Reasons why you may not be getting a good nights sleep

You're physical fit, you can compete in a triathlon, but you won’t be in the race for long if you don’t get a good night’s sleep.

Many things that can interfere with a good nights sleep. Here are a few that can be easily remedied. 

Getting a good nights sleep

You sleep on your stomach.

  • When you sleep in on your stomach, your head and neck need are turned, in order to be able to breathe. This position puts pressure on your neck and spine and overtime can turn into regular pain.

You sleep in a fetal position.

  • This position may also affect your ability to breathe, if you’re not getting enough oxygen, your are typically breathing harder than necessary.

You do not maintain a regular bedtime time.

  • If your up late one night and asleep early the next night, your body's natural rhythm's become out of wack.

You sleep in on the weekends. See above.

You go to bed on a full stomach.

  • This may cause you to get an upset stomach, which may interfere with you falling asleep.

You drink alcohol before you go to bed.

  • Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it can prevent you from falling into REM sleep. Many people experience restlessness in the middle of the night after consuming alcohol.

You only use your pillows to rest your head.

  • If you are a back sleeper, try placing a pillow under your knees. If you are a side sleeper , try placing a pillow at your abdomen and put your topside arm over it. Both of these actions can take pressure off your shoulders keeping your spine straight.

Proper spine alignment

Your pillow is too flat.

  • Sleeping pillows provide support to both your head and neck. If your pillow has become flat and lifeless, it is time to replace it. When your neck and head are not properly aligned with your spine, you may experience neck or back pain.

Flat - under stuffed pillow

Your mattress is worn out.

  • Mattresses, like pillows, wear out. If your mattress is lumpy and is caved in where you lay you might be creating pressure on your spine. Mattresses's should support your entire body. Some say your mattress should be replaced every ten years.

Your mattress is too hard or soft.

  • Your height and weight effect how the mattress supports you. If you weigh a lot and the mattress is soft, you will sink into the mattress too much and not get the proper support. If you are a lighter weight person sleeping in a hard mattress, the mattress will not give or compress in the areas that is should and you will not be getting proper support.

An old mattress may not provide proper back support  

Your room is too hot or too cold.

  • Optimal room temperature should be between 54° and 74° F. The most comfortable temperature varies by individual. Studies suggest an optimal temperature is 66° F.

You’re sleeping on plastic.

  • Synthetic fibers do not breathe as well as natural fibers. Plastic mattress covers, foam mattresses, synthetic sheets (satin), cotton/poly sheets and pajamas do not wick moisture away from your body. Natural fibers such as cotton or linen are much better choices for bedding fabrics. Natural fibers will also help regulate your bed temperature, providing a more comfortable sleep.

You fall asleep on the couch.

  • A couch is not intended to be a bed. It doesn’t provide proper body support. Additionally, if you get up in the middle of the night to stumble your way to the bedroom, you are interrupting your sleep.

You fall asleep with the TV on.

  • The TV can be a deterrent to sleep. Light and sound will activate brain wave activity.

You go to bed with your laptop or cell phone – see above.

You keep a night light on or do not close your blinds.

  • See - you fall asleep with the TV on (above).

You immediately get into bed after your shut off the TV.

  • Your brain may continue to process whatever it was you were watching. Consider waiting at least 30 min. after shutting off the TV before hopping into bed in an effort to clear your mind.

You watch TV in bed.

Studies have shown that people who watch TV in bed or work on their laptops take longer to fall asleep. Your brain associates these activities with the bed. Leave work and entertainments outside of the bedroom.

Your pet or children sleep in your bed.

  • Most beds are not designed to accommodate 3 guests. The bed may become too crowded which may interfere with your sleep.  

You drink caffeinated products too late in the day.

  • Stop consuming caffeine at least 8 hours before bedtime.

If you make a few of these changes to your bed time routine, you will be back in the race in no time.

 Great bedding can help your sleep experience as well.

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