A little tip for you fitness folks: there’s a new training method that can help you improve your speed, strength, and sharpness, and all it involves is laying still for eight hours. There are many top-level athletes that are now even hiring coaches specifically to teach them how to do this thing better.
This powerful secret method? Sleep, and it’s not really all that new (or that secret)—in fact, we’ve been using this particular training method for millions and millions of years! The athletic benefits of sleep are just now happening to find an appreciation in the realm of sports.
The great benefits of sleep aren’t just available to high-paid celebrity athletes with personal sleep coaches, though, because better sleep is possible for everyone. Here are just four of the most impactful benefits of consistent sleep for athletes like you—no matter what level you’re at—as well as a pointer on how you can start sleeping like the pros:
1. Sleep = more energy
It probably seems almost too obvious, but if you’re an athlete, the role of energy in your performance is always good to remember. Whenever your sleep is inadequate, and you’re feeling the weight of fatigue, you’re less likely to feel inspired enough to go to the gym; you’re also far less likely to give 100% when it comes time for practice. The longer you continue to be deprived of sleep, the more fatigued you’ll feel every day, as the effects of sleep deprivation only continue to build the longer the issue persists.
2. Making essential repairs
When you get a full night of sleep, you experience slow-wave sleep, otherwise known as deep sleep. During deep sleep, your body releases growth hormones which can heal the tissues of muscles that have been worn down by your previous day’s exercise. When you miss out on sleep, your body is missing out on much-needed repairs.
3. Helping you keep a healthy diet
Perhaps the most important factor in maintaining fitness over the course of a lifetime is keeping up a healthy diet. And, if you want to keep a healthy diet, you’re going to need a good night’s sleep.
Your appetite is fueled by two hormones called leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin tells your body when it should be hungry, while leptin signals to your body that you’ve eaten enough. A study at the University of Chicago found that operating on four or five hours of sleep decreased concentrations of leptin and increased levels of ghrelin, throwing them out of their proper balance—a clear sign that your body’s hunger has gone off the rails.
4. Keeping you sharp
A study with the Stanford men’s basketball team showed after letting the players sleep for an extended period of time, their free throw accuracy improved by 9% and they shaved an average of .7 seconds off of their sprint times (from 16.2 to 15.5 seconds).
Talk to a Sleep Coach
So how can you get the same improvements in your sleep as the pros? Well, by taking the same approach—getting in touch with a sleep coach. Although you don’t need to have the same high-level connections (or the same limitless budget) as celebrity athletes in order to have your very own Sleep Coach.
Reverie®️ Sleep Coach™ offers you all the up-to-date knowledge and sleep expertise available to those in the big leagues, and ensures that you’ll sleep just like the winners. How does it work? We set you up with one of our Certified Sleep Coaches who will work with you like a personal trainer for your sleep, talking with you one-on-one and coming up with a customized plan for your sleep success based on the specific roadblocks you face when it comes to sleep. If this sounds like the boost you’ve been needing in order to improve your performance out on the field or the court, you should contact one of our Certified Sleep Coaches to learn more.
Schedule your free ten-minute introductory call with an actual Sleep Coach now!
How many times has this happened to you?
You finish dinner, finally put your phone down, and find yourself delightfully surprised that you’re able to get to bed at a decent hour—but something just doesn’t go right. Maybe you spend half the night trying to get into a comfortable position, or you feel exhausted at work the next morning. Whatever happened, your sleep just didn’t do its job, despite the fact that (as far as you’re aware) you did everything right.
If this sounds familiar, you’re definitely not alone. A lot of people expect sleep to just happen as long as we get into bed before too late and shut our eyes at some point, but that’s really not how it works. There’s actually a variety of environmental, biological, and personal factors that all combine every single day and affect the quality of sleep that you experience.
If you’d like to see the bigger picture and get to know how healthy your sleep habits really are, our comprehensive sleep quiz is the perfect place to start. In our sleep quiz, we ask you a variety of questions related to your sleep environment, your daily habits, your health, and even your perspective on sleep, in order to determine the true quality level of your sleep.
