Healthy Sleep for the New Year!

Start the new year right with healthy sleep!  At Mattress Outlet, we know it’s not all about the mattress (even though that is a big part), it’s also about your environment and what you do every day that can affect your sleep.  

How does lack of sleep affect your body?

If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.  (see graphic below)

(graphic credit: Healthline.com)

Tips for better sleep:

1. Power Down Your Technology
The soft glow from a cell phone, tablet, or digital clock on your bedside table may hurt your sleep.

Tip: Turn off TVs, computers, and other blue-light sources an hour before you go to bed. Cover any displays you can’t shut off.

2. Take Naps Off of Your List of Things to do
You’ll rest better at night. If you have to nap, make sure it is in the early part of the day and keep it 20 minutes or less.

Tip: Overcome an afternoon energy slump with a short walk, a glass of ice water, or a phone call with a friend.

3. Block Your Clock or Phone
Do you glance at it several times a night? That can make your mind race with thoughts about the day to come, which can keep you awake.  Write down your list of things to do at night on paper before.

Tip: Put your alarm clock in a drawer or on the other side of the room, under your bed, or turn it away from view.

4. If you have back pain, try a Leg Pillow
Your lower back may not hurt enough to wake you up, but mild pain can disturb the deep, restful stages of sleep. Put a pillow between your legs to align your hips better and stress your lower back less. Add an adjustable base to your bedroom set.

Tip: Do you sleep on your back? Tuck a pillow under your knees to ease the pain. Talk to your sleep expert at Mattress Outlet about an adjustable base.


5. Put Your Neck in ‘Neutral’
Blame your pillow if you wake up tired with a stiff neck. It should be just the right size — not too fat and not too flat — to support the natural curve of your neck when you’re resting on your back. Do you sleep on your side? Line your nose up with the center of your body. Don’t snooze on your stomach. It twists your neck.

Tip: Use good posture before bed, too. Make sure you are in a comfortable position watching TV and reading.  If you go to bed with pain from bad posture, it will affect your sleep.

6. Use a Mattress Protector on Your  Mattress
Sneezes, sniffles, and itchiness from allergies can lead to bad sleep too. Your mattress may hold the cause. Over time, it can fill with mold, dust mite droppings, and other allergy triggers. Avoid those issues with a simple Mattress Protector for your mattress and box springs.

Tip: Air-tight, plastic, dust-proof mattress covers/protectors work best.

7. Make Sure you Save Your Bed for Sleep and Sex
Your bedroom should feel relaxing. Don’t sit in bed and work, surf the Internet, or watch TV where you sleep..

Tip: Also keep your sleep temperature between 68 and 72 degrees.

8. Work on Your Body Clock
Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day, even on weekends. This routine will get your brain and body used to being on a healthy snooze-wake schedule. In time, you’ll be able to nod off quickly and rest soundly through the night.  “Sleeping In” doesn’t really catch you up on sleep.

Tip: Get out in bright light for 5 to 30 minutes as soon as you get out of bed. Light tells your body to get going!

9. Watch out for Caffeine in Anything
Coffee in the morning is fine for most people. But as soon as the clock strikes noon, avoid caffeine in foods and drinks.  Even small amounts found in chocolate can affect your sleep later that night.

Tip: Read your labels. Some pain relievers and weight loss pills contain caffeine.

10. Work Out Regularly but do it Right
Regular exercise helps you sleep better — as long as you don’t get it in too close to bedtime. A post-workout burst of energy can keep you awake. Aim to finish any vigorous exercise 3 to 4 hours before you head to bed.

Tip: Add stretching and gentle mind-body exercises, like yoga or tai chi, to relax you and get you ready for sleep.

11. Eat Right With Plenty of Time Before Bed

Don’t eat heavy foods and big meals too late. They overload your digestive system, which affects how well you sleep. Have a light evening snack instead.

Tip: Finish eating at least an hour before bed.

After you make all of these changes, make sure to check your mattress.  A bed mattress should provide flawless posture support to your body. For instance, a memory foam mattress minimizes the gap between your body and the mattress for added support. This helps you sleep better without any discomfort. In order to sleep peacefully, you should not be exposed to any allergens.

Also, check the date on the tag of your mattress.  A mattress is good for 8 years as long as you regularly flip or rotate it.  A better mattress can make all the difference.

If you do find yourself in need of a new mattress, come on by one of our four Mattress Outlet locations.  We encourage taking a nap on as many mattresses as you need to so you can find the right one for YOU.  And, we will also deliver for FREE and take away your old mattress so you don’t have to worry about it.  Mention that you saw this on Pensacola With Kids and you’ll get $57 off your purchase of $199 or more!