Taking control of sleep for a healthier YOU!
Making your laundry list of resolutions for 2014? Eat healthier, lose weight, visit the gym more topping your list? This year, let’s try something we all crave that’s good for us too. We’re talking about sleep, of course.
Our good health depends on getting enough sleep but our sleep needs are almost as unique as our fingerprints. Enough sleep is a hard thing to pin down. And it’s constantly changing as we age. Children tend to be early morning risers while teens lean toward the night owls – and adults are all over the map. Sleep may be the most complicated, frustrating, beautiful issue in our lives.
The good news is that resolving to understand sleep better in the new year will make all those other resolutions easier to reach.
How much sleep do we really need?
Most sleep experts are quick to admit everyone has different sleep needs and that the best expert for the amount of sleep you need is you. If you feel productive and healthy on 6 ½ hours sleep, that might be your normal. On the other hand, if you feel sluggish and unfocused on less than 8 hours a night, your body may need more than your 6 ½ hour friend.
If sleep has become a restless bed partner, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you struggle with your weight, blood pressure or have other health issues?
- Does it take you ___ hours of quality ZZZs to get you into high gear?
- Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
- Do you feel sleepy even after a good night’s sleep?
- Do you crave junk food when you’re overtired?
According to WebMD, “The human clock is about 24 hours… But some people have a slightly longer natural cycle, and some are slightly shorter. If your circadian rhythm is on the long side, you’re more likely to be a night owl. If it runs short, you’re probably an early riser.”
Committing to better sleep next year
We asked our Facebook friends how their sleep has changed over their lives and what they’d change if they could.
Wanda S, Horton, interior designer, said, “I definitely think my sleep habits have changed with age. In regards to the quality of sleep vs the length, I’d have to give it up to quality. On the rare occasions I’ve had that deep, restorative slumber, I’m much more on my game and less likely to feel the mid-afternoon slump.”
“I used to work a lot of late nights, then I was working two jobs and now I’m a nine to fiver.” said Lisa McDonald, social media manager for The Sign Depot. “I never realized how much of a night hawk I was until I started working full time days.”
Sarah Lawrence Gunn, interior designer, said, “I’ve always slept with a fan and with my blankets tucked in and up over my head. If I could change one thing….well, two…it would be able to sleep all night without being woken up and to be able to sleep in when given the chance.”
“Definitely something on my resolution plan for 2014, said Jennifer Powell, sponsorship director. “As much as my creativity flows late at night, I am trying to force myself to go to sleep at a decent hour (as in I even set a reminder on my phone)..so that I can truly aim for more sleep which in turn will result in (what I think) will be a more productive day.”
Betty-Ann Heggie, author, said, “When I was a child and couldn’t sleep my mother used to tell me that I should just lay still and rest. “Rest is 75 % of sleep” she would say. I would do that and would inevitably fall asleep. Today when I can’t sleep I repeat her wise words and it still works!”
Samantha Emmerson summed up the conversation with this statement, “11-7 belong to my pillow. When I keep that routine, my life is so much fuller.”
Taking sleep seriously
We don’t fool around when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep – and nor should you. A well-rested you makes it to the gym more often, chooses healthy foods over fast food and has more energy to enjoy friends, family – and even work. Think of sleep as your personal essential services that serve and protect your health.
We like to think we know a thing or two about sleep but the truth is our handcrafted mattresses are a reflection of what you tell us you want. And we’re continually improving our better sleep recipe.
Happy new year and happy sleep to all!