Do you ever have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night? You may have friends or family members who also complain about problems with sleep – but even then, you probably have no idea what a big problem sleep deprivation is on a global scale. Courtesy of the American Sleep Apnea Association, here are just a few crazy statistics that shed some light on what a massive issue poor sleep quality is.
- In the United States, 70 percent of adults say that they don’t get enough sleep at least one night every month.
- At least 25 percent of Americans report getting insufficient sleep at least 15 nights every month.
- According to research, about 50-70 million Americans experience recurring sleep problems.
As you can see, saying that poor sleep quality is a common issue doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. In fact, it’s a problem that affects at least one out of every four people – that’s a huge number.
In some cases, poor sleep quality can be a symptom of a more serious issue that isn’t going to improve without medical treatment. Often, though, failure to get a good night’s rest isn’t a clinical problem – it’s just a sign that you need to make a few alterations to your lifestyle and start living in a way that’s more conducive to restful sleep. Try these three things to help yourself sleep better at night.
Reduce Your Consumption of Stimulants – Especially at Night
If you want to sleep better at night, consuming stimulants is one of the worst things that you can possibly do before bed. The most common stimulants are caffeine and nicotine, and if you’re using either of those at night, you definitely need to change your habits if you want to sleep better.
Did you know that the half-life of caffeine in the bloodstream is about five hours? That means you could drink a cup of coffee four hours before bedtime, and more than half of the caffeine would still be in your blood when you go to bed. If you’re one of those people who drinks caffeine constantly, you might think you’re immune to it because you no longer feel a rush even when drinking heavily caffeinated beverages. Even if you think you’re immune, though, high caffeine levels in your bloodstream will definitely affect your sleep quality. If you’re the type who drinks sugary sodas, that’s even worse because there’s an anecdotal link between sugar consumption and Restless Legs Syndrome – which can make falling asleep just about impossible. Limit your consumption to one or two caffeinated beverages per day and drink them in the morning.
Do you smoke? The rule of stimulant use at night applies here as well. If you always smoke a cigarette before bed, you’re filling your body with one of the most powerful and addictive stimulants at the very end of the day. It shouldn’t surprise you that you’re having trouble falling asleep! Try switching to vaping. Because you can control the nicotine strength of your e-liquid when you vape, reducing your overall nicotine consumption is relatively easy. There are so many Elf Bar flavors on the market today that you should have no trouble finding one you love. You should also strongly consider switching to nicotine-free vape juice at the end of the day. By the time you go to bed, you’ll have less nicotine in your system and should fall asleep more easily.
Find More Ways to Increase Your Activity Level During the Day
If you have a stressful job – and who doesn’t these days? – it’s likely that you still have a lot of nervous energy in your system when you go to bed at night. You can eliminate some of that extra tension by becoming more active and exercising more often.
People are meant to be in motion. It’s not easy, though, when you do exactly the opposite on most days – sitting at your desk all day long – and you still come home feeling exhausted. You’ll find it easier to increase your activity level, though, if you simply look for more ways to move around during the day instead of trying to commit to a full-on exercise program. Park further from stores when you run errands. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Play fetch with your dog for a few minutes when you get home from work. If you can find just a few small ways to increase your activity level every day, those changes will add up.
Invest in Better Bedding
Are you having trouble falling asleep at night because you can’t seem to get comfortable? It might be time to invest in better bedding. Here’s the good news: A great mattress can be really expensive, but buying a new mattress isn’t the only way to feel more comfortable in your bed. Here are three cheaper ways to upgrade your bedding.
- Do you have trouble staying asleep due to back soreness? It could be that your mattress is sagging and no longer offers sufficient back support. In this case, you can breathe new life into your old mattress by getting a mattress topper. Try a latex topper that’s at least two inches thick. Don’t bother with a cheap polyester topper from the local big box store; it’ll be completely flat in a matter of days.
- Do you wake up in the morning with a sore neck? It’s likely that your pillow doesn’t do a good job of supporting your head’s weight. Try a pillow filled with shredded latex or memory foam. Both pillow types are extremely comfortable. Latex tends to cost more, but it also lasts longer before it loses its loft.
- Do you have trouble falling asleep because you feel itchy or overheated? It’s time to invest in a new set of sheets. Skip the synthetic sheets and grab a set made from quality cotton with a high thread count. A decent set of sheets made from top-quality Egyptian, Turkish or Indian cotton isn’t cheap, but it’s a worthwhile investment in terms of comfort and can easily last years before it requires replacement.