You may have taken a variety of “personality” and “what-type-are-you” quizzes before, but our sleep quiz is different from all of these for one very big reason: it’s actually based on science, and not just a bunch of fluff which we made up ourselves. To ensure that we covered a complete spectrum of sleep influences, we developed our sleep quiz with the help of our sleep advisory board, which is made up of leading doctors and researchers in the field of sleep.
We put this much care and attention into our sleep quiz because we’re passionate about helping you sleep better. Along with the results of the sleep quiz, we provide you with a few simple changes you can make tonight that will help improve the quality of your sleep.
If you feel that your sleep could definitely be better (or if you want to be sure that there’s nothing you’re missing) make sure to take our sleep quiz today, and enjoy a sweeter, well-informed sleep tonight.
Take the sleep quiz now.
If you take a second to think about it, you can probably recall quite a few PSAs you’ve seen on the dangers of drunk driving and driving while distracted by your phone—but when was the last time you saw one on the dangers of driving while tired? Nothing really comes to mind, right? In fact, this may actually be the first time you’ve ever stopped to consider this particular driving hazard.
So why isn’t this issue part of any media campaigns? You might think the answer is because it’s such a small problem that it’s not worth the effort, but the reality is that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving (if not more). An answer probably much closer to the truth is that fatigue and tiredness is simply so widespread in our population that driving under that condition is considered by most to be a regrettable but minor consequence. But the effects of drowsy driving are anything but minor.
The dangers of drowsy driving
In his book Why We Sleep, sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that drowsy driving is worse than drunk driving, and the reason for this is that driving drowsy leaves you susceptible to microsleeps. Walker tells us that microsleeps
Last for a few seconds, causing our eyelids to close partially or fully
Cause us to lose all perception of the outside world
Happen without us being aware of them
And cause our motor functions to cease momentarily
This means that if you happen to have a microsleep while you are driving tired, you can completely lose your grip on the wheel or move over into another lane, while possibly going at 60 miles an hour. Walker tells us that one of the major differences you see between drunk drivers and drowsy drivers is that drunk drivers may not brake quick enough in an emergency—but a drowsy driver could neglect to brake completely.
The signs of a sleepy driver
The first step to always being alert behind the wheel is, of course, realizing when you’re too tired to drive. Here are the signs to look for, courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation:
Inability to remember the last stretch of road you drove
Bobbing your head
Drifting from your lane
If you notice these symptoms of tiredness in yourself or your driver, it is extremely important that you ensure the car ride is halted or another driver is able to take over.
Staying alert and alive
The most effective deterrent against driving while tired? Making sure that you’re not tired. While that sounds like a “duh” moment, remembering how vital sleep is to our lives is always important. Exhaustion is your body’s way of trying to tell you in the loudest way possible that it needs to recharge in order to carry out the functions that keep you healthy and safe. The best way to dispel drowsiness and remain alert and in control all throughout the day is to get the right amount of sleep by always adhering to sleep hygiene best practices.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you’re driving and you realize that you’re too drowsy to drive safely, there are really only two options:
Switching with another driver riding with you.
Also from Matthew Walker’s book: pulling over somewhere safe to nap for 20-30 minutes. Immediately after you wake up, you can’t just head back out onto the road, either. It takes about another 20-30 minutes for your grogginess from your nap to wear off. This solution is unfortunately not a long-term one, as your body will soon be tired again. The only way to fully recharge is (you guessed it) a full night of good ol’ sleep.
These solutions are, of course, not ideal, and the message you should take away is that the best way to drive safe is making sure you’re getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Perhaps the most insidious danger of drowsy driving is simply that it’s a public safety concern that’s received only minimal attention. But—just like drunk driving and phone-distracted driving—drowsy driving fatalities are preventable.
Part of the responsibility lies on every individual driver, to make sure that they are getting adequate sleep. But it’s also going to take the kind of education, broadcasting, and social change that’s helped to drastically decrease the incidents of drunk driving fatalities in recent years. And if people start to sleep better as a result of spreading awareness? Well, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
It’s that time of year again! Our twice-a-year furniture market extravaganza in fabulous Las Vegas. Let’s all go talk about sleep and not get any at all.
