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Why Sleep Matters

Sleep research continues to show us that your behavior prior to bedtime can affect how well you sleep. Achieving a high-quality sleep may be possible with a few minor adjustments!

Take a look at some of the behavioral factors that affect sleep.



Improve the quality of your sleep by improving your diet. Avoid heavy or spicy foods. Don't eat protein late in the day. Eating carbs in the evening and proteins in the morning allows you to fall asleep more easily. Avoid liquids, caffeine and nicotine before bedtime. Don't use alcohol to help you fall asleep - once it wears off, you'll be awake again.



Regular aerobic exercise is proven to help you sleep better, because it reduces stress hormones. Exercising in the sunlight in late afternoon is even better. However, exercising 3-4 hours before bedtime will increase your core body temperature and prevent you from falling asleep.



If you're sleepy during the day, you're not getting enough nourishing sleep at night. When you find yourself dragging, find a quiet place with no phones, loud noises, disruptive people or direct sunlight and take a 15- to 20-minute power nap (preferably before 3 p.m.). Napping too long can lead to sleep deprivation at night, which leads to decreased alertness and memory loss.



How can you and your partner both enjoy deep, nourishing sleep? Simple steps, like getting a larger bed with two unique sleep surfaces. Wear earplugs, stagger bedtimes, sleep with a vibrating alarm clock in your pillow, or make a pillow barrier to muffle sound and movement. Use two twin sheets and blankets on your Queen- or King-size bed to prevent cover wars. Your relationship will thank you in the morning.

Your sleep surroundings affect how well you sleep. It sounds simple, and it is. Creating an environment that promotes deep, healthy sleep inevitably contributes to waking up refreshed. In addition to the ideas below, Sleep to Live has developed an entire line of sleep enhancers specifically designed to improve your sleep environment.

Here are some additional ways to improve them.


Make sure the room is well-ventilated and the temperature is set between 68-70 degrees. Heat is more disruptive to sleep than noise. As we sleep, our body temperature naturally drops a degree or so. If a room gets warmer while our body lowers its temperature, it'll work against our natural system and actually begin to wake us up.


When it comes to the ideal sleep environment, darkness is king. Melatonin production improves when it's dark. Thus, better sleep. If you can't completely darken a room, consider blackout curtains or a sleep mask. Position the alarm clock and other digital displays so you can't see them, and use low bluelight bulbs for your nightlights.


We sleep better when it's quiet. That's a no-brainer. Incorporating low levels of ambient sound such as white noise or fans helps to mask most household disruptions to a certain point (equipment cycling on and off, clocks chiming, etc.). If necessary, use comfortable earplugs to block the rest (sirens, pets, rude neighbors, etc.). Avoid watching TV in bed, but if your partner watches TV, ask them to wear headphones.


Avoid heavy bedding. Instead, try several light layers that can be easily removed to accommodate your body temperature. Wear loose clothing if perspiration is a problem for you.


Man's best friend, but not at night. Their movements and sounds wake you up, and their body heat adds to yours.


Be sure that children have a healthy sleep environment of their own to ensure nothing's waking them up or keeping them awake. If they do disrupt your sleep, make a plan with your sleep partner in advance about who will take care of them so that at least one of you can stay asleep.

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Bob Mills Furniture Company, Inc., FurnitureRetail, Oklahoma City, OK