What goes into getting a perfect, comfortable sleep?
Simply asking yourself, “how can I sleep better?” means you’re ready to take it to the next level. Luckily most habit changes are simple (such as going to bed on time and staying away from your phone) but can go a long way toward achieving the kind of quality sleep you need.
Sleeping comfortably, which means without pain and with peace of mind, can really affect the quality of sleep you get. A lot of bedtime comfort-ability has to do with your mattress, but there are a few other important things involved in a good night’s rest.
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Here are a few ways your mattress can help you sleep soundly, as well as some other tips for how to get better sleep.
1. Find the Perfect Pillow
You may not know this, but the way you sleep can seriously affect how comfortably you sleep. Although it may be pertinent to switch up sleeping positions, like if you’re pregnant, sometimes you just need the right support to make your preferred position more comfortable.
Supporting your neck properly with the right pillow can turn sleepless nights into a guaranteed good night’s rest. Back sleepers (which some say is the only way you should sleep) need a thinner pillow that has extra neck support at the bottom third of the pillow. Side sleepers should find a firm pillow that can fill the space between the shoulder and ear. And stomach sleepers need a soft, super thin pillow that won’t put extra strain on the neck.
If you think your pillow is right, but you still aren’t sleeping well, try paying attention to the position you wake up in, instead of the position you fall asleep in. You may fall asleep on your side, but wake up on your back, meaning the majority of the night was spent with uneven neck support.
2. Support Your Spine
Adequate spinal support is one of the most important factors in sleep comfortability. If your back is not in a neutral, relaxed position, then your muscles will tighten up and that causes stress and pain. When your body is stressed and in pain, it won’t let you go to sleep.
In order to reduce that pressure, your spine needs to be in a neutral position. To do this, you may need a new mattress that offers support where support is needed, such as around the lower back and shoulders.
If you aren’t able to get a new mattress, you can mimic the support with pillows. Side-sleepers can put pillows between their knees to reduce pressure on their hips and spine. If you sleep on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees to align your spine better.
3. Don’t Sweat the Bed
Temperature can be a huge part of sleeping comfortably. Studies have shown that sleeping in a cooler room can help you sleep better. The best temperature for sleep seems to be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 degrees can be disruptive to sleep.
Regardless of temperature, a sweaty night’s sleep is never good. Although warm bedroom temperatures can worsen this problem, sweating happens to everyone when they sleep. To eliminate this issue, you need a mattress that can breathe and doesn’t trap moisture.
Thick, porous mattresses, such as foam mattresses, have very small airways that can easily get clogged and reduce air flow. Those who regularly sweat at night should consider finding a mattress that lets air pass freely through the material as they sleep.
4. Calming Bedtime Rituals
It can be useful to relax your mind and body before bed to help you sleep more comfortably. If your body is stressed and tense, you will have a hard time falling asleep and you may wake up in pain if your body isn’t able to relax.
You can combat this by developing a bedtime ritual that relaxes your body. A warm bath or shower before bed is a popular way to relieve tense muscles. The warm water can help loosen your muscles so they are relaxed for bedtime.
Other useful methods of relaxation include stretching, yoga, meditation, and heating pads. Heating pads can be a useful tool to relax muscles, but should not be slept on. Be sure to turn off your heating pad and remove it from the bed before falling asleep to avoid injury.
5. Pressure-Reducing Sleeping Positions
Pressure points occur when you have a spike of pressure that is hurting you, which makes it difficult for you to sleep. When a mattress doesn’t have proper support, and won’t cave where pressure should be reduced, pain can spring up in those areas.
To reduce pain, you should relieve those pressure points as best you can. You can do this by finding a mattress that can redistribute pressure to a larger surface area, providing relief around the areas of your body that need it most.
You can also switch up your sleeping position to a location that relieves some of the stress on those pressure points. Sleep scientists recommend sleeping on your side, as it is the best way to relieve stress on prominent areas. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees, and with knees pulled closely to the chest, is the recommended position for pregnant women and those with back pain to reduce some pressure while sleeping.
6. Embrace Cozy Bedding
It may seem trivial, but comfortable bedding is an important factor in achieving a good night’s rest. Fleece sheets in the summer, or an old, scratchy comforter can interrupt your sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep all together.
Make your bed welcoming with a synthetic down comforter, soft sheets, and a fuzzy throw blanket. And remember to find bedding that exists in layers, so that you can add or subtract as many layers as necessary with ease throughout the night.
7. Find Peace of Mind
It may sound silly, but consumers have reported having worse sleep because they are stressed about the price of their mattress. After spending a few thousand dollars on a mattress, people start to worry, “Is it worth the money?” instead of focusing on relaxing.
Your mattress, as well as your bedding, should put you at ease and make you feel comfortable, physically and emotionally. Finding a quality mattress at a good value and investing in bedding that makes you feel good is essential to getting a good night’s rest. Reading mattress reviews is a great place to start.
Comfortable sleep is necessary to feel energized and motivated the next day. Too many people settle for less than superior sleep and suffer for it each day. These simple suggestions can take your sleep to the next level, and your body and mind will thank you for making that extra effort toward sound sleep.
Here’s the rundown of 7 simple tips for how to sleep better at night:
- Find the perfect pillow
- Support your spine
- Don’t sweat the bed
- Have a calming bedtime ritual
- Sleep in a pressure-reducing position
- Have cozy bedding
- Find peace of mind