Can we talk about something that’s absolutely non-negotiable for good health? While there may be a few things happening between the sheets, I’m talking about the importance of getting enough restful sleep.
The CDC recommends most adults get about 7 hours of sleep each day. But at least 30% of Americans aren’t hitting that target consistently. If you happen to fall into that group and frequently feel tired, foggy, cranky, or in desperate need of a nap, it might be time to take a closer look at your sleep quality. Are you tired of feeling tired? Consider the following factors that might be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees. Personally, I like to cook myself beneath a heavy afghan at night because I despise feeling cold, but I know I’m probably in the minority. The important thing is to find the temperature that’s right for you, and that might might take a little bit of experimenting.
You’re not alone if you need a little background noise to lull yourself to sleep. With so many of us living in urban areas these days, it can be hard to escape the noisy energy of the city. Horns, sirens and voices seem to never rest. But those startling noises can jolt you out of a deep sleep and rob you of the essential rest your body needs. Fortunately, there are plenty of apps and devices that offer a wide variety of soothing sounds to help you relax between the sheets. And if all else fails, a cheap box fan might just do the trick.
Okay, I admit it. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to sheets. At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than crawling into a plush bed that’s lined with super soft sheets. (Side note: These sheets* are my absolute favorite. They’re amazing for the price, which is why I own three sets.) Feeling comfortable between the sheets is essential for a good night’s sleep, so consider replacing your pillow, sheets, comforter, or even your mattress if it’s seen better days.
Be honest: Do you give your body an opportunity to slowly unwind at the end of the day? Or do you demand that it keep working long after the sun goes down? If you’re having trouble downshifting in the evening, consider enlisting some relaxing self-care strategies to your evening routine, like stretching, foam rolling, reading, yoga, or meditation to ease yourself into a state of drowsiness.
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still struggling to get consistent, high-quality sleep, consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss possible causes. Emotional stress and anxiety, Gastroesophogeal Reflux (GERD), Sleep Apnea, and breathing difficulties are just a few medical conditions that can interfere with sleep.
Getting sufficient, high-quality, restful sleep has been shown to help regulate metabolism, weight, immune function, and other health-related functions. With so many factors influencing sleep quality, it’s important to evaluate your habits periodically.
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