DREAMING OF A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP?
How well we sleep at night can have a significant effect on our ability to concentrate and perform during the day. Adults need to focus on what needs to be done at home and at work, while kids need to pay attention at school. And for anyone whose sleep is affected by nighttime nasal congestion, the impact can be monumental.
THE GOOD SLEEP CHECKLIST
Getting good sleep is a process that starts long before you lie down. What you do—morning, day, and night—can greatly affect your quality of sleep. Here are 12 tips to help you get better sleep every night.
FOLLOW A ROUTINE
Try to wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends. This will regulate your body’s clock and help you fall asleep more effectively come nighttime.
LET THE SUN IN
It's the body's cue to stop and start melatonin production, the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. The more natural sunlight you can get in the morning, the better.
Think slow-to-digest foods like oatmeal, eggs, plain yogurt, or nuts. This will help reduce any reliance on caffeine and sugar throughout the day.
CLOSE YOUR BEDROOM DOOR WHEN YOU LEAVE
Pets can drag dander, fur and pollen into your bed, potentially triggering nighttime allergies. For better sleep, make your bedroom a pet-free zone.
CUT OFF YOUR CAFFEINE
You may feel like that afternoon coffee isn’t doing anything, but it is. Caffeine remains in the body for up to 8 hours, so have your last caffeinated beverage around 2pm.
NAP WITH CAUTION
If you find yourself needing a midday rest, keep it short—10-30 minutes—and try to do it before 3pm.
Whether it’s a walk after lunch or a vigorous workout, make sure you exercise daily. Just remember to wind it down at least 3 hours before bedtime.
MAKE TIME FOR IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS
It’s not easy to fall asleep after having a difficult conversation—you don’t have time to emotionally process what happened. Instead, communicate earlier in the day so you can relax at night.
EAT A SLEEP-FRIENDLY DINNER
Try to stick with veggies, beans, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. These foods calm the body and increase serotonin levels.
ADJUST YOUR ROOM TEMPERATURE
The perfect temperature for sleeping is between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Experiment to find out what your optimal temperature is for better sleep.
SNIFF OUT YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Smells—both good and bad—can affect your dreams. Try spraying calming scents like lavender and chamomile in your bedroom before sleep.
CLEAR YOUR MIND
Write in a journal, make a list of tomorrow’s priorities, or just quietly meditate. When you finally shut your eyes, your mind should be calm and ready for relaxation.
7 SIGNS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Sleep helps restore your mind and body to balanced health. When you don’t get enough of it, life can feel a little off. Here are some warning signs that indicate you might need more sleep.
YOU’RE HUNGRY ALL DAY
Studies show that sleep deprivation boosts appetite—especially for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. If you find yourself craving sugary snacks all day long, it might be because you’re not getting enough sleep.
YOU CAN’T KICK THAT COLD
According to one study, if you sleep less than 7 hours a night, you’re nearly 3 times more likely to get a cold. Sleep can boost immunity, so if you’ve been feeling less than 100% for a while, you might need more sleep.
YOU MAKE BAD DECISIONS
Rather than making decisions based on avoiding loss, the sleep-deprived brain makes decisions based on pursuing gain. A lack of sleep can lead to risky decision-making, which often carries negative consequences.
YOU CAN’T READ PEOPLE
Having trouble connecting with people? You may need better sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep can make it difficult to pick up on the facial emotions of others, leading to missed social cues and a feeling of alienation.
YOU’RE LESS FOCUSED AND MORE FORGETFUL
You can say it’s because you’re stressed, overworked, busy, etc., but a lack of sleep could be the real issue. Not getting enough sleep can lead to lower concentration, difficulty learning, and impaired memory.
YOU’RE EMOTIONALLY ON EDGE
While a good night's sleep helps to regulate your mood, sleep deprivation can do the opposite: it boosts the part of the brain tied to depression and anxiety. This can make it difficult to respond appropriately in emotional situations.
YOU’RE HAVING TOO MANY "CLOSE CALLS"
Maybe it’s a chronic case of the dropsies or you keep drifting from your lane while driving—these close calls might be due to sleep deprivation, which can negatively affects physical coordination and reaction time.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF SLEEP
Why should you get a good night’s sleep? When you’re tired, it may be hard to function at your best. Read on for more reasons to get a good night’s sleep, every night.
Whether it’s drowsy driving or chopping vegetables when you’re tuckered out, a slip-up may be more likely when you haven’t had a good night’s rest.
CLEAR YOUR MIND
Studies show that lack of sleep impairs your ability to make decisions and concentrate. No wonder a bad night’s sleep can cause that mentally “fuzzy” feeling.
LIFT YOUR SPIRITS
Studies have shown a link between a lack of sleep and being in a bad mood. Getting at least eight hours of sleep can help you avoid a case of the Mondays every day of the week.
IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY
While we sleep, our brains are busy processing our memories from the day. Studies show that sleeping after learning something new increases the chance you’ll remember it. So if you’re feeling forgetful, try getting some more sleep.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Some people have a hard time maintaining their weight when they don’t get enough sleep. If you’re tired you may skip exercising or cooking healthy meals. When you sleep less, you may experience a drop in the hormone leptin, which can make you feel hungry even when you don’t need to eat.
NOSE STRIPS? SNORING STRIPS? BREATHING STRIPS?
BREATHE RIGHT NASAL STRIPS. ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Some people call Breathe Right® strips “nose strips.” Others call them “snoring strips” or “breathing strips.” The official term is Breathe Right® nasal strips. These handy additions to your nightly routine go a long way toward helping you sleep better by helping you breathe better. Find yours now.