When it comes to our loved ones complaining of not sleeping well, we always stress the importance of rest and give them tips on how to improve their next night’s sleep. However, when it comes to our own sleep, we typically deprive ourselves of quality rest. According to the CDC, over 35% of adults sleep less than the suggested seven hours of sleep a night. A good night’s sleep can increase our energy, lower our risk of serious health problems, reduce stress, and much more. Learn all about what you can do to improve your sleep quality.
Get a Massage Regularly
There are two main ways massage therapy can improve your nighttime rest. The first is that a massage can relieve stress by decreasing cortisol levels, which is our primary stress hormone. The second, massage therapy can increase our happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that help stabilize our mood.
Additionally, if you struggle with pain management, it can be challenging to experience a restful sleep. Pain is oftentimes a contributing factor to difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep. By getting a massage, you can release tension and pain from the muscles which can provide more comfort and relaxation.
Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment
There are so many factors that go into creating a cozy space for relaxation and can oftentimes be overlooked.
Choose a high-quality mattress and pillows: there are different types of mattresses and pillows for different types of sleepers. For example, if you’re a stomach sleeper, something softer like memory foam might be a good fit. If you’re a back sleeper, you may benefit from a mattress that offers support but isn’t too plush. If your mattress is old and beat up, check out your local mattress store and try out your different options.
Don’t do work in bed: sure, it may seem like an appealing idea to answer a couple of emails from the comfort of your bed, but this can be detrimental to your sleep schedule. A study from Harvard found that if you keep your computer and work materials in your bedroom, your brain can have difficulty falling asleep because it thinks your bedroom is a place to work and not rest.
Make your space inviting: opt for warm and soft lighting in your bedroom when you’re winding down and try to keep your room organized. Keeping a clean space can help your mind feel more relaxed. Further, you can invest in an oil diffuser to bring relaxing scents into your room like lavender and chamomile which can help reduce anxiety.
It may also be a good idea to leave the TV and laptop outside of your bedroom. Our devices, including our phone, emit blue light (wavelengths that are part of the visible light spectrum that contains high energy). Because of its high energy, blue light has more potential to cause harm to our eyes. Blue light stimulates part of the brain that makes us feel alert and it can suppress the body’s release of melatonin, making it more difficult to sleep.
Include Physical Activity into your Daily Routine
Increasing your physical activity everyday can improve your sleep schedule greatly. Not only does exercise decrease your daytime sleepiness, but studies have shown that adults who regularly exercise have a reduced sleep onset (the time it takes to fall asleep) and are less likely to wake up throughout the night. In a different study, up to 83% of participants who engaged in light to vigorous exercise at least three times a week experienced fair to very good sleep.
Optimize your Sleep Schedule
Yes, this might mean setting a fixed wake-up time and bedtime. By getting your brain and body used to a routine, you will have an easier time falling asleep and waking up in the mornings. Another thing to watch out for is taking naps. It can be appealing to sleep for an hour or two in the afternoon if our schedule allows for it, especially on the weekends, but this can mess up your sleep schedule quite a bit. A little cat nap, which is around 20 minutes, can help you feel more energized when you wake up versus a 60 minute nap. This is because when you sleep for longer than 20 minutes, your body thinks it’s time to prepare for REM sleep, which can result in fatigue when you wake up.
Creating a positive and healthy lifestyle for ourselves really does start with quality sleep. Come stop by Elements Massage - Whitefish Bay to get a kickstart on a good night’s rest. We offer several different types of massages and additional services like aromatherapy, hot stone therapy and cupping therapy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your session. Call us today at (414) 215-0909.