Want to make it a little easier this year? Here’s your plan for prepping your sleep for Vegas market.
Vegas Sleep Survival Guide
If you’re already short on sleep, my advice is simple: sleep more now.
Go to bed earlier.
You don’t want to pile sleep deprivation on sleep deprivation: one study showed those running on less than 6 hours of sleep showed the same levels of cognitive dysfunction as the group that didn’t sleep at all. (What’s even worse: the folks in the six-hour group didn’t rate their sleepiness as being all that bad). How about that. So to you folks: get some sleep before Vegas. Your brain will thank you.
If your body is well rested, check out my recommended schedule below.
Vegas is three time zones away.
Give yourself three days to adjust, pushing your bedtime and wake up an hour later each night.
For example: you’re flying in on Thursday, so you would start adjusting Monday night. Instead of going to bed from 10:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., you would try to go to bed at 11:30 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.
Each day, keep pushing your bedtime and wakeup times back by a half-hour to hour without sacrificing the duration of your sleep (getting ENOUGH sleep takes priority in this case to a later bedtime).
Central time zone
Vegas is two time zones away.
Give yourself two days to adjust, pushing your bedtime and wake up an hour later each night.
For example: you’re flying in on Thursday, so you would start adjusting Tuesday night. Instead of going to bed from 10:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., you would try to go to bed at 11:30 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.
The next night, push your bedtime and wakeup times back another hour without sacrificing the duration of your sleep (getting ENOUGH sleep takes priority in this case to a later bedtime).
Vegas is one time zone away.
Lucky you! You only have to adjust one hour.
The night before you leave, try to go to bed and wake up an hour later than usual.
BE SURE TO PACK:
Ear plugs (Because...Fremont Street). The hotel typically provides ear plugs but if you want to bring your own feel free. Either way, just have them available.
Anything that is part of your home bedtime routine: reading a book, a magazine, essential oil, your usual pajamas or lack thereof. Whatever you can do to keep a consistent thread between home and travel will benefit your sleep.
You probably won’t be getting MORE sleep than usual in Vegas so it’s so important to protect the sleep you do get with a few tools for light-blocking and noise blocking.
Nerd out with me briefly here as we talk about dolphins. Yes, dolphins.
So dolphins have this cool ability to put half of their brain to sleep while the other half stays awake. This is thought to be so they can stay alert and ward off predators and not drown in the ocean, that sort of thing. It’s called unihemispheric sleep. There’s your six-point word for the day.
Anyway, humans can’t do this (giant bummer, I know). BUT. Brain scans have shown that we exhibit a sort of baby version of this unihemispheric sleep: in that there’s a little more activity and alertness in half of our brain when we’re sleeping in a new place. Tracking?
So when you sleep in the hotel on the first night, you’re kiiind of like a dolphin in that half your brain is sleeping a little lighter to watch out for a rogue zipliner who might come crashing through your window (which isn’t actually going to happen, but your ancestors had to go through a lot, OK?). So, to counteract all of these survivalist instincts of ours, an eye mask and ear plugs will help that lively half of your brain shut down a little more, and help you sleep better on the first night in Vegas.
ON THE FLIGHT
Permission to nap. A jacket with a hood, a neck pillow, or noise-cancelling headphones will all help in this endeavor.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
Start acting like you’re on Vegas time. Your sleep pregaming will pay off here.
Pay attention to your light. If it’s daytime, seek light. If it’s nighttime, seek darkness as much as possible. This will help your circadian rhythm do a hard restart.
Sweet Dreams and see you all in Vegas!
P.s. More sleep tips coming soon for coping with Vegas....
A little preview:
Q: What should I do if I was raging at 2 a.m. and the Starbucks line is too long in the Golden Nugget?
A: Fear not, you sleep-deprived soul. There’s a Starbucks a 7-minute walk away from the Golden Nugget (on S Casino Center Blvd). Mobile order that trash and get some sunshine and exercise in your day.
Q: It’s 3 p.m. on Monday and I AM SO TIRED.
