Four Tips For Restful Sleep
Did you know that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to function at their best? According to the American Sleep Association, about a third of Americans reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. This may be due to sleep disorders, like insomnia, that plagues around 60 million Americans. While we don’t claim to be scientists with all the answers, we do know a thing or to about getting restful sleep. We’ve put together some do’s, don’t’s, tip and tricks to help get you to sleep, and stay asleep.
The First Tip for Restful Sleep: Monitor your drinking habits before bed. What you drink before bed can affect how easily you fall asleep, how long you stay asleep, and the quality of your sleep. Drinking too much of anything can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Knowing what to avoid is important; However, there is also a variety of drinks you can try to help aid your restful sleep.
What to Avoid
Caffeine is the first drink to avoid. This one is pretty straightforward. Caffeine is a stimulant and blocks certain receptors that help you feel sleepy. Caffeine can affect everyone slightly different. Still, an easy rule of thumb is to stop drinking caffeine around 6 hours before bed. This includes most sodas, coffee, certain teas, and energy drinks. If you want to enjoy a coffee or tea within 6 hours before bed, try a decaf latte or an herbal tea free from caffeine (hint: We’ll talk about these later).
Alcohol is another very important drink to avoid before bed. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy or aid in falling asleep, it can cause problems for you once the affects wear off. These problems could include sleeplessness, discomfort, subsequent trouble falling back to sleep and frequent trips to the restroom. We recommend stopping alcohol consumption at least 2 hours before bed. ‘
Drinks to Aid Sleep
Like we mentioned above, some drinks can help aid your restful sleep. Drinking certain sleep aids, like the ones mentioned here, around 30-45 minutes before bed can help lull you into a comfortable, restful slumber. Be careful to not drink too much of anything, as this could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Two common examples of soothing beverages are Chamomile tea, and warm milk. Chamomile tea is known for being relaxing and may even help reduce anxiety. Other teas great for sleep aide are Passionflower, California Poppy, and Peppermint. If you aren’t much of tea person, try tart cherry juice! Cherries support natural melatonin production. A small cup of tart cherry juice or snacking on cherries may help you feel sleepy and relaxed.
The Second Tip for Restful Sleep: Exercise! Exercise is known for waking us up so what’s the deal here?! Exercising regularly for at least 20 minutes per day can overall help reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia. When it comes to being a sleep aid, we don’t recommend a full 6 mile run before bed; However, working out two or more hours before bed can help your body wind down just in time for sleeping.
Yoga is a great “alternative” form of exercise. We say alternative because many people think of yoga as more meditation than exertion. The truth is: Yoga is both. It depends a lot on the teacher / user and what your focus is. Doing some positions and stretches before bed can help you find balance and relax your muscles. When doing Yoga it is very important to listen to your body; Don’t do any positions that don’t feel right and breath through each movement.
Setting the Mood
The Third Tip for Restful Sleep: Set the Mood. Establishing a calming environment is very important when it comes to sleeping. Lighting, temperature, and sound all play into your ability to fall (and stay) asleep. Your mattress, pillow, and sheets are also very important when it comes to feeling calm, cozy, and ready for a peaceful night’s sleep. By looking at these different components, you can help develop or enhance your Bedtime Routine to get yourself ready for bed!
When we see light, our eyes send signals to our brain that keep us awake or make us feel less tired. Colors like red, yellow, and orange can promote feelings of alertness. Some speculate that certain shades of blue can also make you feel more awake due to the similarity to the sky. For the purpose of sleep, we recommend keeping the room dark.
To create a peaceful space, first establish how much darkness is comfortable for you without inhibiting your sleep. For example, some may want the room pitch black while others enjoy a night light. Regardless of your preference, try to minimize the excess light. Be sure to turn off hall lights and turn your electronics off (turn your phone face down if needed). When all else fails, try a sleep mask or blackout curtains to limit exposure to light.
Regulating temperature in your bedroom will help your body feel comforted and serene. Many scientists and doctors recommend keeping your bedroom at a cooler temperature between 65 and 72 degrees (Fahrenheit). To maintain your body temperature, try breathable fabrics, such as cotton, to help with air flow. For comforters, look for all-season weight comforters. They will be better for you year-round due to their lightweight feel. The Best Goose Down Comforters and the Best Down-Alternative Comforters are naturally insulating. However, with all-season weights, you can enjoy breath-ability as well. Enjoy lightweight luxury while you sleep!
When addressing sound, many people will feel conflicted. Some find music, background TV, and/or soft tones to be very soothing when trying to sleep. Falling asleep to TV is very common for most Americans. While this may help us fall asleep, it can affect the sleep stages you are in and how long you stay in them. When you fall asleep with the TV on, your body absorbs more “blue light” which limits your body’s melatonin. This can keep you in those early stages of sleep and prevent you from getting into the REM cycle.
If you are someone who prefers sound to help you get to sleep, try listening to soft music, instrumental tracks, or audible books!
Your comfort is the main topic of this section. Lighting, Temperature, and Sounds will all play into this. By making sure you have High-Quality Bedding, you will get cozier faster! Our bedding is created to be lightweight, comfortable, and look good-as-new even after multiple washes. Sevenfold offers Luxury Sheet Sets in 100% cotton to keep you cool. Our pillows and comforters will complete your bed linens set needed to maintain that comfortable temperature without feeling too heavy.
The Fourth Tip for Restful Sleep: Try a Supplement. Taking natural supplements can help encourage your body to sleep / feel tired without making you feel groggy. The key is knowing the proper dosage and knowing which supplements work for you. In addition, supplements are not generally used long-term. Starting with lifestyle changes and other maintainable methods are recommended before using supplements. If you’re ever unsure, check in with your doctor. Common supplements that we like are: Melatonin and Lavender.
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that regulates your internal clock. It’s often used by people with insomnia or jet lag to reset their sleep schedules. It is generally recommended to take melatonin in the lowest effective dose. Small doses, such as 0.5mg up to 5mg, are recommended as a starting point.
Lavender is a very versatile plant. Lavender can be used in teas, diffusers, body oils, and even capsules. Capsules are a great alternative if you are sensitive to smell. Lavender can help improve sleep quality and help lower feeling of stress, anxiety, and depression.
What do you do to fall asleep?
Everyone is different and has their own unique ways that they fall asleep. We want to hear from you! What is your bedtime routine? Let us know here.