Winter is here, and that means cold weather tightening up our bodies and making us ache even more. A we age, this problem only becomes worse. That makes getting a good night of sleep nearly impossible. Countless methods exist to try and solve the problem of a good night of sleep. We try pills, we do meditation and create winding-down rituals to get us in the mood for sleep.
The solution to great sleep may involve these concepts, but the answer is really simple. Great sleep comes down to our bodies being comfortable. The cushion we sleep on should support us, and the bedding we use should provide us with adequate warmth that does not exceed what our bodies want. The science of sleep has advanced significantly to the point where great sleep is attainable.
Warm Up, But Not Too Much!
Research shows that our bodies try to equalize temperature with the world around us. The ideal sleeping temperature for most people is in the low 70s, but everyone is different. You should consider how warm or cold you feel every day and make your decisions from there. One way to increase warmth without adding comforters is to use a foam mattress, which compresses when weight is placed upon it and traps heat better.
Are you waking up with pain in your neck or your back? The solution may be extra support in those areas. Try using a denser pillow that will cradle your neck with greater support. You could also choose a pillow that softly holds your head in place, with dense foam between your legs to align the spine. Foam inserts are another solution, and cost significantly less than replacing your mattress altogether. The added support might be just what you need.
The environment that you sleep is very important. Out in nature, we would be sleeping under the stars with the sounds of animals to lull us to sleep. Think the steady drone of crickets or grasshoppers. That ambient sound blocks out smaller sounds like a car passing by, or someone shouting at someone else. White noise is one modern fix for this age old problem. White noise in the bedroom can block out some of the ambient sounds coming in from outside, and help us to create a better sleep cocoon.
Once you’ve gotten the temperature of the room right, and your body is well supported, try sleeping for the next few days and see if you notice any improvements in your condition. Hopefully, these changes will leave you feeling well-rested and ready to face the world.
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