A: Well, what do you know. That’s your circadian rhythm in action! There’s a natural lull in our energy around mid-afternoon. Throw in some late night parties and drinks and you have yourself some full-blown exhaustion. Skip the coffee and take a power nap instead. Might I suggest a fine Reverie mattress and base in our showroom for your testing purposes.
Q: I don’t remember too much from last night’s dinner. I met 14 people and forgot all of their names.
A: Yeah...that’ll happen. I’m guessing there was some alcohol sloshing around in your liver last night too. While drinking helps us fall asleep faster, it creates a kind of “fake” sleep, and you miss out on all the neat and tidy sorting of the day's factoids (like remembering names) during this drunky sleep cycle. Might I suggest:
Frantically searching through LinkedIn
Trying a firm handshake, arm slap, and “Heyyyy buddy” upon meeting again
Try a few and see what elicits the most positive response. I recommend starting with some popular picks such as Bob, Greg, or Sara.
Want more sleep tips or to talk 1:1 about YOUR sleep? Come visit me (Sleep Coach Rachel) at our Reverie showroom.
Las Vegas World Market
July 29 - Aug 2 | Showroom B-925
At some point post-childhood, sleep seems to lose a bit of its luster in our eyes, and we start to see it more as a burden than a welcome relief. In truth, sleep becomes that much more necessary in our lives the more we grow and develop. No matter what stage of the game you’re in now, take a look at our rundown on how sleep needs change throughout our lives, as well as some great tips for getting the best sleep of your life—every night.
Along with needing a higher total of sleep than your average adult, the teenage sleep schedule is also quite different. In adolescence, our circadian rhythms are pushed far forward past the more stable rhythm that’s closely aligned with the regular twenty-four hour cycle. This means that teens are much more likely to feel tired later (around eleven p.m.) and want to sleep in the next morning until nine or ten a.m.
As most teenagers can attest, this peculiar sleep schedule is often met with some resistance from parents and misunderstanding from older adults in general. Here are a few tips that’ll help teenagers get the best sleep possible:
Communication is key during this time when your sleep schedule requires some debate and negotiation. It’s important to make sure you’re (tactfully) communicating to your parents that staying up later and needing to sleep in is a biological need, and it doesn’t stem from any poor choices on your part.
As much as it’s under your control, wake up and head to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends!), as this will help your body settle into a great pattern of sleepiness and alertness at just the right times.
As a young adult, your circadian rhythm is swinging back from the later teenage rhythm to a rhythm more closely aligned with the regular twenty-four hour daily cycle. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your sleep at this point in life is in any way average.
To ensure better sleep even in your roaring twenties, here are a couple good tips:
Start making room in your schedule for sleep now. Your body’s health for the many years to come will thank you.
Try not to get into the habit of depriving yourself of sleep during the week and using the weekend to feast on it. As good as it might feel to sleep in till noon on Sunday, maintaining consistent wake up and sleep times is an essential part of good sleep hygiene.
If you do tend to go out on the weekends and wouldn’t have it any other way, do try to find a “compromise” bedtime between the week and weekend for more consistent bedtimes—so maybe instead of 10:30p.m. on the weekdays and 1:00a.m. on the weekends, you shoot for a bedtime of 11:30p.m. on both weekdays and weekends.
If you find yourself in your forties or fifties, it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that your sleep at this stage is not guaranteed to be as good as it was in your teenage and early adult years. This simply means that your sleep requires a little more TLC now than it did in years past:
Maintain your sleep hygiene. Most important at this stage of the game? Making your bed a no-screens zone. Keep your work at work: you can’t get your best sleep when you’re staying up late to complete reports or lying in bed responding to emails. Reserve your bedtime only for sleep.
As always, make sure and consult your doctor if your sleep is consistently poor, as this can have serious effects on your health both in the short- and long-term.
Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults—it’s a fact. The sad reality, though, is that so many in this stage of life get used to making do with a small amount of sleep—and suffer the negative health effects of sleep deprivation all the while.
