Without a doubt, we’ve all experienced that nasty sensation of laying down to sleep, after professing we would doze off even before our head got to touch the pillow, and not being able to keep the eyes shut. As the body breaks down from the stress and exhaustion throughout the day, the mind seems to race a hundred miles an hour, obstinately refusing to shut down. This, specialists say for Shape magazine
, can be easily overcome if we just pay attention to several details around our bedroom.
We can easily trick our body and mind into falling asleep and, what’s more important, catching some very resting zzz’s. Nevertheless, chances of that happening are slim to none if there is at least one factor that’s working against us when it comes to turning off the lights, and this is why we should know where to look. For instance, a lumpy mattress, the lack of air, noisy neighbors or too much light in the room can easily prevent us from falling asleep, even if we have grown so accustomed with them we hardly ever notice them.
“Most people think mattresses should last a lifetime, but they don’t – after all, we spend a third of our lives in bed. Although manufacturers may offer a 20-year warranty, mattresses are a lot like sneakers: They start to wear out long before they actually fall apart. Expect yours to last about eight to 10 years.” Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, says for Shape. His recommendation: changing the mattress if the 8-10-year limit is exceeded. Buying a new mattress is, again, not really as complicated as we often tend to make it, as it should be all about testing each one individually by laying on it and rolling around a couple of times, the expert says.
“Your body needs to be in the dark to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall, and stay, asleep.” experts also tell the mag about the need to create a dim ambient at least half an hour before actually going to sleep. Noises that are perceived, although not always acknowledged, can also keep us awake at night, so they should be eliminated. Specialists include here noisy neighbors, traffic, a snoring partner or a TV, and we’re to try all methods to shut them out altogether. Should none work, using ear plugs or a relaxation sound machine is probably best to get a resting night sleep.
Greens are also ideal to encourage sleep because they boost the sense of wellbeing and relaxation. “Plants improve air quality, and having a little bit of nature in your bedroom can improve relaxation. But they can also grow mold. If you’re highly allergic to mold spores, place your plant near a sunny window, keep the soil a little dry, and be diligent about removing dead leaves. Floras that top the clean-air list include English ivy, peace lilies, and bamboo palm.” Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of the Kettering Medical Center Sleep Disorders Center, Ohio, says for the publication.
For more tips on how to arrange the bedroom so as to eliminate all causes that might be keeping you awake at night, please see here