Learn How to Sleep Better

A good night's sleep, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise, is essential to your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.

Do you get the recommended amount of sleep every night? Experts at the National Institutes of Health say that most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night. While your ability to sleep can be affected by a number of factors, one of the most important components of a good night's rest is to create a sleep sanctuary - an environment that promotes sound sleep to leave you feeling refreshed in the morning.

Follow these simple tips to create your ideal sleep sanctuary:

  1. Evaluate your bedroom environment including lighting, color, and accessories. Is it an oasis - a soothing space conducive to relaxation and indulgent comfort?
  2. Create a calming and personal environment in which you can begin and end each day.
  3. Comfort is the key to getting a good night's sleep so make sure you say "WOW!" when you are lying in your new bed. Select a mattress that gives you enough room to move easily - especially if you're sharing your bed.
  4. If your mattress is more than five to seven years old, it may not provide the proper comfort and support needed.
  5. Protect your mattress from unwanted invaders – encase your mattress in a mattress protector to keep dust mites and other microorganisms from invading and spills from penetrating.
  6. Choose top-quality pillows to keep your spine properly aligned and to cradle you in comfort. Pillows are designed for different sleeping positions – remember that how a pillow feels when you touch it in the store display is different than how it feels when you rest your head on it. Test drive your pillow before buying it.
  7. Make your bed extra inviting and uniquely yours with high-thread-count sheets and a plush bedding ensemble.
  8. Keep your sleep environment uncluttered, dark, quiet, and cool.

And, to improve the quality of your sleep:

  1. Schedule time for sleep. Make it an appointment that you cannot miss. When the quality of your sleep improves, so does your mood and the quality of your life. Tonight's rest helps determine how your tomorrow will be, so it should be at the top of any daily agenda.
  2. Wind down before bed to ease your anxious mind. Take a bath, meditate, or do whatever it takes to relax and wipe away the day's stress.
  3. Is your mind racing while trying to go to sleep? Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and jot down what's on your mind. If you still can't sleep after 20 minutes, get up, go into another room and engage in a calming activity until you feel ready to sleep.
  4. It's one day at a time. Changing your schedule and attitude about sleep requires lifestyle changes, dedication, and practice. Remember that the return on the investment will be a happier, healthier life.

For more tips on how to sleep better to improve your life, visit the Better Sleep Council.