Contributing author: Jane McDonald
Americans are on a quest for better sleep and that means better sleep quality and quantity. A Consumer Reports survey indicates that around 164 million Americans are failing to get a good night’s sleep, which has serious consequences for their health. Far from merely resulting in brain fog or day tiredness, poor sleep is linked to serious conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. Comfortable beds positioned at the right angle, alongside quality linen and pillows that provide the right level of support for one’s sleeping position, are key when it comes to resting well at night.
Why proper support matters
Studies have shown that a bedroom environment should be cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. All these ingredients work together to enable one to fall asleep quickly and to stay asleep. A structure frame that is at the wrong angle can lead to tossing and turning as sleepers struggle to find the right position. Those with headaches, for instance, can benefit from adjusting their bed frame so that their head is significantly higher than their legs. Those who are overcoming a leg injury, meanwhile, will benefit from the opposite positioning. Standard beds often fail to address pain and sleeping preferences that adjustable bed bases can afford, and the result is impaired sleep quality.
Finding the right pillow height
Around a quarter of Americans experience neck pain and poor pillow designs are one major reason why. As noted in a study published in PeerJ, “Improper pillow support has adverse effects on the cervical spine, leading to neck pain and cervicogenic headache, which ultimately results in poor quality of sleep.” Selecting the right pillow height can be difficult because there is no one-size-fits-all solution based on characteristics like height or weight. It is important to receive advice and to experiment with different firmness levels because a firm pillow that may initially seem less comfortable can actually help stabilize the spine and reduce spinal distortion.
The little details matter in times of stress
If you have an important exam, job interview, or practical task coming up, you will no doubt place great importance on obtaining a good night’s sleep beforehand. Making sleep a priority is indeed vital since The National Sleep Foundation Poll found that when students don’t get enough sleep, their academic performance is affected. Sleep is vital for memory and cognitive functioning which are key when one wishes to excel at an exam or task. Stress levels at these times can be high, which can lead to wakefulness and alertness at night. Small details that make one feel comforted and pampered can help instill the tranquility that is a prerequisite of sleepiness. Quality bedding, air conditioning on hot days, and calming colors such as blue in bedroom décor can all help turn the bedroom into a place of relaxation.
Boosting bedroom comfort
There are many additional ways to pursue the blissful feeling of sleepiness. These include exercising daily, establishing a bedtime routine, and practicing relaxation exercises at bedtime. Battling stress proactively throughout the day with the help of yoga and meditation can also help. Alongside Tai Chi, these practices have been found to significantly lower levels of stress hormone, cortisol.
A good night’s sleep involves keeping stress down, creating a comforting environment, and investing in furniture that will help reduce pain and stiffness. To boost the effects of your supportive bed and pillow, stay active during the day and consume a healthy diet. Keep gadget use and caffeine consumption to earlier in the day, since these habits can promote wakefulness and keep you alert when what you most need is to wind down.