The five best ways to get better sleep in your home.
And here we are again at Sweet blog, the sweetest blog online.
And today, due to several questions from our readers regarding the subject, we will address one of the most significant issues in every home - its space dedicated to sleep and how we can improve it.
First, it is highly recommended to get a little educated on the matter and read the clinical definitions of this phenomenon, better known as Insomnia. You can find quality information on the subject here.
There is a well-known quote:
"My mom told me to follow my dreams - so I took a nap."
And now, seriously, the considerable contribution of quality sleep to our physical and mental health has been proven by countless studies. And yet, more and more people struggle to get proper sleep time, an action that, as mentioned, is critical for their health and routine daily functioning. You can read more here about the devastating consequences of sleep disorders on your daily functioning.
This article will review everything related to sleeping in your home space. What are the challenges and problems, and how can you improve them and move towards quality sleep in your home.
The article's structure will be in such a way that it will raise a challenge relevant to the issue of sleep, and next to it will be presented its solution.
The scope of the discussion will be quite broad, starting from physical and medical aspects through mental and ending with social ones.
And as always, at the end of the article, there will be a refreshing infographic presentation to summarize its content for you.
There is a quote attributed to the fashion Icon Gucci:
"Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten."
An intuitively accepted fact is that the quality of the "sleep tools" (mattress, bed, etc.) is critical to the quality of your sleep.
Therefore, first and foremost, you must ensure that you have the most appropriate "sleeping tools" (within your budget, of course). And if improving sleep is an important goal for you, you should do as much as possible to have everything you need.
Although the mattress and bed market is quite huge, and the variety will blow your mind, these products must Be adjusted in the most personal and suitable way for you and your preference!
That is why the large selection mustn't confuse you, and after a thorough examination, you can choose what is most suitable for you.
Here and here, you can read more about how to choose a mattress and bedding in an ideal way.
Don't be shy, and do the most in-depth tests you can. Your sense of comfort and peace while lying on the bed that intrigues you should be your top priority, and if that means you have to take a nap in the middle of the store - go for it!
By the way, and our deepest apologies to all the owners of online stores for mattresses, this is why we do not recommend purchasing a mattress online. Unlike most products, you must physically feel your mattress in the most intimate sense before purchasing. And even if you're sure it's the same model you saw in the physical store and all that's left is to order it online (because it's usually cheaper there) - don't!
How does it feel?
Another essential aspect is an ideal sleeping environment.
Your sleeping environment mainly consists of a space of four walls known as a "bedroom."
The more your sense of comfort and calm in that room increases, the more ideal your sleeping environment will be.
But let's be honest. There isn't a one-size-fits-all magic solution when creating an ideal sleeping environment.
Some people will need environmental changes in Feng Shui style to help them sleep better. For a particular person, this will involve creating a darker space. For the other, it will be sealing against external noise. And some will even need to lower the room temperature and take a warm bath, everyone, and their personal preferences.
The guiding principle is to create a better sleep-supportive physical home environment than the one you currently have.
The way to do this should include preliminary research that will locate those points in your bedroom that need improvement and which are personally adapted to the challenges you face.
By doing this, you can improve your physical sleep environment.
So now, after we understood (the obvious, we should note) that the road to better sleep quality begins with improving your bed environment, it's time to move to the next step.
2. The battle of the mind.
Stephen Covey once said: "mind over mattress."
We're pretty sure that this phrase seems to bring up associations that explain its essence right from the start.
There is no need to expand on the enormous effect an overactive brain has on insomnia. We all experience it. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand this.
Just try to remember the last time something was disturbing your mind. Were you able to sleep well?
An overly active mind will prevent you from being able to relax, which is especially necessary for a good night's sleep.
Here you can read more about why You Want To Sleep, But Your Brain Won't Stop Talking To Itself.
A chattering brain disturbs sleep
We've talked enough about the problem. Well, how about a solution?
Look, we wouldn't be honest if we said there is a magic solution for a chattering brain or nagging thoughts that disturb sleep. And anyone who unequivocally states otherwise is probably trying to sell you something.
But we can indeed humbly say that we have some ideas that might help you and be worth checking out. What do you have to lose (besides thinking about it before going to sleep, so you won't be able to fall asleep. After all, you're awake anyway)?
Gillian Flynn once said:
"Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it."
Without pretending to be a fussy New Age guru, yet, so much lies in the broader contexts of this quote. You will frequently hear profound sayings that resistance (in the sense of lack of Acceptance) is the root of all suffering.
Just as Ram Dass argued:
"The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering." Some will even argue that Acceptance Is the Key to Happiness.
