How to get better sleep

Print
Email
|

by 3TV

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 1:09 PM

(3TV) -- Valley Sleep Center has five locations in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler and Mesa, www.valleysleepcenter.com, 480-830-3900. Sleep Center President Lauri Leadley talked about your five senses of touch, taste, feel, smell and sound, all contributing  to a better night's sleep. Here are some of her  tips:

Touch
While your body is the best guide, many experts say 65 degrees is ideal.

Breathable cotton is best for pajamas and sheets to avoid overheating.

Check your mattress for worn or sagging spots. If you wake up tired or stiff, you may need a new one. Your pillow should support your neck and head in a neutral position. Some doctors recommend replacing pillows every two years.

Sight
Artificial light can send wake-up messages to your brain and make it harder to fall and stay asleep, so consider blocking sources like streetlamps, porch lights and bright alarm clocks.

Avoid using computers and smart phones within an hour before bed. Research finds the light from electronics can send alerting signals to the brain. If you have trouble falling asleep, you may want to keep them out of the room.

Choose wall colors that are calming to you. Also, consider artwork and other items that are soothing to you.

Hearing
Noises are more likely to wake you from a light sleep than deep. Research shows people are more likely to wake when the sound is relevant or emotionally charged, like when a baby cries.

Adding white noise can mask distracting activities. Ambient sound can come from a fan, air purifier or a specific device that emits white noise.

Falling asleep with the TV on can interrupt sleep because it's constantly changing in tone and volume.

If you need an alarm clock, don't overdo it. Make it loud enough to wake you, but not shock you awake. It's not a good way to start the day.

Smell
What you breathe can affect how you feel the next day. Research shows many people who sniff lavender before bed have more deep sleep. Another study shows babies cried less and slept more soundly after a bath with lavender-scented oils.

Keep your sheets clean and smelling fresh. A recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation finds about three out of four people get a more comfortable night's sleep on sheets with fresh scent.

Allergy sufferers should be vigilant when it comes to washing sheets and pillowcases in hot water once a week. Find a detergent that smells good to you or has no smell at all if you prefer.

Taste
Turkey isn't the only food that can make you drowsy. Eggs, chicken, fish and nuts contain about the same amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, the building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin.

Fatty, fried and spicy foods should be avoided before bedtime.

Alcohol can make it tougher to sleep deeply and continuously. And, the stimulation brought on by caffeine in coffee and soft drinks can last for hours.

Print
Email
|