All of us wish we could get more sleep. We try to get a good night’s rest as often as possible, but with our busy schedules, improving the quality of our sleep by simply sleeping more isn’t always an option. We have all heard the common tips to sleeping better: developing a bedtime routine, waking up the same time every day, avoiding caffeine before bed, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes these tips alone aren’t enough. But sleep is so important to maintain focus, level out hormones, and avoid the chances of a dangerous car accident.
The following lesser-known seven tips will help you get an even higher quality of sleep.
- Eliminate blue light in the bedroom. Almost all our tech devices, including cell phones, televisions, tablets and laptops, emit the soft blue glow of an LED light. While it may seem innocuous since it isn’t very bright, the short waves of blue light have been proven to interfere with our brain’s ability to sleep properly. Either cover up the lights or turn off the devices.
- Choose your pillows carefully. Pillows are important for a good night’s sleep. When chosen properly, a pillow can support our neck and ensure that we don’t rouse during the night due to stiffness or pain. Choose a pillow that is just the right size to support your neck in a neutral position. If it is too puffy or too flat, you’ll stress the body. You can also use a pillow between your legs to help avoid lower back pain. Choose a fluffy pillow to better align your hips and reduce stress your lower back.
- Avoid food and drink, especially alcohol, in the hours right before bed. Digestion at night makes the body not relax like it should while you sleep. Even liquids can have this effect, especially if you drink too much. You will find yourself awake in the middle of the night heading to the bathroom. Alcohol is especially bad, because although it has a calming effect as you drift off, once it wears off you will have a much more fitful sleep overall.
- Exercise every day, but not right before bed. Even just a few minutes of exercise during the day will ensure a deeper sleep at night. Just make sure to time it right. Exercise too close to bedtime will only rev up your system when you should be relaxing.
- Create a calm atmosphere in the bedroom. Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility and rest. That means that stressful activities, such as work or exercise, should be done outside. You should associate your bedroom with a place of rest and relaxation. Choosing calming colors for the wall and accenting the room with comforting pictures and accessories help this.
- Watch out for potential allergens in the bedroom. Few people know that a mattress cover is your best friend for a good night’s sleep. That’s because it ensures that there is no buildup of dust mites and other allergens in your mattress that will make sleep more elusive over time. Also, keep the bedroom as clean, odorless, and dust-free as possible. It may not seem like it, but these things interrupt our sleep late at night. Sometimes keeping pets off the bed is another way to help with this. Plus, the movement of your pet at night doesn’t help sleep either.
- Manage your circadian rhythms with light. A simple but highly effective trick for a better night’s sleep is to tap into your natural circadian rhythms. Every morning, surround yourself with bright lights upon waking, and make sure to dim the lights around you for a few hours before bed. Within a few days, you will find that sleeping comes more naturally, especially if you do this on a schedule.
If you follow these tips, not only will you feel more refreshed in the morning, but you will also help create a safer environment for you and your family. Nowadays, too many of us don’t sleep well enough to operate at our full potential. We find ourselves drowsy during long meetings and, even worse, while driving. Drowsy driving has become more common over the past decade, causing thousands of accidents and injuries every year.
For the sake of your own safety and the safety of all other drivers around you, we hope that you will take these tips to heart. Better quality sleep (and more of it) is the key to a safer and less stressful day. We would do anything to avoid a dangerous accident; getting enough sleep so we feel more alert and happier seems the easiest first step.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for a free consultation with our Chicago injury attorneys at (312) 236-2900.