It's mainly because, in the very act of non-acceptance, the brain creates a state of disharmony, which inevitably leads to an unpleasant feeling.
When something unpleasant happens, and you, if you're not particularly lazy, do everything you can to improve it, but you still don't succeed, and the result remains the same - will worrying/beating yourself/getting angry/whining - change the unwanted outcome? Of course not.
The only thing actions like these (known as "resistance/lack of acceptance") will do is frustrate you even more.
You must have heard Buddha's famous story about the second arrow.
Buddha once asked his student:
'If an arrow strikes a person, is it painful? Is it even more painful if a second arrow strikes the person?'
After the student did not fully understand his teacher's intention, he received an answer:
In life, we can't always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The meaning of the second arrow is entirely optional, and it is in our hands."
Once the result is clear and unchangeable, there is no point in hurting yourself again with another arrow. Breathe, regroup, and move on as many times as needed.
Read more here about Second Arrow Syndrome: How We Multiply our Own Suffering, and How We Might Avoid It.
As mentioned before, as long as you are not particularly lazy, you will get things done even if you are a little late sometimes.
And yet, most of our disturbing thoughts deal with issues and matters that are no longer relevant at the practical level and which we have no control over now.
This unaccepting conversation going on in your chatty mind ranges from aspects of concern over which you have no control ("Is Elizabeth mad at me, she made a weird face at me this morning at the office?" "What about my rent in ten months, will my landlord raise my the payment in our next contract"), through irrelevant perfectionism ("I'm sure I could have presented my morning boss presentation better. I can forget about my promotion"), and ending with self-flagellation without any purpose ("I'm not a good father, I'm fed up from myself").
All these aspects have a common denominator - thinking (obsessive and exhausting, it should be noted) about them at this particular moment will contribute nothing to their improvement. Action is what is needed, not self-pity.
And before you raise the argument of - "If he doesn't think about it, how will he be aware and improve it"? - Our answer in advance is that there is no problem with one thought characterized by practicality and clarity. The problem starts when your brain forms a podcast with itself and forgets to invite you.
If you have an issue in your work with Elizabeth, approach her and ask her politely, and together try to resolve it.
Your apartment contract for another ten months is not open to any practical discussion at the moment. There is no point in worrying about it so early in advance. It does not contribute to anything.
Regarding your presentation, Next time, be better prepared if you have doubts about your job performance.
If you think you are not a good father, go to a professional specializing in parenting and see what you can do about it to improve.
The guiding principle is that the non-accepting/harmonious thought only exhausts you and, above all, distracts you from finding more accurate and effective solutions for your problems.
Byron Katie's latest book - "A Mind at Home with Itself" - will open your mind to the matter. Please do yourself a (huge!) favor and read it.
Now, You must be asking how all of this relates to your sleep (and how we solve it).
In fact, against the rising flow of thoughts, all you have to do is treat them like clouds - just let them pass you by without engaging/getting attached to them.
We are well aware that this may sound particularly difficult. But it isn't. You think it is not easy because you link This simple act and your desire to see immediate improvement results. That's not the way things work. The process itself is pretty simple. And as for the results - give it some time.
An interesting trick in this context is to place a question mark combined with a smile instead of an exclamation mark at the end of each thought.
"I'm not a good enough father" = self-beating/frustration/an exhausted and confused brain that doesn't stop chatting with itself = sleep disorders.
"Am I not a good enough father? (with a smile that combines supercilious) = an amusing thought that passes quickly without leaving a memorable mark = happy snorts.
These are just simple examples of the Letting go of thought technique instead of struggling with it - Something that we are pretty sure will contribute to your peace of mind disturbing your sleep so much.
And again, to all the perfectionists' anxious people among you, remember - the things that are supposed to be done will eventually be done at the end of the day - chill, please!
Don't mistake this technique for overlooking. It's just supposed to help you be practical and calm right now (For this particular moment (which is the only one that exists, by the way) - and thus get some sleep.
And besides that, a little nonchalance and easygoingness never hurt anyone. Think about that for a moment.
By the way, Another excellent tip in this regard - try to meditate in a technology-free environment about twenty minutes before your bedtime. This will help you a lot with calming your mind, which will inevitably help you to fall asleep more smoothly.
Leon Kass once said:
"Many people recognize that technology often comes with unintended and undesirable side effects."
Indeed, along with the enormous benefits of technological advancements, it still brings considerable challenges.
The main one is, as is well known, the loss of the human dimension. We communicate using screens only. We express emotion through engineered likes, and sophisticated algorithms are what make us feel loved due to the bounce of personalized content at exact times.
