Does sleep matter?
There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything you need done, and when you factor in Netflix, YouTube and social media… Who needs sleep, anyway?
Unfortunately, the cost to skimping on sleep turns out to be pretty high, both to you and to the economy, and Americans are some of the worst culprits. Without enough sleep, your skin is going to age faster. You’ll be less focused, and less able to solve problems and learn. You will struggle more to maintain emotional equilibrium and deal with stress and frustration. It also contributes to a whole list of lifestyle diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, stroke, obesity, heart disease, cancer and, ultimately, earlier death than the average. Your lack of sleep is literally killing you from the genetic level on up.
If you find yourself struggling to get an uninterrupted eight hours, then you may need to make some modifications in the bedroom, and with that eye-opening list of risks, you should be motivated to track down distractions and barriers to sleep and slay them. Here are some of the most common problems to solve.
When was the last time you got a new mattress? Contrary to popular opinion, they don’t last forever, and with modern innovations in mattress technology, the chances are that your old mattress isn’t doing you justice anymore. Order online, have it delivered in a box straight to your bedroom, and enjoy greater comfort and customization.
Bedding and linens often get overlooked when it comes to barriers to sleep, but a small change there could mean a big improvement to your rest. If you tend to get overheated or chilled during the night, then it may not bring you all the way to consciousness, but it might be preventing you from getting the sort of deep sleep that your body needs. For those who sleep cool, silk, flannel and wool are good materials for improving thermal comfort and retaining heat. Electric blankets, mattress toppers or heating pads can provide an added boost when you need it.
If you tend to wake up sweaty, then you need sheets with cooling technology. Standard cotton and synthetic bed sheets can get damp and hold too much heat, so look for a fabric that wicks moisture and helps you maintain thermal comfort. Silk and linen are effective materials but tend to be delicate and pricey. Hi-tech synthetic blends with cooling technology are likely to be your best option.
If noise is a problem in your space, then there are several options available. Earplugs are an old standby, and the new generation includes noise-canceling technology. Over-ear headphones offer physical barriers with the option of noise canceling and often come paired with sleep masks for added insulation against disturbances. White noise apps or machines are an excellent alternative for those who can’t stand the idea of wearing something to bed. They broadcast a layer of constant, subtle sound that blanks out distractions while you sleep.
Sleep is important to your health and success. Take proactive steps to stay healthy and productive by identifying and eliminating barriers to good sleep, such as poorly suited mattresses and bedding and a noisy or distracting environment.