It seems over the past few decades, good sleep has become increasingly difficult to come by for many. I know that it is true for myself personally, but also have many friends and family members that have suffered through the trial and error of getting the nighttime slumber that they so badly want and that their bodies so badly need. I am sure that I am not the only one who has searched near and far looking for the answer to the question of how to get a better night’s sleep.
I hope I am able to save you some time and effort by compiling this list of 5 tips for a better sleeping environment! And hopefully with some of that extra time, you will be able to put the list to the test and put your body to rest!
Tip Number 1: Be like Goldilocks!
You know the story; Goldilocks goes around the Bear’s house trying everything out until she found something that was juuuuust right! I am pretty sure she even tried out the beds. One of the most detrimental mentalities to a good night’s sleep is the thought that there is a one size fits all. I can tell you from experience that that isn’t the case. How my husband sleeps is definitely different than myself. When he needs no covers because he is hot, sometimes I am on the opposite side of the bed with a sheet, two blankets and a comforter. So the first tip is to find what is right for you.
Find a temperature that isn’t too hot or too cold and a bed that isn’t too hard or too soft. Memory foam is a huge asset for all of the above. It allows proper ventilation so that you do not overheat and yet conforms to your body’s shape to provide just the right amount of insulation. And better yet, it is almost like magic; it is both firm enough for those that like very little give to their mattress, but also because of the attributes of memory foam, it feels soft and hugs your body in just the right ways to help it rest.
Tip Number 2: Listen to your body
For many years, I suffered through upper back and neck pain. Even as a young girl in my 20’s, I thought that it was something I was just going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. Medical doctors abound could never find anything really wrong, and just tried to throw a bunch of medications at me; some which helped temporarily, but never anything that took the pain away. It wasn’t until I started working at a chiropractic office that I began seeing that maybe my body was trying to tell me something. Maybe it wasn’t that something was wrong with me from the inside out, but that I was doing something wrong from the outside in!
The first thing I started with was to buy a different shaped pillow. I had always loved my traditional, big, fluffy pillow. That’s what pillows are supposed to be, right? Soft and airy like a cloud. But if you think about it, how much support would a cloud be for you? Truly, you would just fall right through it! So I changed to a contour pillow. It took a little getting used to since your head kind of rests in a bit of a hole in the center of the pillow. But with a little bit of time I realized that my neck didn’t feel as weak as it had before when I would wake up in the mornings. But it didn’t take the pain away completely. I then switched to a contoured memory foam pillow and could not believe the difference! It was like my body was finally telling me ‘yes, this is what we need to rest at night, thank you!’
By listening to my body, I was able to find the best memory foam pillow for my needs. There are many shapes available on the market today that cater to all of the many needs of customers; and I honestly believe that you just can’t go wrong with the memory foam aspect.
Tip Number 3: Don’t fear the foam
One of the biggest investments my husband and I have made since we married was buying a memory foam bed. We have often talked that it has been one of the best monetary investments we made. Yet, whenever people fell of our bed for the first time, many respond with things like ‘that’s way to hard to sleep on’, ‘isn’t that like sleeping on a rock’. And I understand it. When we think of beds, most of us think of the springy, bouncy mattresses we used to jump on as kids. Kind of like sleeping on a padded trampoline!
People are afraid of change and many are even more afraid that sleeping on memory foam won’t have enough give in it to make it comfortable. I will admit I was skeptical at first, too. But I have to tell you, the first night that your body melts into a memory foam bed, you will understand just how well it works at supporting your body. It allows every part of your body to feel supported in just the right way because it evenly distributes your weight while absorbing any impact made when you move around. Think of it like the big college football player that is really just a big teddy bear inside!
Tip Number 4: Sometimes to invest is best
You may have sensed a theme by now that I am partial to the memory foam world! Believe me when I say that everything I say comes from experience. I remember my first apartment and trying to go shopping for all of the things I knew I would need as I first ventured out on my own. My pillow and bed were not on the top of my priority list for items to splurge on. My bed was a hand-me-down from my grandparents and I found one of the cheapest pillows I could find just so I could have something. Because a pillow is a pillow, right? Wrong!
While I’m not saying that more expensive is always better, I feel like it is important enough to mention that dollar store pillows are probably not going to support your head and neck and back in a way that your body needs to really get a restful night’s sleep. When you think about all of the positives that come from getting enough rest each night, it really does seem like a given that investing a little more money to get what you need is the way to go, doesn’t it?!
Tip Number 5: Go to bed!
Probably one of the biggest mistakes we make each night is to use our beds as our work station, as our place to wind down, be on our devices, watch tv; you name it. But really, our beds should be the place we go to be our most at peace. If you surround yourself with the tools to get a good night’s sleep then also forcing yourself to use that environment for what it is meant for makes sense!
So get out there, find the best memory foam beds and side sleeper pillows for you, find your just right, and get to bed!