Here are a couple steps that will help ensure you get the sleep you need during this time:
Again: don’t underestimate the power of good sleep hygiene. Keeping up with a regular exercise schedule has been proven to raise the quality of your sleep, but it also does wonders for your health overall, keeping you fit and active.
Due to their circadian rhythms being pushed back earlier, older adults tend to feel ready to turn in for the night some time in the mid to late afternoon. Sleep scientist Matthew Walker in his book Why We Sleep tells us that, when older adults who wish to stay up later respond to this tiredness with a nap, they ruin their body’s ability to generate sleep later on that night. “Instead,” he tells us, “older adults who want to shift their bedtime to a later hour should get bright-light exposure in the late-afternoon hours.”
From the day we’re born, sleep adapts to meet the various needs of our bodies. It’s just as powerful when we’re young as when we’re old, and if you give it the chance, it’ll be there to back you up no matter what life throws at you.
Hey there! How did you wake up this morning? Were you up and at ‘em as soon as the first alarm buzzed? Or did you have to hit snooze just once (okay—maybe a couple times)?
Now, maybe it felt good to snuggle inside your blankets for a few minutes more, but, chances are, hitting snooze didn’t change how tired you were overall. As it turns out, hitting the snooze button isn’t really the quick fix that we want it to be. Let’s take a look at why snoozing fails to perform as advertised, as well as some better ways to wake up in the morning:
Broken bits of sleep
Sleep after your first alarm tends to be really shoddy in quality—you hit snooze, sleep a few minutes, hit snooze, sleep a few minutes, hit snooze…it’s very fragmented sleep.
These piecemeal sleep fragments are light sleep. Your brain doesn’t have enough time to drift into deep, quality sleep, so instead, you’re kept just at the surface level. That means the snooze sleep isn’t sleep that’ll defeat your drowsiness (or give you any of the other awesome benefits of sleep either). In fact, it might make your drowsiness worse.
That grogginess and disorientation that we experience upon the first few moments of waking is called sleep inertia. Hitting the snooze button repeatedly disorients your body, raising the chances of this sleep inertia extending two to four hours into your morning. We’re sure the last thing you need is to be tired for longer.
Starting over from zero
Pressing snooze can compound this sleepiness even further, as you always face the risk of falling into another sleep cycle during your snooze sleep. This is because your brain may kick into “sleep mode” even though you’re really just trying to grab a few more minutes of shut-eye. If you do manage to slip into a deep sleep as this cycle progresses in between alarms, after being buzzed awake again you will feel more tired than you were when your first alarm went off. Doesn’t seem like ten more minutes is worth that, right?
In for a shock
Need a bit more convincing? When you artificially wake yourself from sleep by an alarm, it’s a shock to your system, spiking your blood pressure and accelerating your heart rate.
Sleep scientist Matthew Walker in his informative Why We Sleep details the toll this shock takes on your average worker with a habit of punching snooze: “If alarming your heart...were not bad enough, using the snooze feature means that you will inflict that cardiovascular assault again and again within a short span of time”.
“Step and repeat this at least at least five days a week,” he explains, “and you begin to understand the multiplicative abuse your heart and nervous system will suffer across a lifespan”.
Resist the snooze
What a reliance on the snooze button means is that you are either not getting enough sleep, or you are setting your alarm for too early in the morning, and using snoozing as a buffer until you’re ready to get up. Here are a few tips to help prevent the snooze button slugfest:
First, make sure that you are giving yourself an eight hour sleep opportunity or more (that means laying in bed without screens or other distractions) every night.
Set the same alarm every day (even on weekends).
Wake up at the very first alarm. It may not be easy when you first start off, but getting your body in to that pattern will condition it to be more awake and alert over time.
In a perfect world, we’d wake up every day after a full night of sleep without the help of any annoying buzzing, but for most of us, that’s just not realistic. In a world with 8 a.m. meetings and inflexible school start times, alarms are just a necessary safety net. The best thing you can do is remember that hitting snooze is (at best) delaying the inevitable, so when your day begins, begin it in earnest!
