A topic close to my heart. Sleeping.
Since I work at JYSK, I talk about beds, duvets and pillows almost every day, and I therefore also know a little something about what you “need” to have a god night’s sleep.
Even before starting my job, I was interested in sleeping. In its core essence, sleeping can be the foundation for how your day and life will turn out.
If you have a bad night’s sleep, you usually feel tired and more emotional, which can lead to overreacting and therefore weight gain.
Being tired can also make you less attentive and you can end up being dangerous for yourself and the people around you- I am thinking about transportation here.
But you can also be inattentive regarding your family and loved ones, missing important details in their lives, or even making their mood go sour.
I especially had some trouble with sleeping when I got my depression in 8th grade, and at that time I really got into why and how to need to have a decent night’s sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping because you have mental health issues, first consult a doctor or psychiatrist. Maybe you can get some medication for it. I for example got valeriana (I’m not 100% this is the right word, but it is a natural remedy to make me calm down whenever I had excessive thoughts at night)
Always remember to work on your mental health first if possible, because you have a clear mental state, it is easier to actually get something done.
Now for the actual tips for a better night’s sleep.
I will add a checklist that you can download and print if you feel like having these by hand.
- Go to bed and wake up same time every day
this will be the most optimal, but I usually stretch it a little whenever I have weekend/vacation. I will usually go to bed (to sleep) at 11pm and get up at 7am on normal days. In weekends though, I might wait with sleeping until almost midnight and get up at 8 or maybe 9, depending on how tired I feel.
Going to sleep and waking up at the same time will make your body remember your routine and you will feel more refreshed every day, while making your body also remember when to get up every day. I even wake up some days feeling refreshed even a few minutes before my alarm goes of.
- Don’t drink caffeine after 6pm
This is one I try to do everyday, because I know I will regret doing it when I go to bed. Caffeine, as most people know, makes you feel more energized, but if you drink it too late in the day, you will reap the effects when going to bed.
Even though it feels like you are tired, the caffeine will still be in your system making your body ready to sleep, but your brain unable to.
Caffeine usually stays in your system for about 3-5 hours, and therefore you might feel unable to sleep if you drink coffee late at night. (http://sleepeducation.org/news/2013/08/01/sleep-and-caffeine)
On the same note, please eat sugar at night in moderation too.
- Don’t use electronics at least one hour before bed.
This is one I am guilty of doing even AFTER having made a time comsuming project about it.
The blue light from phones, tv, tablets or computers makes it take longer to fall asleep, reduces the hours of REM sleep you get (the time where you dream) and therefore makes you feel tired after sleeping – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed
I recommend reading a book, taking a relaxing shower, having an evening walk or do some before bed yoga
- Wash your bed linen at least once a month.
I would recommend once every two weeks in the warmer months and once every week if you are an excessive sweater (not sweater)
This keeps your bed fresh and makes you actually want to go there while making sure you stay hygenic with no weird bacteria invading your space.
Remember to wash your pillow + duvet too! Not as often though, just follow the washing label on them 😊 And please remember to use enzyme free washing powder and so on- unless you want to kill your duvets
- Stay in a tempered room.
The “right” temperature can vary compared to how warm/cold you are, but about 16℃ would be ideal.
If you get too hot/cold in the night, it makes you wake up more often during the night and thereby disrupting your sleep. My guess is: everyone has at least once in their lives woken up bathed in sweat.
- Pick the right bed
This one has come to me after I started working at JYSK. You should talk with your local bed store about what type of bed fits you and your lifestyle, but here are some general tips:
The more you weight, the firmer bed you will need. Around 80kg, you might want to look at a firm/extra firm mattress.
If you are a warm person, try going for something with latex in it, as it regulates temperature to make you stable through the night.
- Sleep in a dark room
Sleeping in a dark room is the natural way of telling your body that it is time to go to sleep, and this way you might fall asleep faster
- Wake up to natural light
Just like the dark is the way to make your body fall asleep easier; light is the natural way to tell your body to wake up.
I use an alarm clock with sunset effect, and you could do the same. If you don’t want to spend the money, just remember to pull the curtains to the side in the morning to let some sunshine in.
- Only use the bed for bedlike activities
Sex, sleeping and reading – I give an okay 😉 the most important part is: not working in bed.
- Don’t sleep in the day
At your best ability, try not to sleep in the middle of the day. It will be shaken up your sleep pattern and make it harder to fall asleep plus making you feel more tired after sleeping.
- Don’t be scared of breaking habits once in a while
Even though going to bed at the same time everyday is a great habit, don’t be scared of saying yes to social events you really want to, even if it means getting to bed later than usually.
Sleep is important, but don’t forget having fun and enjoying your life.
As long as you don’t break habits every day, just get back into it and do your best 😊
- Air out 10 minutes before bed
This makes your sleeping environment seem fresher and makes it more enjoyable to sleep.
- Don’t drink alcohol daily
Alcohol once in a while is fine, but a bit like caffeine; alcohol makes you wake up more in the night and therefore makes you sleep less.
- If you can’t sleep – Get up
If you are trying to sleep, but you get nowhere; get up and do something relaxing.
After 30-60 minutes of trying to sleep, it might help getting up and doing something else like yoga, meditation or reading a book.
Please! No stimulating activities, as they will make it harder to fall asleep – this equals television, exercise or computer games (I guess you get the idea)
- Love your bedroom
This makes you more likely to get in there, and be able to relax.
This means: liking your bed, pillow and duvet while having nice and comfortable bed linen. Another good idea is to have a clean and comfortable atmosphere.
I hope some of these will help you sleep better, as they definitely help me!
I hope you all have a happy life, one day at a time