While it is essential to have a good mattress, for uninterrupted sleep, a mattress alone will not guarantee you a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from disturbed sleep or insomnia, you may also have to make lifestyle changes, to experience optimum quality sleep.
Leave your anxiety at the door
According to the Brain Foundation, “The most common causes of difficulty in sleeping are not being able to shut off the anxieties and worries of the day and preparing for tomorrow’s problems.”
The most common causes of difficulty in sleeping are not being able to shut off the anxieties and worries of the day and preparing for tomorrow’s problems.
Among the Brain Foundation’s recommendations for healthy sleep include avoiding coffee and other products containing caffeine after lunchtime, and not going to bed until you feel sleepy. They also advise against brain stimulating activities after 9pm, including watching late night news, phone calls, business activities, planning for the following day and reading email messages.
Time tested research
The National Sleep Foundation state that, “over 1/2 of America’s adults experience one or more symptom of insomnia at least a few nights a week.” The NSF have gathered research from polls dating back to 1999 and the results show connections between insomnia and drinking more than 4 caffeinated beverages a day, inability to sleep and obesity, and daytime sleepiness and difficulty falling asleep.
…over 1/2 of America’s adults experience one or more symptom of insomnia at least a few nights a week.
As a result of the polls, the NSF recommends that to establish a good sleep pattern, regular exercise should be taken, but exercise should be avoided within 3 hours of bedtime. Also, the following should be avoided to close to going to bed:
- Eating too much
- Drinking too much
The NSF also advise sticking to a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up, and not carrying out any other activities in the bedroom but sleep. A comfortable environment to sleep in is also essential, and it should be noise free, cool, and dark.
Adults who slept less than 6 hours had the highest rate of obesity (33%) and adults who slept 7 to 8 hours had the lowest (22%)
Research also suggests that obesity, poor lifestyle choices and sleep disorders are linked. The NCHS carried out studies from 2004 to 2006 and they found that, “Adults who slept less than 6 hours had the highest rate of obesity (33%) and adults who slept 7 to 8 hours had the lowest (22%). This pattern was found for both men and women and across all age groups and most race/ethnicity groups studied. The association between sleep and obesity was less striking among adults aged 65 years and over than among younger adults.”
Focus on improving lifestyle activities
The NCHS study concluded that in addition to being more prone to obesity, those who slept less than six hours were more likely to have unhealthy habits such as lack of physical activity. So the results suggest that insomnia can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
PARTICIPATE: What lifestyle activities help you sleep?