Did you know that it’s National Sleep Awareness Week? Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), National Sleep Awareness Week is an annual public education and awareness campaign that promotes the importance of sleep. According to the NSF, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Kids need even more sleep, up to 13 hours for preschoolers and 11 hours for five to 10-year-olds. Unfortunately, if you’re like the rest of us, those precious hours are hard to come by after a busy day of work, school and other activities. One way to make sure we get enough uninterrupted zzz’s is to create a good sleep environment, so here are some tips from the NSF to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly:
Noise – Try to block out unwanted sounds with earplugs or use "white noise" such as a fan, air cleaner or sound conditioner. Take your favorite clock with you when you travel in order to recreate familiar sounds that help you sleep.
Temperature – In general, sleep scientists recommend keeping your room slightly cool. Turning the thermostat down at night in cold weather sets the stage for sleep and saves on fuel bills. A room that's too hot can also be disruptive. An air conditioner or fan can help, and a humidifier can provide relief if you're suffering from a sore throat or dryness in your nose.
Light – At bedtime, think dark: a dark bedroom contributes to better sleep. Try light-blocking curtains, drapes or an eye mask. Also, make sure to avoid light if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Minimize light by using a low illumination night light.
Sleeping surface – Give yourself enough space to sleep. If you share a bed with a partner, make sure it is large enough to give both of you room to move around. Replace an old mattress with a new one, and choose a pillow and mattress that fits you best and will be comfortable throughout the whole night. When choosing pillows, find the shape and construction that supports your head and neck and that you find most comfortable. And change your pillows regularly. If you have allergies or asthma, you may also wish to purchase hypo-allergenic covers designed to protect from possible allergic triggers such as dust mites.
If you still can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep, Boiron’s Quietude quick-dissolving tablets are here to help. Safe for everyone ages 12 and up, Quietude works naturally with your body to help relieve occasional sleeplessness and/or restless sleep. It’s non-habit forming and has no side effects, so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!
P.S. Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 11, so don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before you head to bed on Saturday night!