You’re Getting Very Sleepy (Or Not)
Whether you’re a baby, or someone with a little more life experience, sleep is important. And sleeping like a baby isn’t always a good thing—who wants to sleep for a few hours and wake up crying? Falling asleep, then staying asleep, can be tough. Most Americans feel sleep-deprived. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) reported that 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough deep sleep on a regular basis. They also recommend that adults aged 18-60 sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being.
The Science of Sleep
Lack of sleep makes you more than just cranky. Over time, lack of sleep can really affect your health. Let’s start with memory—your brain needs sound sleep to properly store things you’ve learned so you can remember them later. Your immune system is also affected by lack of sleep, as your body has a hard time recovering. Also, recent studies have connected weight gain to sleep deprivation—you’re less hungry when you’re well-rested. (And you can’t eat while you’re asleep!) Sleep helps maintain a healthy blood sugar, too.
You hear a lot about sleep hygiene these days. No, it’s not about taking a shower before you go to bed. It’s making sure you have the proper conditions in your bedroom to help you get a sound sleep. Here are a few habits that can help with falling asleep:
Consistent Sleep Schedule: Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This trains your brain to get on a schedule.
Minimize Light: Power down phones and turn off your TV and computer 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Social media is the enemy of sleep! Light from an electronic device will delay the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
Keep It Cool: Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature. Lean towards cooler rather than warmer for sound sleep. Some people like the feel of a weighted blanket.
Cancel Caffeine: Avoid caffeine-laden food and drinks starting in the afternoon. And don’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol actually interferes with falling asleep.
Stay Relaxed: Try not to think about what happened today or what will happen tomorrow. To help you relax even more, try a high-quality sound machine. White noise settings and fan sounds are particularly helpful.
Simply put, brains crave sensory input. That’s why, when you’re in a quiet room, any noise wakes up and activates your brain, making it raring to go. But if you’re listening to white noise, fan sounds, or natural sounds, like a summer night from a sound machine, the brain tends to lull itself to sleep. Also, these sound options can help mask noises that happen during the day, such as loud construction, noisy neighbors, or traffic.
Make sure you pick a sound machine with good sound quality that has a lot of options. For the best white noise machine, try our SoundSpa® Slumber Scents. It lets you truly customize your sleep experience. Its auto-off timer reassures you that you won’t be awakened after you fall asleep, and the sound profiles let you perfectly blend natural sounds with white noise, as well as let you control volume.
Relax. You’ve Got This.
Shutting off the day before you go to sleep can be tough. But here are two proven ways to bring on sound sleep:
Practice Mindful Breathing: Focus on controlling your breath. Put your hand on your stomach and breathe in slowly, feeling your abdomen fill with air like a balloon. Pause for a few seconds, then very slowly exhale (longer than your inhale), imagining the balloon losing air. It’s as simple as that. Focusing on your breathing really helps you sleep easy.You can even practice this during the day when you feel stressed out.
White Noise or Natural Sounds from Sound Machines: Keep your mind quiet with these helpful devices. White noise settings will play a consistent and soothing sound to help you sleep easy. This background noise—similar to fan sounds—is especially invaluable for people who have to sleep during the day. Natural sounds, such as an ocean, falling rain, or the sounds of a summer night, are super relaxing. For example, hearing a wave is similar to hearing a breathing cycle. It actually lulls your brain into a sound sleep. That’s just one of the natural sounds in our SoundSpa® Recharged. It’s the sound that lets you plan the perfect sleep “vacation.”
Tonight’s the night to start practicing your sleep hygiene. A little planning ahead can help change tossing and turning into sound sleep. Turn off your phone, do some mindful breathing, turn on your sound machine and…oh, sorry, I just fell asleep…
Medical Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.