Get off the mass marketed mattress merry-go-round...
Your mattress is the most important piece of furniture in your home, so spend accordingly. There have been significant improvements to the traditional innerspring mattresses, which were first patented in 1865, so do some research on foam mattresses.
The increased popularity of all foam mattresses is no surprise, foam is considerably more conforming and comfortable than inner spring mattresses. Be aware that there can be a tremendous variation in the durability of foam, with natural latex setting the gold standard.
Unfortunately, the foam used in many mattresses is not nearly as durable as natural latex, and, as many who have quickly had a body impression form in a foam mattress can attest, sleeping without the necessary support makes for a lousy nights sleep. So, no matter what foam is used, latex, memory or polyurethane, its durability determines the useful life of your mattress. Don't buy any mattresses without a clear understanding of the quality of the foam used in your mattress.
Help your brain shift to sleep mode by eliminating blue light in the evening...
This is such a significant issue that sleep researchers just won the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Never underestimate the importance of high quality sleep for your health, mood and productivity. Most of us just need to learn more about proper sleep hygiene to have a longer and deeper night's sleep.
Actually, sensible sleep habits are easy to acquire, and most need just a little common sense, simply stop stimulating your brain into believing it's still daytime.
The most common culprit in convincing the brain it's still daytime is blue light, including computers, cell phones, TV, and most home lightning. Sunlight is in the blue spectrum, so all those blue lights interfere with our natural circadian rhythm the production of melatonin, a hormone which helps induce sleep. A brain that is stimulated by daylight, even artificial daylight, needs a couple of hours without daylight to shift to a night time mode.
Establish a regular sleep pattern by awakening at the same time every morning...
Sleeping in on the weekend is certainly relaxing, however, it cannot make up for a sleep debt you've accumulated during the work week. As you’ve probably noticed, no matter how hard you try, you can’t gain back that lost energy over the week, no matter how late you try to sleep on the weekends.
Research has shown that a regular waking time is more important than a regular bedtime, as our morning schedule does the best job of maintaining our natural circadian rhythm. Try to avoid alarms and work to establish a natural pattern that keeps you from going into sleep debt during the week.
Lower the temperature in your bedroom before getting into bed...
The two primary factors for inducing sleep are connected to the natural order of day and night, the sun goes down and the temperature drops. It certainly is a luxury of modern life that we can duplicate daylight hours in our homes, providing numerous benefits for our lifestyles.
However, at some point in the evening we must help our brain slow down and transition into nighttime. We have already discussed blue light, and the next step for inducing sleep is to lower our body temperature.
All four steps to a better night's sleep which we have discussed fall under the broad heading of sleep hygiene, and current research has made this a very hot topic. FoamSource following these topics closely, and regularly posts on the latest research and advice to our Blog and Information Resources.