Our first instinct may be to curl up for a good nap when we hear “Celebrate Sleep Week.” But, we hope you’ll take a moment to consider how you can improve your zzz’s. The National Sleep Foundation has marked April 23 through April 29 as “Sleep Awareness Week.” The theme is “Sleep Better, Feel Better,” because when we’re well rested, everything reaps the benefits. A good night’s sleep can improve mood, productivity, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. Did you know that 35% of Americans rate their sleep as only fair or poor? It’s obvious there is room for improvement!
So, what are some ways we can get a better night’s rest? We have a few unique ideas to try to help you better celebrate sleep week!
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Think of the gentle sound of a ceiling fan or a rainstorm during the night. That’s white noise. It works by reducing the difference between background sounds and sudden noises. Constant ambient sound can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. To try white noise, you can simply use a fan or air purifier or invest in a sound machine (sometimes called sound conditioners) or download a white noise app on your phone.
When you were a child, it’s likely your sleep routine would be to brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, listen to a bed time story, and get tucked into bed. As adults, we tend to abandon a pre-sleep routine in favor of getting one more thing done before hopping into bed. However, a sleep routine such as having a calming cup of tea, reading a book, listening to relaxing music, or taking a bath or shower, can help you unwind and prepare for sleep. It’s also best to avoid stimulating activities such as aerobic exercise, work, watching TV, or playing video games at least 30 to 60 minutes prior to bed.
Did you know that our body temperature is not consistent throughout the day? It actually rises and falls slightly and this cycle is tied to sleep. Our body temperature decreases as we prepare for sleep and will increase as the morning progresses. A room that is too warm can reduce the ability for our body to cool and reach an optimal temperature before bed. Approximately 65 degrees is the ideal temperature, but it’s a good idea to experiment with temperatures around 65 degrees to see what works best for you. Also, consider purchasing cotton pajamas or sheets to stay cool and how many layers you may wear to bed or have on your bed.