While there are a lot of factors that can affect how well you fall asleep and stay asleep, the best way to take charge of your sleep quality is to take charge of your environment and bedtime rituals. These are the things you can easily change and you might be surprised just what little things might make a big difference. You might be closer to a perfect sleep than you think.
When You Sleep
The first factor that is easy to change in small intervals is exactly when you go sleep and wake up. Whatever your current pattern is will be what is shaping your current circadian rhythm. Your body knows approximately when you want to sleep and when you want to be awake and will adapt to your schedule. However, right now it’s likely adapted to tossing and turning then punching the snooze button a few times. By changing your bedtime and wake time even by 15 minutes, you can force an update to your circadian rhythm. Getting into the rhythm might be you key to the perfect sleep.
How You Sleep
When you climb into bed, how do you lay yourself down? You may lie flat on your back and expect your mind to gently ‘fall’ into the sleeping place or you might curl up around a pillow under the covers. It may never have occurred to you that the way you lie waiting for sleep might have forin:sent med a habitual connection to sleep troubles and you might even be asking yourself to go to sleep in a way that isn’t natural to you.
Now ask yourself, how do you wake up? Are your covers tossed or do you sleep still as a statue? Going to sleep on your back and waking up on your side might suggest you should try sleeping on your side initially. Consider going to sleep in a different way, possibly even flipping the head and foot of your bead to break up existing patterns. Finding the perfect position for you might be your key to perfect sleep.
What You Wear
Your pajamas also make a big difference to nighttime peace of mind. The softer and cleaner they are, the less likely there is to be a crumb that will act as an irritant and wake you up itching. The better they breathe and wick moisture, the less likely you are to wake up uncomfortably sticky. Consider replacing your current pajamas with something new. Or just try a different old T-shirt, to see if something about your current bedclothes are the problem.
The State of Your Bedding
Like your PJs, your bedding is in contact with your skin all night. It can either make it worse with pilling or better with soft cool surfaces and, again, moisture wicking. You may also simply be tired of sleeping on the same set of sheets week after week. Get yourself some new sheets in bright awesome colors and make your bed with your favorites. You can even mix-and-match for a subtle contrast that will delight you every time you turn down the covers.
The Mattress Question
Whenever we’re talking about sleep quality, there’s no avoiding the mattress question. Because mattresses get old over the course of a decade many people don’t realize that a softening or sagging mattress is keeping them up until the mattress starts to visibly show signs of wear and tear. If your mattress is over 7 years old or if you’re waking up achy, it’s time for a new one. Layla mattresses have a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship, but more importantly, they let you try it for 120 days which is plenty of time to get comfortable with it.
Hot or Cold
Our bodies associate temperature with safety, comfort, and activity. Heat to the body means daytime and staying active. While cold means night time and sleep. However, if the house is too cold, your body may assume it’s not safe to go to sleep. So you should seek a happy medium is necessary. If you’re having trouble feeling comfortable at night, start fiddling with the thermostat. See if a little colder or a little warmer does the trick. Most people find the best sleep between 67 and 72 degrees.
What can you hear when you’re trying to drift off? Is it keeping you awake? The night sounds of your bedroom, building, and neighborhood can and absolutely will intrude into your sleeping mind. You might be comforted by the sound of someone watching late night television. You might drift to sleep like you always do. Or your mind might fixate on trying to make out what is being said. You might think you’re used to the sound of cars going by, but occasionally a loud one might wake you out of a sound sleep. Consider a little music, white noise, or just a few extra fans to cover intrusive sounds.
Finally, if you suspect that the issue is all in your head. Your mattress, pajamas, and bedtime environment are perfect, so why not consider moving furniture? This may sound a little nutty, but your brain is habituated to expect certain things when it sees the familiar image of the inside of your room. Change things around. Break that bad-sleep mental schema. Change the impression your room gives as you get ready for bed. Flip the bed around, swap your bed, desk, and dresser so they’re each somewhere new. Recreate your bedtime experience. If this helps you sleep, you were right psyching yourself out.
The Perfect night’s sleep may be closer than you think. Any time you’re having sleep troubles, or even if you just think your sleep could be better, try a little bedtime experimenting. Believe it or not, we only mentioned a few things you might change about how you put yourself to bed and any one of them could be the key to a long perfect slumber every night. For more information about how to rock your 8 hours, check out more on our blog.