Did you know that May is deemed Better Sleep Month?! The Better Sleep Council (BSC) – the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), has coined the edgy campaign slogan “Are You Better In Bed Than…?” in an attempt to raise awareness for the importance of getting quality sleep each night. The BSC’s campaign hope is to use Better Sleep Month as a way to get people talking about how great they are in bed – in relation to sleep, that is. 😉
Even though most people still struggle with getting a good night’s rest on a regular basis (myself included!), more and more people are starting to recognize the necessity of quality sleep and therefore focusing on making it a staple in their daily lives to maintain healthy and productive lifestyles. In addition, sleep plays a vital role in our physical health and well-being, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Sleep aids in the maintenance of your heart and blood vessels. Prolonged sleep deficiency increases your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. One’s mood, memory, and concentration can also become highly affected by lack of sleep.
3 Ways to Improve Your Sleep:
- Reduce Your Stress Level – According to sleep experts, stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties. If you find yourself struggling in this department, you may want to consider trying some stress reducing options such as yoga, meditation, exercise, walking/hiking, journal writing, and pet companionship. For those of age, a healthy touch of wine may also help; just don’t overdo it! – Anything that helps put your mind at ease and lowers your stress.
- Reduce Disturbances Prior to Sleep Time – Things such as drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol, noise distractions, and working or exercising close to bedtime can disrupt sleep. Also avoid eating large heavy meals late at night prior to bedtime.
- Improve Your Environment – I know it’s difficult in this day and age, but make a conscious effort to eliminate disturbances such as cell phones and social media before bedtime. These sorts of distractions serve to stimulate our brains rather than wind them down for sleep. Try to make your sleep environment as comfortable as possible by considering your bed size, mattress type, pillow type, the temperature of the room, and how light/dark the room is. Maintaining regularity in your sleep schedule will also help your body find a certain rhythm in your sleep patterns. Basically, find a routine that works, and stick with it!
Everyone’s sleep needs vary. On average, most healthy adults need about 8 hours of restful sleep each night, while others may need as little as 6 or as high as 10 hours to reach their peak daily performance without sleepiness. Though we are all wired a bit differently, it is extremely necessary for everyone to get plenty of quality sleep each night… and we MUST make it a PRIORITY!
To learn more about Better Sleep Month, visit BetterSleep.org starting May 1st, 2018. Also check out Better Sleep Council on Facebook and Twitter for daily tips and inspiration, and do your part to help spread awareness for Better Sleep Month!
So… how will you sleep tonight? I hope this article has inspired you! Be sure to stay tuned for more monthly columns from me as I share my world of dance, fitness, wellness, and healthy lifestyle tips. SWEET DREAMS!
Taryn T. Francis
IG and FB: @TarynTFrancis