There are three pillars to good health — diet, exercise and sleep. What you’re wearing, your bedroom temperature and your use of electronics in bed all impact how well you sleep each night. However, the single biggest factor is — your mattress. Whether you wake up feeling rested depends largely on the age of your mattress and its current condition.
Healthy mattress, healthy you
If your mattress is older than seven years, it’s time to check to be sure it’s still giving you the comfort and support you need. A good mattress should relieve pressure on your joints. As your mattress ages, it loses the ability to do this. As a result, your sleep quality gradually declines. This happens very slowly and you might have to do some detective work to put the pieces together. Maybe you have a sleep disorder or suffer from physical issues like hip pain, you can’t get comfortable at night and you’re waking up exhausted. Add this to the fact that your mattress is seven or more years old and bingo, you’ve figured out the problem. It’s important to note that your body changes over time and although your sleep surface could still be in great shape, it may not be delivering the support your body needs.
Consequences of insufficient sleep
Research tells us that more than a third of American adults are not getting the sleep they need. Insufficient sleep has serious health repercussions. These can include an increased risk of stroke, depression, hypertension, heart attack, diabetes, dementia, obesity, osteoporosis and more. Many of these conditions translate into chronic sleep disorders. “Sleep confers incredible health and has protective and restorative benefits, but only if you let it. A better outlook, a greater level of energy and general well-being only can be achieved by getting the sleep your mind and body needs,” says Terry Cralle, RN, clinical sleep educator and author of “Sleeping Your Way to The Top: How to Get the Sleep You Need to Succeed.”
According to a recent survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council, 154 million Americans believe nothing’s really happening when they doze off. Yet research shows that the brain recharges during sleep and stays in an active state. Most of us spend on average around 26 years or more in bed. There are simple steps anyone can take to help achieve a good night’s rest regardless of what physical challenges they may face. Number one is to invest in your health and wellness by obtaining in a quality mattress that provides you with the comfort and support you need to achieve restorative sleep.
There are also other things you can do for a good night’s sleep. For example, practicing yoga nidra as a bedtime ritual can relax the muscles and bring the body and mind into a restful state to sleep deeply throughout the night. Preparing the senses can also improve the quality of sleep. A dark room accompanied by earplugs make for the perfect sleeping environment. Enforce an electronic elimination period one hour before bedtime. And finally, set a bedtime — having an ongoing set time for bed will really help put your mind at ease and get your body ready to sleep.
SOURCE: Better Sleep Council, [email protected]