Getting enough sleep is tough at the best of times but even harder in the midst of a pandemic.
Uncertainty about our jobs and finances, as well as the health of our loved ones is creating stress and anxiety in our lives and impairing our ability to sleep properly.
In additional to eating well and exercising, high quality sleep can improve your concentration levels, increase your energy and keep you physically healthy.
Here are 5 things you can do to get a better night’s sleep.
Create a Sleeping Haven
You may not realise it but the environment you sleep in is very important. Your bedroom should be peaceful, calm and a place of serenity. Keep it tidy and clean with simple décor. Remove the clutter. Make it a device free room. No charging phones and no digital clocks. Choose the colours in your bedroom carefully. Blue has been proven to be the most restful colour, closely followed by green and, surprisingly, yellow. If you have a purple room you may want to consider changing it as it has been proven to be too stimulating.
Limit Electronic Exposure
The jury is still out about light sensitivity and its effect on sleep but it is generally recommended to put yourself on an electronic curfew about one hour prior to going to bed at night. This means turning off the TV, not checking your emails or social media accounts and get off the computer or gaming console.
This is particularly important at the moment. The never-ending news cycle and sensationalised headlines are emotionally draining, especially if you’re just about to go to sleep.
Throughout your day, be selective about where you get your news from. Just watch the 6pm news instead of checking your phone for headlines every hour, or schedule 10 minutes in your day to check (reputable) news sites. Try to avoid going down a rabbit hole, bouncing from one embellished story to another.
At bedtime, both the light from electronic devices and cognitive stimulation from news or social media can cause the body to tense up. Turn the lights down low and start to wind down without the devices.
You'll be surprised at what a difference doing this can make.
Clean the Mattress
Your sleep may be affected by the cleanliness of your mattress. You may not realise it but your mattress is home to millions of dust mites, bacteria, fungus and mould spores feeding off your dead skin and body oils and this can affect your ability to sleep. Humans shed more than 1.5 million skin cells every day, which equates to about 3.6 kilograms per year. We also excrete up to a litre of fluid per night.
Mattress protectors don’t stop the contaminants from penetrating the mattress. Not only are we sleeping in this microscopic metropolis, we are also breathing in the excrement of the dust mites. This can cause a number of common reactions such as itchy eyes and skin, flu-like symptoms and difficulty sleeping. Often people don’t realise they can have their mattresses professionally cleaned.
The Electrodry Healthy Mattress Cleaning service thoroughly cleans your mattress, remove contaminants such as dust mites, bacteria, fungus and mould spores, and leaves it smelling of lavender for a good night’s sleep.
There are about a million different meditations you can download these days. Apps like Calm or Insight offer many options for meditation beginners – some of these even have meditations specifically for anxiety caused by the Coronavirus crisis. You can purchase CDs, apps or attend a class.
The basics of meditation: The essence is to sit comfortably in a quiet space with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply but naturally and don’t focus on any one thing except perhaps your breathing and the rise and fall of your chest. If thoughts come into your mind, don’t engage with them, just acknowledge them and let them go. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your thoughts drift; meditation takes practice. Start with just 5 minutes a day and then slowly increase it to at least 10 minutes. Give it a go. Meditation can improve the quality of your sleep and give you some calming skills that can benefit you throughout the day as well.
Coffee and alcohol are the usual culprits. If you are having sleep problems consider eliminating coffee altogether. Alcohol may initially have a sedative effect but as it metabolises in the body it will have the opposite effect and cause you to wake in the night. Replace the stimulants with a herbal tea, such as chamomile, or a warm milk drink.
If you’ve tried everything you can think of to improve your sleep but it’s not working, it’s worth considering having your mattress cleaned professionally by Electrodry. Removing the microscopic contaminants from your bed may be the missing link in your search for a good night’s sleep.
We are excited about offering you a service that can improve your sleep. You can book your Healthy Mattress Clean using the button below.
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