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    Better sleep and breathing blog

    Sleep Well and Stay Well

    Sleep Well and Stay Well

     

    Most of us have had to adapt our schedules these days but staying true to the routines that have long sustained us—sleep in particular—will help us now and in the future. Making sure we get enough sleep can be a challenge right now. There is way too much news to absorb, change is everywhere, and the things we depend on don’t feel as certain as they once did. Many of us are anxious and stressed out by it all. Sleep—the great restorer—is a more urgent need than ever before. 

     

    Sleep is essential to good health. A basic human drive, it ought to be something automatic and simple. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with getting good sleep on a regular basis. We no longer go to bed with the sun and rise with the birds. Artificial light and the pressures of the modern world have seen to that, but we still need the same kind of consistent, restorative sleep we evolved to get, especially when things are uncertain. 

    The great benefits of good sleep

     

    Good sleep keeps our bodies running smoothly, helping us take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. In fact, getting great sleep improves your alertness, enhances your mental functioning, boosts your mood, and keeps immune system running at top capacity. Missing even a few hours of sleep—or enduring interrupted sleep because you or your partner is snoring—can diminish your quality of life.

    How to sleep better 

     

    You can help protect your sleep—and all the benefits that come with it— by maintaining a great sleep routine, no matter what else is going on in the world. Here are some tips that can help:

     

    1. Get your move on. Your gym might not be open right now, but you can still—and should—move your body. Go for a walk or a jog, follow along with an online class, put on some music for a home dance party—anything that gets you moving is a good thing.
    2. Look for the light. Natural light exposure is a crucial part of maintaining your circadian rhythm (the biological sleep-wake cycle we go through each day). Even if you are inside more than usual right now, plant yourself by the window or venture outside (safely) during the day.
    3. Banish the blues. We’re more tethered to our electronic devices than ever before, but they emit a kind of blue light that stimulates us. By limiting exposure to screens—and making sure the blue-light filter is one—as the day winds down, you can help your body prepare to rest.
    4. Decaffeinate. For many of us, a hot cup o’ joe is just the thing to start the day off right, especially now, but that caffeine boost goes from wonderful to woeful the later you have it during the day. Limit caffeine in all forms—coffee, soda, and chocolate—as bedtime approaches.
    5. Build your bedtime. The comfort of a predictable, repeated bedtime routine can ease you into a better night’s sleep. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable, a little cool, dark, and quiet.

    You’re in this together

    You’re in this together


     

    Many of us sleep with a partner. You will be more rested if you can help your partner get better sleep, too. See if you can establish these routines as a family and look for solutions to nighttime disruptions. If you’ve got a noisy partner, look for ways to help them—and you—sleep more soundly.