“You are the biggest enemy of your own sleep.”
― Pawan Mishra
Everyone's had it from time to time: insomnia. Whether you toss and turn all night, unable to fall asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall asleep again, join the crowd. Over one-third of Americans suffer from some form of restless sleep, according to the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Here are some common problems you may be experiencing and suggested solutions to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully through the night.
- Your sleeping environment isn't what it should be. Noise, light, or movement in your sleeping environment can cause hyperarousal, a state in which your brain can't "turn off" and relax into restful sleep. Your sleeping environment should be a moderate temperature (68-72 degrees Fahrenheit), dark, and quiet. While you may be one of the lucky ones who can fall asleep under nearly any circumstance, even you won't get the genuinely restorative sleep you need unless your environment is relatively cool, dark, and quiet. If your sleeping companion tosses and turns, his or her movement may be keeping you awake. The Halcyon Micro Air mattresses provide have little to no motion transfer, and are heat-neutral, giving you the perfect sleeping surface.
- Blue light may be keeping you awake. Blue light is short-wavelength light emitted by many energy-efficient light sources and digital devices. Blue light interferes with your brain's production of melatonin, the hormone critical to sleep. Digital televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all notorious sources of blue light. At least one hour before going to bed, turn off your television, power down your mobile devices, and turn off your laptop to allow your body to relax naturally.
- Alcohol may seem to help, but it really doesn't. While you may enjoy the sleepy effects of a nightcap before bed, alcohol has been shown to disrupt circadian functioning, the natural rhythm of your body (https://www.news-medical.net/news/20090901/Alcohol-consumption-disrupts-circadian-rhythm-in-humans.aspx). Additionally, alcohol makes your brain receptive to light, making it more likely you'll wake up easier than if you avoided it. Even worse, alcohol suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone critical to the regulation of your sleep-wake cycles. To make sure that alcohol isn't affecting the quality of your sleep, allow plenty of time between your last drink and your bedtime. If you must drink something before you fall asleep, consider a small cup of relaxing, decaffeinated herbal tea.
- You may be consuming too much caffeine. While the immediate effect of caffeine may be to wake you up, it takes up to 6 hours for caffeine to be eliminated by your liver, long past its direct effects. Avoid drinking caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Better yet, eliminate caffeine altogether to allow your body to have a more natural, sustained level of energy throughout the day rather than the highs and lows of energy that caffeine can cause.
- You may be consuming too many liquids in the evening. Drinking liquids before bed can cause nighttime trips to the bathroom, and you may find it difficult to fall asleep once you return to bed. As men age, this can be more of a problem than for women. The natural enlargement of the prostate that occurs with age makes men more sensitive to the effects of liquid consumption at night. The bladder sits close to the prostate gland, making men more sensitive to the impact of drinking liquids before sleep. If you're thirsty before bed, suck on a few ice chips, or take a small sip of water.
- You may have an erratic bedtime. While occasionally irregular bedtimes can't usually be avoided, to ensure a restful night's sleep you should have a regular bedtime. As you establish better sleeping habits, you'll find the process of falling asleep naturally and sleeping soundly through the night more comfortable.
- Your bed may be keeping you awake. If you're sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress or waking up with an aching back, hips, or neck, it's time to replace your bed with one that helps your body not only relax and sleep restfully but one that helps regulate your body temperature. When your body is relaxed and comfortable, it's more likely to be able to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more restfully. The Halcyon Micro Air mattress is the perfect bed to make sure you wake feeling refreshed.
With a few changes to your sleep habits and a Halcyon Micro Air mattresses, you’ll get the perfect night’s sleep.