Sleeping well is a vital part of overall health and well-being. Yet, more and more people are going through life chronically sleep deprived, either not getting enough rest at night or not getting the kind of deep, restorative slumber our bodies need. It is estimated that as many as seventy million Americans suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, or some other sleep disorder. Almost all of us would benefit from knowing some tips on how to sleep better.

With all of this restlessness going on, you might think that getting a good night’s sleep is the stuff of dreams. Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take to sleep longer, deeper, and with better results. These include sticking to a regular sleep schedule, making your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible, and dealing with anxiety and other things that hinder sleep.

Our bodies operate on a natural rhythm, with periods of activity, relaxation and rest falling at preset intervals. But our modern lifestyles disrupt this built-in cycle. Shift work, caffeine consumption, smoking, and even after work activities can all throw off our internal clocks, making sleep hard to come by.

To avoid this, first set up a regular bedtime, and stick to it as closely as possible. Night workers must sleep during daylight hours, but they can still make sure they’re in bed the same time each day. Also, have a regular waking time, set between seven and nine hours after you turn in. Holding to this routine will train your body to become tired at the same point each day, ensuring a regular period of sleep.

Using your bed only for sleep can help this pattern take hold. Avoid doing other activities while in the sack. It is especially important to avoid working or engaging in any other activity that may cause stress, tension or anxiety. They will cause your mind to create a negative association with your bedroom, keeping you awake when you should be snoozing.

Making your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible is another step you can take. Our minds do their best relaxing and resting when loud noises or bright lights are not distracting us. The room you sleep in should be as dark as possible, and kept that way during your scheduled sleep time. Glowing clock faces, computer screens, and televisions introduce extra light into the bedroom, so cover them or turn them off if you can. Listening to the radio or recorded music actually helps many people drift off to sleep, though. Do this if it works for you. If you wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or for some other reason, avoid turning on your bedside lamp. Keep a flashlight by you to negotiate your way to the restroom, kitchen, or wherever else you go. This will help keep your mind in a rested state, boosting your natural melatonin levels and helping you to fall asleep sooner when you do return to bed.

Most people sleep best in a cool room; so try to keep the temperature at a level that avoids extremes of heat or cold. Many people prefer to have a fan blowing on them while in bed. Try that if you think it might help.

Pets are wonderful, but having them in bed with you doesn’t always work out. If your dog or cat wakes you, or keeps you from falling asleep in the first place, consider blocking them from entering the bedroom during the night. You can make it up to them during the day by being a more awake and energetic friend to them.

We all have worries and concerns, and sometimes we all lose sleep because of them. If this is occurring on a regular basis, consider seeing a counselor or your physician about it. He or she might prescribe antidepressants or set up therapy sessions during which you can discuss what is troubling you.

Smoking and caffeine consumption both hinder sleep. Cut back on them or quit using them entirely. Try to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into your lifestyle. A sound body rests better at night.

Here at Parklane Mattresses, we know that the surface you sleep on plays a vital role in how well rested you are. Whether you want a king size pillow top mattress or something a little smaller, feel free to browse though our product line and contact us with any questions you might have. We’d love to share our own tips on how to sleep better!