There’s no getting around it: Sleep is important. It reenergizes us, keeps our minds alert, speeds up our metabolism and helps to elevate our mood. But between snoring partners, lumpy mattresses, old pillows and bed-hogging pets, there's a lot going on in bedrooms across America. Unfortunately, it's wreaking some serious havoc on the quality—and quantity—of sleep we're getting.
"According to some experts, the average American sleeps just six-and-a-half hours a night during the workweek and just over seven hours on weekends—that's well below the suggested 8-plus hours per night," says Denny Bradford, director of Ashley Sleep.
So what's keeping us awake? Here's a look at some factors that can often play a major role in sleeplessness:
- A snoring spouse
- Pets in the bed
- Partner's motion
If these sound all too familiar, consider the following easy ways to improve your sleep so you can seize your day, every day:
1. Decide if your mattress is a good fit. If you have a spouse that tosses and turns, or pets that share your bed, a memory foam mattress—or gel mattress with memory foam—may be a good fit. Memory foam contours the mattress to the body and helps alleviate pinches and pains that can cause restlessness. It also absorbs motion so that each partner is supported independently.
2. Control the snoring. Since allergens can be a cause of snoring, make sure to rid the room of any potential snoring hazards like dust, mildew, fungus and pet hair. You can do this by replacing pillows yearly and by regularly washing sheets and keeping the room clean and vacuumed. Latex mattresses may also help with snoring since they're more resistant to bacteria, mold, mildew and dust-mites. If you've tried every possible remedy and the snoring just won't go away, it may be time to see a professional.
3. Take advantage of the weather! With the fall season officially upon us, the cooler weather can actually work to your advantage—and save you some money on your heating bill. Optimal sleeping temperatures in the bedroom should be somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees—so no need to crank up the heat too high. Fall's shorter days can be beneficial to your sleep, as well, since the sun is early to set and late to rise. A darker room means better sleep.
4. Keep the family room OUT of the bedroom. A bedroom should be a personal sanctuary, an inviting place that reflects your personality and taste. Unfortunately, many people also use their bedroom as a home office or TV room. Reserving this space for sleep alone will lead to a more restful environment and better night's sleep.
5. Be routine. Keeping a nighttime routine isn't just for kids; it can also help improve your level of sleep. Whether it's a hot bath, a book, journaling, or a cup of decaf tea that does the trick, be sure relax and unwind before bedtime so you can be at your best the next day.
Source: Ashley Sleep