It’s not hard to guess why 20% of American adults use alcohol to help them fall asleep—after all, the reasoning behind it seems sound. Consuming even a little bit of alcohol leads to drowsiness in most people, so, for believers in the nightcap, a little drink before bed serves as a way to drift easily into sleep without any tossing or turning. The problem is that sleeping is so much more than being unconscious.
During natural sleep, your brain is very much like the conductor of a symphony orchestra. It draws you in with a soft and quiet prelude, and then it progresses through the movements (or stages) of sleep in a beautiful cycle, culminating in a finale where we wake refreshed and energized for the new day. Throughout this symphony of sleep, your brain is performing lots of intricate maintenance, either on the body (developing and repairing) or on itself (strengthening memories and making connections between your daytime experiences).
“Sleeping” with the help of alcohol, on the other hand, is really only a poor imitation. If natural sleep is an hours-long, detailed symphony, a tipsy sleep is more like listening to radio static—it’s an unpleasant experience, and there’s not much going on during it. Let’s take a closer look at the many reasons that a nightcap just can’t quite match up with sleep au naturel:
Up all night
In his eye-opening book Why We Sleep, sleep scientist Matthew Walker tells us that the sleep we enter after drinking is more like anesthesia than real sleep, due to alcohol’s sedative effect. As Walker says, instead of helping you fall asleep, alcohol merely “sedates you out of wakefulness”.
Also, unlike natural sleepiness, the drowsiness of alcohol eventually wears off part way throughout the night, leaving you more prone to small wakeups that steal away any good rest sleep has to offer. Walker adds that, since most will not remember these small wakeups, they fail to associate the next-day tiredness they feel with the alcohol-caused wakeups they experienced throughout the night. It’s thanks to this that evening drinking looks completely innocent in most people's eyes, despite most likely being the culprit behind their fatigue.
A not-so-dreamy sleep
The most ruinous effect of alcohol is actually something much less obvious to the lay-sleeper. Walker tells us that, as a by-product of your body metabolizing alcohol, the chemical aldehyde is created, and aldehydes are known to block your brain from entering REM sleep (also known as dream sleep).
One of REM sleep’s primary roles is solidifying complex memory in your brain, helping you to make connections and identify patterns. This useful skill is thus impaired by the effects of alcohol on your sleep. And as far as waiting for the weekend goes: alcohol’s blocking of REM can dismantle learned information even when you enjoy evening drinks days after your brain has gathered and stored the information.
Making this nightcap an ongoing habit will simply introduce more long-term problems. Studies have shown that alcohol throws your very helpful circadian rhythm off-balance, preventing your sleep and alertness pattern from syncing up with the natural flow of daylight. Our circadian rhythms also dictate a lot more than just our sleep-wake cycle, so continuing to throw it off also means heightening the risk of developing various health problems (along with wrecking the consistency of your sleep).
The best advice
If you are one of the many who use an occasional nightcap as a sleep aid, the best thing you can do for your sleep is to start scaling back. The not-so-fun but healthy ideal is to cut out any alcohol remotely close to bedtime. The truth is that it’s just not worth the risk to your sleep health, and your health overall.
If you find yourself constantly fighting to get to sleep naturally and you’re stuck looking to alcohol as your only help, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. A long-term problem with falling asleep can often be a sign of an underlying condition.
If you’re unwinding with a glass of wine every once in a while, chances are you’re aware of your need for sleep—that’s a good thing! Just remember: what the science behind alcohol’s effect on sleep shows us is that, when it comes to sleep, there’s nothing quite like the real thing.
If you’re currently going through pre-menopause or menopause, you know that it doesn’t just come on in a vacuum. There is a lot going on in your life right now, whether it’s caring for aging parents or for children who may be transitioning into adulthood, or dealing with the regular stresses of life that come from having a demanding career and trying to stay active. Your life doesn’t get put on hold just because of this change in your hormones. You still need energy, which means you still need sleep, but great sleep is unfortunately hard to come by during menopause. Let’s take a look at why, as well as some tips to help you get the best sleep possible.
