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3 Tips for All Ages on Getting Better Sleep

3 Tips for All Ages on Getting Better Sleep

Written & Submitted by: Julia Merrill

3 Tips for All Ages on Getting Better Sleep

 

According to Neil Howe at Forbes.com, we are a sleep-deprived nation, spending too much time at night gazing at computer or tablet or smartphone screens, over-caffeinating ourselves and our kids, staying up too late to catch who’s on our favorite TV shows, then getting jolted awake five hours later to start the next day. Not only does lack of sleep cause us to feel grumpy and tired much of the time, it affects us in so many other ways, including increased blood pressure and a weakened immune system. In addition, it also affects our release of insulin as well as our balance and coordination.

 

Adults aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deprivation. It affects our children too. They can be harder to wake up in the mornings (more so than usual), become more accident prone, and can have difficulty focusing and applying themselves at school. Clearly, lack of sleep affects everybody, not only the ones who are sleep-deprived but also employers (from a lack of worker productivity or accidents on the job) and educators (students falling asleep in class or getting behind in their schoolwork), just to name a few. With so many sleep-deprived people, it’s no wonder there seem to be coffee shops on every street corner.

 

Clearly, lack of sleep is a problem for everyone. Here are some ways you can make sure everyone in your family gets plenty of quality sleep, which can give children a boost of energy to do well in school and adults plenty of energy to make it through the workday.

 

  1. Improve Your Mattress and Pillows

According to The Huffington Post, new beds can result in a significant decrease in stress levels. If you’re still sleeping on the same mattress you had when you moved into your first apartment, it’s time to change. Invest in a quality mattress and box spring set. You can save money in the long run by purchasing a platform bed so that you only need to purchase a mattress. When you test drive a mattress at the store, check its firmness and notice how it supports pressure points on your hips and your back. Pillows are a matter of personal choice and comfort, but if yours is as flat as a table, it’s time to replace it. The Sleep Doctor states that the best type of pillow supports your head, neck, and shoulders, and matches the feel of your mattress.

 

  1. Darken the Bedrooms

 

Having lots of windows to let in the light is a great thing for a house – during the day. At night, you don’t want glow from streetlights or headlights of cars, or from your neighbors’ houses coming into your bedrooms. To prevent that, invest in a set of blackout curtains or heavier blinds. Be careful, though. Blackout curtains can prevent natural sunlight from coming in as well, and that can upset your body’s natural circadian rhythm. So be sure to separate them enough to let in daylight

 

  1. Minimize the Distractions (and the Caffeine)

Make a household rule that all phones, tablets, laptops and TVs  must be turned off two hours before bed. If the adults are taking online classes or have important work deadlines, consider extending that by an hour. All of these devices emit what’s called “blue light,” which our brain interprets as daylight. If you need to, keep all household cell phones in one location during “device curfew.” Keep one available for emergency only. If you use your phone as your alarm clock, keep it away from your nightstand but loud enough so you can hear the alarm. Also, try to avoid caffeinated beverages approximately six hours before you go to bed. That might put a crimp in your normal caffeine intake, but it also might help you sleep better.

 

If we minimize distractions, cut back on our caffeine intake, and improve our bedding and bedrooms, we can become more restful, healthy, and energetic people.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Julia Merrill Bio:

Julia Merrill has many years of experience in the medical field and runs the site BefriendYourDoc.org.
Julia’s mission is to close the gap between medical providers and their patients, and aims to provide tips on finding the right medical care, health insurance, etc.

 

Connie

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