Sleep Better Guide

Tips for Sleeping Better


Quality sleep is essential for a healthy and happy life at home, at work and with others. We spend about one third of our lives sleeping, yet experts say 100 million Americans regularly have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or getting a good night's sleep. To ensure you're getting the sleep you need, we've collected a few simple tips, from establishing routines to making sure you have great bedding: quality sheets, warm comforters, blankets and pillows.

Plan for a perfect sleep.
Before you can start to enjoy the benefits of better sleep, you'll need to make sleep a priority in your life. Try to keep to a consistent sleep and wake schedule, including weekends. As each day winds down and you head toward bedtime, create a routine that's relaxing. Whether it's reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath, incorporating a few minutes of relaxation, night after night, will help you make the transition from busy daytime to sleepy nighttime.

Create a restful space.
Transform your bedroom into a haven of comfort and restfulness. Experts recommend you create a room that's dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best possible sleep. Keep distracting work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.

Your bedding.
When it comes to your bed, evaluate your mattress and pillow to ensure you're getting proper support and all-night-long comfort. If your mattress is five to seven years old, it may be time for a new one. In terms of mattresses, size does matter: if you share your bed with a partner, make sure there's enough room for both of you to stretch out and sleep without interruption.

In general, pillows should be replaced every year, in order to avoid any loss of support and cushioning. Waking up with a sore back or neck? Make sure you choose pillows that suit your sleep style, from down pillows to foam pillows to down-alternative pillows or specialty pillows. Your sleep style will determine the firmness of your pillow. Stomach sleepers do best with a soft, plump pillow that cushions the head and neck at a comfortable angle and prevents an unnatural turning to either side. Back sleepers prefer a medium support pillow that cradles the natural curvature of the upper spine, and achieves the perfect position for your head and neck. Side sleepers prefer a firm or super-firm pillow that contours and cradles the head, neck and shoulders, providing an even sleeping surface to help keep the body in a horizontal line. Generally those who don't maintain a particular position through the night prefer a medium density pillow to accommodate all positions.

Choose bedding in natural fibers and select a comforter, quilt or blanket that keeps you warm enough based on your climate and thermostat settings — without overheating. When it comes to sheets or sheet sets, pure cotton sheets are the most comfortable and durable option. Comforters, down comforters and quilts can be selected in a variety of weights and warmth levels, to keep you comfortable.

During the warmer months or in warmer climates, layering is a perfect option. It allows you to add or remove bedding depending on the temperature or time of year. Lightweight comforters, blankets, quilts or matelasses are perfect layering pieces.

Prime your body for your best sleep.
How you treat your body during the day can impact how you sleep at night, so avoid substances such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime — and limit your consumption as much as possible throughout the day. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.

Studies show that regular exercise pays off in better sleep — but make sure to complete your workout at least two hours before you hit the hay. Finally, pay attention to stress levels throughout the day. It's hard to slow down at night when your mind is revved up with worries, anger or anxiety before the sun goes down.

Tired of being tired? Follow these simple steps and choose the right bedding, sheets, comforters and pillows to reduce insomnia, fall asleep faster, sleep soundly and live a healthier, restful life.