In terms of the scope of use, some may even argue that the technological advance, reflected in the obsessive use of technological equipment (smartphones, for that matter), is much more addictive than heroin and meth. You may be surprised to hear, but there are currently New Studies Compare Smartphones to Cocaine Addiction.
In light of all this, and further to what we wrote above regarding the importance of a calm and peaceful mind for good sleep - it is pretty clear how much technology can be a factor in sleep disorders.
Be honest for a moment. How often have you scrolled aimlessly on your smartphone screen until the middle of the night without realizing what you're looking at?
Aimless scrolling disturbs sleep
This phenomenon is so common that it even received an official name:
"revenge bedtime procrastination" - the decision to postpone your sleep due to mental stress and the lack of free time during the day. A kind of compensation ("revenge") that is not healthy for you, but you do it anyway.
And what better "better" way to do that than mindlessly scrolling on your smartphone?
The brilliant software developers of the big tech companies are fully aware of these phenomena, and that's why they developed crazy algorithms that will characterize you and your content preferences very quickly. Thus the content will tempt you to keep scrolling, and you won't be able to put the freaking phone down. It's all deliberate, and big bucks are invested in it.
The problem with continuous scrolling is not only wasting time that should have been devoted to sleep. It is much more severe - following the exciting content of social media, your heart rate and adrenaline may increase. With them, your emotional state becomes a kind of roller coaster, and how on earth will you manage to fall asleep like that?
Try to think about it this way - what puts you to sleep faster, a Mike Tyson fight or a documentary about the Austro-Hungarian dynasty?
By the way, we won't even start talking about the "blue light" that comes from these screens, which will disturb not only your sleep but also harm your health.
So now that we have somewhat understood the problem, what is the solution?
Well, like many other things in life, the solution is very easy to say but challenging to implement:
Once you have decided (and you must decide) about bedtime - the phone does not enter the room half an hour before that. Simple as that!
The same goes for the TV in your bedroom (you don't have to take it out of the room, of course. turn it off and put the remote away from you).
The half-hour before bed should be completely screen-free!
Two more tips on the matter.
One, make sure you charge your phone outside of your bedroom. That way, you will be much less tempted to use it.
Second, do some deep mental work with yourself by deeply recognizing that the bedroom is supposed to be a free space of relaxation and a technology-free zone. This psychological insight can help you in the mental war against the temptations of technology.
These actions, together with those mentioned above, will help you relax properly - something that has been proven critical regarding falling asleep more smoothly.
4. Better time management.
Regarding better time management, first and foremost, you should read the article about it from our sweet blog.
You must be asking how time management is related to better quality sleep in your home.
Well, if you are not aware of how your day will go and when you are supposed to go to sleep, you will be in serious trouble when it comes to sleeping smoothly.
Manage your day so that the time you are supposed to sleep will be the time you are most physically exhausted.
An unnecessary afternoon nap that will keep you up at night - out!
Eating too heavily close to sleep which will weigh you down and prevent you from falling asleep - hell no.
Aerobic exercises close to sleep that will raise your heart rate to such a level that it will take time to "relax," and thus, your sleep will be disturbed - don't!
Caffeine/alcohol before bed - a big no-no!
Taking care, close to sleep, of work or family matters which can be done earlier in the day - not very wise.
Try to create a relaxing sleep ritual that includes reading/listening to relaxing music, etc.
Manage your time wisely!
The guiding principle is planning your day's activities to bring you to sleep when you are as relaxed and tired as possible. And although it sounds very "cold" and technical - it can be done. A little strategic thought, and you're all set.
5. Medical reasons.
Under no circumstances do we pretend to be a medical source that provides medical recommendations. All our intentions in this regard are only to discuss things that we think are important in this context.
Despite our goodwill and everything stated above, medical reasons are sometimes the source of the problem that makes it difficult for you to get a good night's sleep. As such, their solution is only in the hands of your doctor.
Medical reasons that may cause this can be related to Neurological problems, diabetes, kidney disease, problems with breathing, vascular issues, and even mental problems.
And although we do not despise spiritual tools, God forbid, no matter how much meditation you practice, if you have kidney problems for the sake of argument, things will not work out without proper medical treatment. If this is the case, your only solution is to contact your doctor and talk to him about it. As a professional in the field, he is your only address in cases like these.
See this dude!
The medical field of treating sleep problems has developed enormously, and doctors today have a variety of tools with which they can help you. Sophisticated sleep labs, which you've probably heard of, are just one of them.
In conclusion, we hope that this article will help you to some extent in improving sleep in your home.
And if you've come this far, don't forget to jump to our collections page.
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