Sleep. It’s an essential part of life, but while some people can drift off into dreamland the moment their head hits the pillow each night, others lay awake for what feels like an eternity waiting for the sleep gods to finally take over their body. And since the amount and quality of our sleep has a significant impact on our physical and emotional well-being, and persistent sleep deprivation can decrease our performance and alertness, cause us to gain weight, make us feel depressed, and weaken our immune systems, it’s imperative that we make it a priority.
The only problem is that, even with the best intentions, many of us struggle to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Busy schedules, sick children, chronic pain, life stresses, and persistent insomnia can and will make getting a solid 8-hour sleep sesh feel impossible, but with a little planning and preparation, it is possible to make sleepless nights an exception rather than a rule.
I’m very fortunate that I don’t often have problems in the sleep department, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I spent the greater part of a year in my mid-20s visiting doctors and trying various sleep aids, and after spending a night in a sleep clinic where nothing ‘of interest’ was detected even though I was waking up 10+ times each night, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time, and set out on a mission to cure my sleep issues myself. I read countless sleep books and articles, and through a lot of trial and error, I came up with lots of great natural tips for a better sleep that have proven successful not only to me, but to many of my friends and family members over the years.
And since I know there are heaps of people out there who struggle to catch an adequate amount of Zs each night, today I’m teaming up Yogabed™ to share 8 of my best natural tips for a better sleep.
1. STICK TO A STRICT SLEEP SCHEDULE
While I have always been a bit of a night owl, age and experience has proven to me that maintaining a strict sleep schedule, EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS, is paramount in keep sleep issues at bay. The more erratic my sleep schedule is, the more difficult I find it to fall asleep and stay asleep. This was a bit of a bummer when I was a carefree 20-something with late-night plans every weekend, but now that I’m the mother of a feisty 5-year-old who wakes up at the crack of dawn every. single. day., maintaining a regular sleep schedule is actually pretty easy for me. Of course, I make exceptions for special occasions or when I’m on a deadline, but as a general rule, I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
2. GET AT LEAST 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE
Yup. As annoying as it is, physical activity, or lack thereof, really does impact our ability not only to fall asleep, but to stay asleep as well. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to run a 10K race on your lunch break everyday, but the more active your lifestyle, the less likely you are to suffer in the sleep department.
3. LIMIT CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
If it were up to me, I would chase a glass of white with a cup of jo all night long, but the truth of the matter is that this is not only very unhealthy, but it would have devastating effects on my sleep. And since I am a miserable human being when I’m not well-rested, I make a conscious effort not to drink any caffeine after 12:00 pm, and on the nights I feel like indulging in a little vino, I try to limit myself to one glass. Two tops.
4. ASSESS YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
If you have problems falling and/or staying asleep, chances are you’ve already read the importance of ensuring your bedroom is conducive to a good night of sleep. There are a number of things you can do to help – splurge on a comfortable pair of sheets, turn down your thermostat, buy a white noise maker, limit TV-watching and reading to other rooms in your home, etc. – but the biggest game-changer for me was investing in a pair of blackout blinds. While I like waking up to natural sunlight, living in a condo in a big metropolitan city means there are lots of noises and lights throughout the night, and blocking it all out really does create a more zen sleep experience for me.
Life as a self-employed, work-at-home mom is fabulous and flexible, but it also makes it extremely hard to turn work off at the end of the day. I always feel like I should be doing MORE, and when I recently found myself staring at the ceiling agonizing over my never-ending list of things to do a few weeks ago, I decided to try and unplug myself an hour before bed each night. It made such a difference! By giving myself time to properly unwind and relax before crawling into bed, I find I’m able to empty my mind and fall asleep faster. Give it a try!
6. ESTABLISH A BEDTIME ROUTINE
When my daughter was a baby and waking up a million times a night, everyone told me I needed to establish a bedtime routine for her so that her body would come to understand that once we started to do certain things – change into our pajamas, brush our teeth, read a book together, etc. – it was time to wind down and go to sleep. I’ve adopted a similar routine myself, and it really does help send the appropriate signals to my body that the day is coming to a close.
7. KEEP STRESS AT BAY
Even though I don’t struggle with sleep issues on the regular, I definitely have difficultly falling and staying asleep when something is worrying me. I think this is typical of most people, and can be very challenging during times of intense stress. Sadly, it’s not always possible to limit these situations, but some of these tips to relieve stress naturally may help keep things manageable so you can get a better night of sleep.
8. INVEST IN THE RIGHT MATTRESS
While all of these tips really helped me find my way back to a good night of sleep when I was knee-deep in severe sleep deprivation, one of the things that helped me the most was investing in a good mattress. I had been sleeping on a bed that was older than I care to admit, and always found I slept better when I was traveling on business, and when someone suggested the issue might be my mattress, it really got me thinking. I eventually decided to use my annual bonus to splurge on a new bed, and it made such a huge difference. I have since upgraded my mattress a few times, and each time I do, I am amazed at the results.
So when the amazing folks at Yogabed™ asked if they could hook me up with a new mattress when we moved into our new home last weekend, I jumped at the chance. The staircase of our new house has very little swing room, and since my husband and I refuse to sleep on anything other than a king-sized mattress, we were a little stumped as to what we were going to do.
As it turns out, the Yogabed™ comes packaged in a box, and we had absolutely no issues getting it up the stairs, so it was a win!
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
How does a king-sized mattress fit into a box that size?
We wondered the same thing, but after cutting open the box and removing the air-tight plastic wrapping, we were left with a luxury foam mattress that is out-of-this-world comfortable.
The mattress is comprised of the Yoga Comfort System™, which is an advance layered system specifically designed to optimally support the body by dispersing weight evenly and reducing pressure points that cause tossing and turning. It also came with 2 free Yogabed™ Pillows, has a Zip-n-Wash removable cover featuring THERMOCOOL™ high performance fabric, and with a 101 night no-risk trial and a 1o year warranty, you really can’t go wrong.
Oh, and did I mention I’m offering $75 off a mattress? Simply visit the Yogabed™ site and use the coupon code ‘Meraki75’ during the checkout process!
Moving is never fun, but we’re so excited to have officially moved into our new home, and thanks to our new Yogabed™, we’re well-rested and happy and ready to go explore our new neighborhood and make new memories as a family.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the $75 off coupon when you order your Yogabed™ using the code ‘Meraki75’ during the checkout process!
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Yogabed is comprised of the Yoga Comfort System™, an advanced layered system specifically designed to optimally support the body by dispersing weight evenly and reducing pressure points that cause tossing and turning.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yogabed. The opinions and text are all mine.