This Article is About
nights rest
memory foam topper
neck ache
loud noises
nasty things
white noise
Get A Good Nights Rest
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Get A Good Nights Rest

Absolutely everyone has had at least a few nights where they've tossed and turned and felt like dawn would never come. When you wake up the next day, if you've actually been able to close your eyes, you may lack energy, patience, coordination, and look like one of those zombies from Dawn of the Dead. Enjoyment of our glorious planet and our lives is impaired considerably every time we don't get enough sleep. If you lay your head down at night on a normal bed, then there could be something wrong with the bed, or your nightly pre-slumber routine.

What Are You Sleeping On/In/Around?

You have to create your own best environment for sleep. Here are some tips.

  • Darken your bedroom. If you’re a day sleeper, use black-out curtains. The room needn't be crypt-like, but dark enough to tell your body that it's bedtime.
  • Create a peaceful room, free from loud noises or the TV -- unless that actually lulls you to sleep. Play white noise or nature sounds on a nightstand CD player. A babbling brook is nice. Don't go for a thunderstorm.
  • A mattress you feel comfortable laying on is crucial to a good night's rest. Dump it if it's over 5 years old. Besides, it can attract all kinds of nasty things and end up weighing twice as much as it was when new.
  • If you wake up stiff, sleep better when travelling, or your mattress has sags and lumps, it’s a good indication it’s time to invest in a new bed.
  • Get new pillows every year. Make sure you aren't allergic to whatever it's stuffed with. Memory foam cluster pillows work well. I've found that solid memory foam is like a rock and it makes my neck ache. While you're at it, get a memory foam topper for your mattress for the ultimate in comfort.
  • Make sure you and your spouse have enough room to turn over without hitting each other in the eye with a wayward elbow. If the mattress is too springy. you'll feel like you're about to roll right off onto the floor.
  • Bed temperature is important to a good night's sleep. We're talking about temperature between the sheets, as well as you, when you're on top of it. Cotton sheets in the Summer and flannel in the Winter are a good idea. Use a blanket in the Winter, but one that you can toss off if you get too hot, but none in the Summer.
  • Your bedroom is for two things, and one of them is sleep. Don't bring your work or computer to bed with you. Rolling onto a mouse is not comfortable, anyway.
  • Light from computer and TV screens may keep you awake. If you need the TV sound to lull you into the land of nod, then use an eye mask.

Develop Good Sleeping Routines

Get into a nice groove of just-before-bed habits and a routine. This will allow you to unwind. Here's a few more tips that may help.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night, even at weekends. This doesn't mean you have to rush home from a party or event and hop right into your bed. Just make it the same time as many nights as you can. • Learn to relax starting at least a half hour before bedtime. Read something light or listen to classical music. Don't put The Flying Dutchman into the CD player though, even if it's your favourite. Wagner is not very soothing. You can practice yoga or other meditation in the evening.
  • Exercise, but not before bedtime. Your mind will stay "pumped up" long after your body says no more.
  • Consider a sleep aid supplement, but always check with your doctor if it's something you don't know about. Valerian Root, 5-Hydroxytryptophan (yes, somewhat the same as what's in turkey), or Chamomile (warm tea is good) are three better known sleep aids.
  • If you go to bed but don't fall asleep in around 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing for a while, then try bed again.
  • Don't eat anything after three hours before your bedtime. No caffeine after noon is a good idea, as well as avoiding heavy, spicy or sugary foods. Your stomach will be kept busy and the blood will be flowing, and you'll never get to sleep. Don't smoke before bedtime because nicotine is a stimulant.
  • Avoid any long naps during the day. Fifteen minutes is enough if you need to.

If you follow the few tips we've laid out, most people will find themselves getting a great night's sleep. If you need a pro's help then you can try your doctor, the National Sleep Foundation, or another organization like The Better Sleep Council.

About the Author

Alan Riley publishes his own bedding website. The site features the best in bedding, from a magnificent goose down comforter like the Pinzon Pyrenees, to duvet sets from top brands such as Manor Hill. The Riley family lives in leafy Melbourne, tucked away in the far South-eastern corner of Australia. Alan spends his spare time sailing, an activity that helps him fall right off to sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

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