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Your Guide to Getting a Restful Sleep

Ah, sleep, one of our main essentials to life here on this planet. While the demand for sleep is non-negotiable, sound sleep is a sign of good health and is a necessity when striving to maintain it. Yet, people around the world rarely get enough sleep at night, and at least 40 million American’s suffer from a sleep disorder.

The reasoning or cause behind sleep disorders in individuals vary, from environmental factors to physical and emotional states, but no matter the ailment, they all have one thing in common: they can be destructive to our health and overall well-being. It’s said that our health, happiness, strength, intelligence, mental state and tissue repair all depend on sound sleep. Let that sink in for a minute.. 

Now take a moment and think about how many hours of sleep you received last night. 

Was it the recommended 7-9 hours?

If your answer is no, then it’s probably time to start making some changes to your nightly routine so your body can undergo its period of restoration instead of the usual unpredictable and interrupted sleep pattern. 

During National Sleep Comfort Month, our focus is not only on getting enough sleep, but getting quality sleep. Follow our tips and tricks below on how you can begin to receive the best rest for optimal prosperity.

  1. Schedule: As creatures of habit, our bodies work best if we keep to a set schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday, and yes, this includes weekends. Believe it or not, creating a sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s internal clock, helping you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

    • Suggestions to include in schedule: Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, wind down with a calming activity, relax until you feel tired (this doesn’t include any device with a screen – iPhone, TV, game, computer, iPad, etc).

  2. Environment: If you haven’t already, design your resting environment to establish the conditions you need for an ultimate night’s sleep. Your bedroom should be kept cool – between 60-67 degrees, and be free of noises that can disrupt you. Lastly, your space should be free of any light.

    • Additional items for the optimal sleeping environment: Sleeping masks or eye shades, blackout curtains, ear plugs, sound machines, humidifiers, and fans.

  3. Comfort: The average person spends about 26 years sleeping, so why not invest in a comfortable mattress? Most mattresses life expectancy is around 9-10 years, so if your mattress has exceeded that, it’s time for an upgrade! Don’t forget about the pillows and sheets either, as those are just as important as your mattress. Take your time when shopping for pillows and be sure to look for ones that will make your space attractive and inviting for sleep.

    • Shopping tips: When shopping for your new bedroom essentials, ensure your mattress is comfortable and supportive, while your pillows and sheets should be allergen free.

  4. Exercise: Don’t ever undervalue what a good workout can do. Your body conducts a certain amount of energy during the day, and if it isn’t released lack of sleep could be your result. It’s been proven that physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, and the time you spend in deep sleep helps to boost immune function, support cardiac health, and control stress and anxiety.

    • Workout Tips: The good news? It only takes about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise to see a difference, so you can walk, run, bike or even join a fitness class. Better yet, if you have a fitness program like Power for Life Fitness at your residential property, you have the luxury to just roll out of bed and walk down the hall!

  5. Nutrition: Ultimately, to maintain a normal sleep rhythm, one must maintain a normal eating rhythm. While some foods can actually help your sleep, many are here to disrupt it, causing spurts of nightmares, irritated stomach, insomnia and sleep-interrupting trips to the bathroom.

    • Food to Avoid: Caffeine, spicy foods, wine, dairy, dark chocolate and candy, carbs (heavy foods like pasta, pizza, etc), and sugary cereals. 

There’s no doubt that creating and maintaining an effective bedtime routine is a year-round endeavor, so don’t give up on mastering your sleep schedule prematurely, as it’s safe to say that sleep is too important to one’s health to shortchange.

Interested in learning more about Power for Life Fitness and our residential fitness/wellness programming? Click HERE.


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