How to Stop 6 Things From Stealing Your Sleep
Newsflash: You’re not the only one who went to bed early and woke up feeling fatigued. Thirty-five percent of adults who responded to the 2014 National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health Index report their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair.” So, what can you do to snooze better tonight? Start by fixing these six shut-eye-deprivers.
1. Your room is too hot
Feeling warm and toasty may seem intuitive to falling asleep, but a too-warm room can disrupt your shut-eye. Set the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, experts say. Sound too cool to you? Try snuggling under a cozy down comforter.
2. Your mattress needs attention
When you take care of your mattress, it can last you about a decade. Do these three things to maximize its life span. First, rotate your mattress every 2-3 months (even if the manufacturer says you don’t need to). Second, invest in a mattress protector—it’s a barrier against sweat, allergens and dust mites, which can ruin your mattress over time. Lastly, inspect the bed frame and box springs periodically to make sure your mattress has adequate support.
3. Your pillow is problematic
Pillows usually last up to two years. But even if yours is brand new, it needs to be compatible with how you sleep. The ideal pillow keeps your head in neutral alignment with your spine and offers comfortable support. Try this hack: Search for pillows by sleep position to find the best fit for you.
4. Your room isn’t dark enough
Light is like sleep kryptonite. It actually reduces your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. Experts suggest shutting down electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed (yes, light from your tablet and phone counts!). Also, try putting up room-darkening curtains, or wear a sleep mask to block additional light.
5. You didn’t exercise
Yet another reason to work out: Individuals who exercise report sleeping better and feeling more rested, compared to non-exercisers, a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation reveals. Worried that a nighttime sweat session will keep you up? Results showed people who exercised four hours before bed slept just as well as early exercisers. No excuses.
6. It’s too noisy
Traffic, neighbors, a snoring bedmate—any sudden noise can put your brain on high alert and disrupt your Zzz’s. A white noise machine creates a continuous, low sound that can help lull you to sleep. That’s music to your ears.