Get a Great Night's Sleep
Nurse Susan provides an overview of 10 tools that will help you get a great night's sleep.
Consistent, quality sleep is essential for anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. When your sleep is poor, all aspects of your life take a hit, from your productivity at work to your performance in the gym. These ten tools can help you upgrade your sleep and ensure you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
If you suffer from heartburn or breathing issues that keep you up at night, a foam wedge is a simple tool that will help you enjoy a healthier sleeping experience.
Foam wedges keep your head and neck elevated while you sleep to prevent blockages or reflux that can negatively affect your sleep. They are also great for people who struggle with leg, back, or hip pain. Slide them under your knees at night for extra support.
A humidifier helps eliminate dryness in the air that can cause you to wake up with a scratchy throat or stuffy nose. Humidifiers are especially helpful for people who struggle with sleep apnoea or snoring. They encourage the sinuses to produce more moisture and improve airflow.
If you wake up with dry, itchy skin, a humidifier can also be a big help. It improves your skin's ability to keep moisture in, which means you are less likely to toss and turn because of skin irritations.
If your anxiety causes you to have a hard time falling asleep, a weighted blanket might be the perfect solution. Weighted blankets place extra pressure on the body that helps you feel calm and secure. This pressure encourages serotonin production to naturally lift your mood and increase melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it is time to rest.
Essential Oil Diffuser
If you are looking for a natural remedy for your insomnia, essential oils are the way to go. Diffusing oils like lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and sweet marjoram will help lower your blood pressure and promote a good night's sleep. Start diffusing them a few hours before bed to calm your mind and send a signal that it is time to rest.
White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is a great device for people who live in busy cities or areas where there is a lot of noise at night. The machine creates electric hums that help block out these noises and lulls you to sleep. Most machines come with a variety of sound and volume options, so you can adjust the levels to fit your personal preferences.
If you are not a fan of white noise but still need to block out sound to get a good night's sleep, an electric fan is another good option. Make sure you buy one that is loud enough to block the noise but also will not have the opposite effect and keep you up all night.
Fans also come with the bonus of cooling down your bedroom. The ideal night-time temperature for most people is somewhere around 19 degrees Celsius (67 degrees Fahrenheit). If you do not have an air conditioner (or do not want it to run all night), use a fan to bring down the temperature at night.
Blackout curtains are another good tool for people who live in the city or have light coming in while they sleep. They are also helpful if you work odd hours and need to sleep during the day. If you have light coming at you during the night (or any other time when you are trying to sleep), your body will naturally think that it is daytime, and you will find it difficult to fall asleep.
Look for curtains that can be adjusted to fit different window sizes and can be easily attached and detached. That way, you can take them down if you are travelling and get a good night's sleep no matter where you go.
Temperature Control Mattress Cover
If you are sensitive to temperature changes and often have a hard time staying cool at night, a mattress cover with a temperature control system is the perfect solution. These tools can easily be adjusted to be warmer or cooler and will help regulate your temperature while you sleep.
If you are always fighting with your partner over the temperature in your bedroom, you can both use these covers so that you can each enjoy your preferred level of warmth or coolness.
Slumber Secrets provides advice on the best sleep temperature, which depends on many factors.
You have probably heard it a million times by now but watching TV or staring at a computer or smartphone screen before bed will keep you wired and hinder your ability to fall asleep.
In a perfect world, everyone would turn off all their devices at least three hours before their bedtime. That is not likely in this day and age, though. If you must use a device before bed to help you wind down, wear some blue-blocking glasses to help counteract the blue light from the screen.
The glasses are made with an orange-coloured lens that blocks out some of the light and prevents you from feeling wide awake after watching TV or scrolling through social media. They are not perfect, and it is still best to limit your screen use. But, they will take some of the edges off and help you sleep better than you would without them.
You can also look into the settings on your smartphone or another mobile device to see if there is a "Nightshift" mode you can switch on at bedtime that emits a warmer light.
Many fitness trackers come with a unique feature that tracks your sleep and gives you information about the duration and quality. Newer models can even tell you how much time you spent in deep, light, and REM sleep.
As a bonus, lots of trackers have an alarm function that wakes you up with a gentle vibration. This is much more pleasant for most people than an audible alarm and will make waking up in the morning a more positive experience.
If you want better sleep and all the health benefits that come with it, these tools can help you get there. Give them a try today!
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About the Author
Nurse Susan has always been passionate about helping people heal. After she retired from a lifelong career as a nurse, that passion did not go away. She loves to use her expertise to write about the best ways to keep you and your family healthy, active, and happy.