Sleep Doctors: How the Professionals Handle a Restless Night

M & N MattressImprove Quality of Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep HealthLeave a Comment

Image of someone struggling to sleep

If you’ve ever experienced insomnia, or even a short streak of restless nights, you know how much of an impact it has on the rest of your life. 

We’ve probably all been there… just as you are laying down to sleep, the mind kicks in to overdrive. Suddenly, every stressful situation in your life is demanding your attention, competing with weird memories and regrets and plans and… you get it.

Even one restless night is tough and can deeply impact the day that follows. When it becomes a series of nights, the problems really begin to snowball.

So, what can be done?

Sleep has been studied and scrutinized for years, and professionals have come up with some advice on how to achieve deep sleep if you’re beginning to experience restless nights. Here are a few of the most common suggestions to fall asleep faster and to stay asleep longer.

Count sheep

That’s right – the age-old advice of counting sheep has persisted over generations for a reason: it actually works! If counting sheep feels a bit weird to you, counting in general can help distract your mind enough to get it off the stresses you’re stuck on, and divert your attention to a place where sleep will come easier. 

The best way to count sheep is to literally picture sheep jumping over a fence in your mind’s eye. It’s good to get a steady rhythm going and to keep the pace consistent. Once you notice that you’ve become distracted (because you will!), gently bring your attention back to the task at hand. Counting sheep really can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Count breaths

Counting breaths might be easier for some than conjuring an image in your mind’s eye, and controlled breathing is another great way to help get the mind to relax and the body to chill out for the night. For example, a six/four/six breath cycle can help the body’s nervous system to properly calm down. Simply inhale for a count of six, hold at the top of the breath for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of six. 

Again, keep coming back to the process and notice how your body is beginning to relax. These techniques are all about getting your nervous system to slow down enough to achieve sleep. Deep breathing is a great way to help both the mind and body, even during the most stressful of times.

Create a routine

In order to prepare for sleep, the body releases hormones and brain chemicals that trigger the state of being tired. It knows to do this when certain things happen, like the sun begins to set or by the number of hours you’ve been awake. You can support your body and help it get tired by creating a routine that signals that sleep is ahead. 

For instance, about an hour before you want to fall asleep, try turning down the lights, lowering the noise level, doing the dishes, washing your face and brushing your teeth (or whatever you consider to be “winding down”) and following the same set of steps each night before crawling into bed. After a couple of days of doing this, your body will associate the habit with sleep, and it will start to release the hormones that go along with it.

Create the right sleep conditions

Having the most comfortable little nest/cocoon to fall asleep in can make you excited to go to sleep in the first place. That means ensuring that your mattress is meeting your needs in terms of material and firmness. And that your bedding is the appropriate weight and warmth for the season. You might need to install black out curtains, turn on a noise machine, fluff your pillows, buy new pjs, spritz your bed with a calming lavender mist… whatever you need to do get stoked to crawl into bed. And having a comfortable mattress will make a big difference in this!

If you are struggling to sleep, come on into our Parksville mattress store and discover your dream mattress that is waiting for you! We love helping people go from restless to rested, and the perfect mattress can get you there!