May is Better Sleep Month and we’re working with the Better Sleep Council to help spread awareness about the importance of sleep in maintaining wellness. In a 2008 survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council, nearly 2 out of 3 respondents reported impaired sleep due to stress. One third of Americans experience poor sleep at least one night per week, and 16% are diagnosed with stress-induced insomnia. Over 40% of survey participants stated they were irritable due to sleep deprivation. An estimated $150 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism results from poor sleep. Yikes!
Quality sleep is essential for a healthy and happy life at home, at work and with others. We spend about one third of our lives sleeping, yet experts say 100 million Americans regularly have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or getting a good night’s sleep. To ensure you’re getting the sleep you need, we’ve collected a few simple tips, from establishing routines to making sure you have comfortable bedding such as quality sheets, warm comforters, down comforters, blankets and pillows.
Plan for a perfect sleep.
Before you can start to enjoy the benefits of better sleep, you’ll need to make sleep a priority in your life. Try to keep to a consistent sleep and wake schedule, including weekends. As each day winds down and you head toward bedtime, create a routine that’s relaxing. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath, incorporating a few minutes of relaxation, night after night, will help you make the transition from busy daytime to sleepy nighttime.
Create a restful space.
Transform your bedroom into a haven of comfort and restfulness. Experts recommend you create a room that’s dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best possible sleep. Keep distracting work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.
Prime your body for your best sleep.
How you treat your body during the day can impact how you sleep at night, so avoid substances such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime—and limit your consumption of these items as much as possible throughout the day. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
Numerous studies show that regular exercise pays off in better sleep—but make sure you complete your workouts at least two hours before you hit the hay. And, finally, pay attention to stress levels throughout the day. It’s hard to slow down at night when your mind is revved up with worries, anger or anxiety before the sun goes down.
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About Cristina Rinaldi
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