May is Better Sleep Month, so there’s no better time to get a full night’s sleep than now. According to the Better Sleep Council, which educates the public about the relationship between sleep, good health and quality of life, getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night can make you feel more energized, concentrate more easily and maintain a healthy weight. These tips may help you catch some extra Zzz’s without having to count sheep.
Choose the Right Mattress
Your mattress is the single biggest factor in how well you sleep every night. If you have been sleeping on your mattress for more than seven years then it’s time for a replacement. Waking up with aches and pains is a sign that your mattress has worn down and lost the support it should be providing. Lumps and dents in the mattress are also an indication that it’s time for a new one. BCS also recommends that you replace your pillows every year to be certain they are providing the proper neck and spine support.
Make an Appointment with Sleep
Make sleep a priority by deciding when you’re going to bed and sticking to it. Consistency is key so your body can get used to a schedule.
Your bedroom should also be an oasis that is free of distractions, so consider setting a curfew for electronic use. The National Sleep Foundation says that watching TV or using a smartphone or laptop before bed can delay your body’s internal clock. Staring at the screen’s blue light suppresses the release of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. NSF recommends cutting out the electronics as early as two hours before bed.
Stop Hitting Snooze
You might think that hitting the snooze button is giving you more sleep, but it’s doing the opposite. If you’re a constant snoozer, you’re breaking up your restful sleep, which is making you feel more tired during the day.
Set a rule to wake up and stay up. Conditioning yourself to get up at the first alarm will give you more time to get ready and start your day. You might also find that you feel more rested.
The Power of Scent
Try using essential oils to help you sleep better. BCS notes that fragrances like lavender, vanilla and jasmine have proven calming effects. Lavender has also been shown to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature. Just place your essential oils in a diffuser in your bedroom and soak up the effects of a better night’s sleep. You can even sprinkle a few drops of the oil on your pillow before bed. It’s the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep!