Sleeping soundly takes more than a decent bedtime routine. Did you know that temperature, lighting and the tidiness of your space affects your sleep? Check out our top snooze tips to the best sleep of your life!
- Snooze Hues - Instead of appealing to your "waking" senses, appeal to your "sleeping" senses. Bright colors, fun paintings and tons of sunshine is great for daytime, but when it's time to sleep that decor could be keeping your brain awake! Consider painting your room a calm, neutral color like tan or gray and only adding neutral photos and wall decor.
- Snooze Blues - The screen on your tv (and other devices) radiates a blue light that can be the cause of some or all of your sleepless nights. This type of light is harmful to your sleep because it tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime. Late night tv bingeing can disrupt your body's natural circadian rhythm by reducing the amount of melatonin that is produced. [cnet.com]
- Snooze Zoo's - You love your furry friend but he could be aiding in your tossing and turning each night! Create a separate sleep zone for your bud and keep him off your bed at night.
- Snooze Lose - Decluttering and tidying up your room before bed could have a huge impact on your sleeping more soundly. If you Lose the Clutter before bed time, your nightime anxiety could see a major decrease.
- Snooze Brews - Cutting down on caffeine could help you get some much needed zzzz's. One study [by the Sleep Foundation] examined the effects of caffeine intake zero, three, and six hours before bedtime, and found that even caffeine consumed six hours before bed could reduce sleep time by one hour. In addition, study participants reported sleeping problems when consuming caffeine 0-3 hours before bed, but they did not realize their sleep was also disrupted when consuming caffeine six hours before bed. If you have difficulty sleeping, consider limiting any caffeine intake six hours before bed.
When you don't get enough sleep, your body and your brain do not get a chance to rest, recharge and carry out essential processes that keep you functioning as you should. Your quality of sleep and amount of sleep are both equally important to your overall daily functionality!
Getting your 7-8 hours of reccommended sleep has many health benefits. It can help you:
- Get sick less often
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Reduce stress and improve your mood
- Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
- Get along better with people
- Make good decisions and avoid injuries – for example, sleepy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year
Why do we yawn?
One theory of yawning is, "you are cooling the brain", says Andrew C. Gallup, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. When you start to yawn, powerful stretching of the jaw increases blood flow in the neck, face, and head. The deep intake of breath during a yawn forces downward flow of spinal fluid and blood from the brain. Cool air breathed into the mouth cools these fluids. [WebMD.com] If the brain’s temperature gets too far outside of the norm, inhaling air can help cool it down. Another theory of yawning is - it's contagious! Contagious yawning is triggered involuntarily when we observe another person yawn -- it is a common form of echophenomena -- the automatic imitation of another's words (echolalia) or actions (echopraxia). And it's not just humans who have a propensity for contagious yawning -- chimpanzees and dogs do it too. [sciencedaily.com] Try watching a video where people are yawning, it's EXTREMELY difficult not to join in!
Snooze Do's - Upgrade your bedding, swap distracting sounds for more soothing ones, invest in comfortable sleepwear and keep the temperature cool in your bedroom.