures of habit, and creating solid bedtime routines can help us wind down and signal to our brains that it’s time for bed, therefore you can have a great night’s sleep.
Everyone’s routine can look different, but we like nixing screens in favor of a warm bath, a hot cup of caffeine-free tea, and a noise machine. Whatever routine you decide on, the trick is to make it the same and to start it at the same time every night. You also need to give it time; don’t expect it to work magically the first night, but within a few weeks you should see a substantial change!
5. Get a New Mattress
Sometimes, it’s just the bed underneath you (or the pillow) that are keeping you from a good night’s sleep! Whether it’s an old bed that’s just lost its oomph, keeps you too hot or too cold, makes squeaky noises all night, or it’s a pillow that isn’t the right firmness, we spend a third of every day asleep on our beds, so it’s worth investing in a mattress that helps you sleep better!
You can choose coil options, foam options, or hybrids of both, and thanks to the internet you can now shop online in the comfort of your own home.
A great night’s sleep means you’ll look your best and be your best and these five tips are sure to help you achieve just that. Happy sleeping!
Top 5 Mattress Types to Avoid
1. Super Cheap Mattresses.
As a store owner I run into this on a daily basis. Because there is demand for inexpensive mattresses for kids or spare rooms or just people with a tight budget I offer them. We are talking Queen Sets (with a foundation) for $195, $279, $339 and so on. A store like mine has actually decent mattresses for those prices compare to big stores but you really need to understand that you’re getting what you pay for.
Some of these mattresses are very comfortable on my show floor and i’ll feel that way for some time. HOWEVER, mattresses in the $200-400 range are not designed to last a long time.
The lack high density foams, the lack a high coil count or thicker gauge coils etc. They are not meant to have 2 adults sleeping on them nightly. They just won’t last long. You’re better off saving and buying something nicer if you’re an adult and its a nightly use mattress.
2. Thin Mattresses
Generally a thinner mattress is thin because it lacks substance. In most cases, a tin or promotional mattress is not going to be very durable. They will usually not get rated very well for comfort and pressure relief since you will sink in less and have less contouring.
The next big issue with thinner mattresses, in my opinion, is that they are not suitable for heavier sleepers 250+ lbs. On a thin mattress in many cases, the core is not very high density otherwise its hard to get the right feel and many people will think its too firm. The same goes for coil units. Therefore on a thinner mattress, heavier people can often bottom out the mattress and they just won’t last as long as they should.
The thickness of your mattress really is a matter of preference, although there are differences for people of different weights.
Heavier people prefer a thicker mattress, at about 11-15 inches. Mattresses of this thickness tend to be medium firm to firm. They are preferred for heavier people because body weight tends to force mattress to conform to the shape of the body. Heavy people also benefit from higher density foam or a higher coil count mattress. Choosing a thinner mattress for a heavy person may lead to the need to replace the mattress more frequently or bottoming out.
Lighter people will do well with a mattress that is eight to ten inches thick; with this thickness, you’ll find a medium to soft firmness. Smaller people can use a lower density foam or lower count coil mattress as well.
3. Low Density Memory Foams
Foam density can be important to your mattresses durability and performance.
As I just noted for foam cores you need a good foam for it to last. The industry standard for a foam core or transitional support layers is 1.8. I would try to buy a mattress with at least that. 2.0 or 2.2 is very good. I have seen a couple that uses a 1.5 density and this was as I noted about thin mattresses used to make the mattress not feel too firm. But what they are doing is sacrificing longevity for initial comfort.
When it comes to memory foam 3.5-4 lb and up is acceptable. 5lb is very good. Some people will actually like the feel of the lower density memory foam better since the reaction time is typically a little faster. 5lb is super durable but often times can feel a little stiff.
Lower density foams will likely develop body impressions and sag faster than higher density foams.
4. Over Priced Mattresses with Tons of Marketing
Since I have been in the industry with my store and now reviewing mattresses I have discovered many big names are better marketers than they are mattress designers. Be wary of brands that spend millions a year on marketing and advertising. Everyone needs to advertise but some brands spend millions a year or perhaps a month. A lot of this cost is passed on to the consumers.
So before you pull the trigger on your mattress it really pays to do some comparing on a site like this to make sure you are not paying $1000 for a mattress that you can get for $600 from another brand. Many have similar construction but have very different prices. ur top picks reflect mattresses that are worth the money.
5. Super soft or Super Firm Mattresses
This is another common occurrence in my store. I’ll have a customer come in and say “show me your softest mattress”. I’ll bring them over to it (it’s very soft) and it happens all time where someone does not think its soft enough.
Here’s the problem with that. Typically to get super soft you use foams that are low density. And a lot of them. This becomes a problem quickly. You will develop body impressions much faster on a very soft mattress. People also do not keep in mind that the mattresses are already naturally going to get softer as they break in
If a super soft mattress is your thing you should buy a firmer mattress and add a mattress topper to it to make it softer. Then once that topper is worn out you can replace it instead of the entire mattress.
Now for a super firm mattress. I don’t see a problem too much with this if that is the firmness a customer wants. But if it is overly firm you generally will not get any contouring on your lower back when back sleeping. Side sleeping you will not have any give for your shoulder or hips and stomach seeping it could irritate your ribs. With that said some people just like a firm mattress. I actually like the same idea of using a topper on a firm mattress and letting the topper wear out rather than the mattress.