The following 6 tips for adding comfort to your sleep can help you sleep better and wake up re-energized ready for another day. If you wake up feeling tired and emotionally drained, then something is wrecking your sleep – but what? Perhaps your bedroom is too hot or too cold, maybe it is noisy or perhaps not dark enough. Perhaps it’s your lumpy mattress or your pillow. Here are some simple tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Bedroom Temperature
Different people respond to their bedroom temperature in different ways. Some like it hot – others like it cool. Make sure your thermostat is working correctly, and then set your bedroom temperature to a comfortable level. If that’s not possible (e.g. if your partner objects) then wear warmer or cooler night attire. Some need long-sleeved warm pyjamas, while others may prefer something flimsy and cool. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. You should never sweat or shiver in bed if you want a comfortable, restful sleep.
Some people like a night light. The trouble is, your body is rigged to release a hormone known as melatonin when it is dark. This hormone makes you feel sleepy. Artificial light suppresses the release of this hormone, and you find it difficult to sleep. It’s this that controlled sleep in our ancestors before artificial lighting was developed (e.g. oil torches and candles).
You can use dimmer switches to reduce the level of light in your bedroom for a while before sleeping – this gets your body prepared for the sleep that is to come. Night workers, who sleep during the day, should use thick curtains.
Excessive noise keeps many people awake and also disturbs their sleep. If noise cannot be controlled by thick curtains, then you could consider wearing ear plugs. There many different styles available and you are almost sure to find a comfortable pair.
A white noise machine may also help add comfort to your sleep. You can also get machines that play soothing sounds, such as waves breaking or sprinkling water. In fact, an excellent solution is a small, personal water fountain by your bedside. The sound of running water and sprinkling water is very soothing and comforting and helps promote good quality sleep. Make sure your radio or TV is switched off. If you sleep at regular times, you could consider a socket fitted with a timer – set it to switch off when it’s time to get your head down.
- Bedding: Sheets and Covers
Many people feel cotton sheets best for sleep because cotton is cool to lie on. Others prefer silk because it is also smooth, and resistant to allergens. Cotton traps dust and dust mites while silk does not. Many people find satin too smooth and slippery for them. Use sheets made from a material that feels comfortable to you. Say, cotton in summer and flannel in winter. Go for a higher thread count for softness.
- Your Pillows
Make sure you are using a pillow best suited to the way you sleep:
- If you sleep on your back, a pillow with extra loft, or thickness, in the bottom third will support your neck and help avoid neck pain. Also, a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees will provide added comfort and keep your spine straight. There are such pillows made particularly for back sleepers.
- If you sleep on your side you need a fairly firm pillow to support the area between your ear and shoulder, and a pillow between your knees will also help.
- If you are a stomach sleeper, your pillow should be thin and flattish. However, this is not the best sleeping position for comfort and refreshing sleep.
Your pillow should keep your head, neck and spine in as straight a line as possible for maximum comfort and minimum neck and back pain.
- Your Mattress
If your mattress is lumpy, feels too hard or is too soft for you then change it. If you cannot purchase a new mattress, then you can add comfort to your sleep by using a topper or mattress pad. An egg crate pad can add comfort to a hard mattress, and memory foam pads can make their mattress more comfortable for side sleepers. If you have back pain then a firm topper or mattress pad can make you feel more comfortable in bed.
Adding Comfort to Your Sleep: Summary
If you find it difficult to sleep at nights or if you wake up feeling tired or sore, then you are suffering the effects of poor quality sleep. Sometimes it can be fairly obvious what is causing this, but not always. It helps if you can identify the cause of the problem.
The tips above should all help add comfort to your sleep. Do you wake up with the lights or TV on because you fell asleep without switching them off? Maybe you need a timer switch. Is noise the issue? Maybe thicker curtains or ear plugs – there are many designs available
Perhaps your mattress is old and tired – then buy a new one or give it a new lease of life with a mattress pad or topper. Fall asleep with some soothing music timed to switch off in half an hour. Adding comfort to your sleep works, and you will feel the difference all day.