Menopause and sleep loss
The last thing anyone with a busy life needs is to be suffering from sleep loss, but unfortunately, this is a reality for an overwhelming majority of women experiencing the symptoms of menopause. Two of the hormones which go into a steady decline during menopause—estrogen and progesterone—are also two very important sleep-promoters in our body. The loss of these hormones often translates to prolonged insomnia for many women going through menopause.
Of course, insomnia isn’t the only cause of sleep problems during menopause and pre-menopause. The decline and fluctuations of the hormone estrogen lead very often to hot flashes, which are a substantial cause of sleep interruptions for women in this period of their lives.
As you probably already know, hot flashes are unexpected feelings of heat all over the body accompanied by sweating. Leading up to a hot flash during sleep, body temperature rises, causing an awakening. Hot flashes can last on average for three minutes, with the accompanying sweat sometimes requiring the changing of bed clothes or bed linens, leading to further loss of sleep.
These frequent awakenings rob you of sleep time and sleep quality, which can lead to constant next-day tiredness. Most women can experience hot flashes for about a year, with 25% experiencing them for an even longer period.
So: whether it’s due to hot flashes or general insomnia, you know that you’re not sleeping great—now what can you do about it?
How to improve your sleep
First things first—we should make sure that we’re keeping up the habits of ever-trusty sleep hygiene:
Try out a relaxing activity before bed every night such as meditation or journaling. Make sure to speak with a behavioral health specialist if you are feeling depressed or constantly anxious.
Keep your bedroom cool, completely dark, and quiet.
Keep screens out of the bedroom, as the blue light can keep your brain from beginning the sleep process.
Cut off caffeine around 2 p.m. in order to get it out of your system before bedtime.
Exercise daily, ideally in the morning, making sure not to exercise during the two to three hours before bed as this can keep sleep from setting in.
For hot flashes specifically, avoid eating spicy or acidic foods, as these may be a trigger.
If you are experiencing a constant lack of sleep that you believe is due to insomnia, we strongly recommend that you speak to your doctor as soon as possible. They may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which connects you with a therapist that can help you ease the the anxiety connected with getting to sleep, as well as make sleep habit recommendations specifically suited for you.
Don’t quit on sleep
Whatever methods you choose to help get your sleep back, we want to make sure that you do not settle for a lack of sleep even when going through pre-menopause or menopause. Sure, it’s tougher to get great sleep while going through this phase but a little extra attention to your sleep health and sleep hygiene goes a long way in helping to combat some of the unfortunate sleep effects of this phase. Getting good sleep at any age is vital as a boost to your health and a protection against bodily deterioration, and we cannot recommend it strongly enough.
Sleep may be the most influential aspect of our health that is widely taken for granted. Many these days aren’t surprised to learn that a large number of the population makes due with six hours of sleep or less on average, but they are surprised to learn that six hours of sleep a night puts your health at serious risk.
This widespread indifference towards sleep is partly due, of course, to the fact that so many of us tend to look at sleep as a burden, something that keeps us from friends and family, from our entertainment, and from getting things done. But a much deeper reason is just that so many are unaware of the profound difference getting good sleep makes in our lives, even in our day-to-day experiences.
Sleep is the difference between a productive work day, and a day spent fixing an avoidable mistake. Sleep is the difference between being an understanding parent and coworker, and becoming frustrated and angry with others at the flip of a switch. Sleep is the difference between a long life with a strong heart, and living under the shadow of heart disease due to high stress. Sleep makes a difference.
If you’re here and reading this, then that means you’ve already given yourself a leg up on getting better sleep. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back! You now have some idea of the importance of sleep, and you know you want to get the best sleep possible—this is a great place to start.
So, how can you start to make that change for the better? Well, by talking with the experts in sleep, of course.
Enter Reverie’s amazing Sleep CoachTM program.
We offer one-on-one sessions with certified sleep coaches to help you get a customized plan for better sleep going forward.
Wondering what makes a sleep coach, well, a “sleep coach”? We’ve worked with our Sleep Advisory Board—comprised of scientists and doctors from leading universities—to take the latest in sleep science research and translate it for your life. Our sleep coaches come from wellness backgrounds and have gone through intensive training to become experts on the latest in sleep science and how it applies to your life. They’re here to educate, motivate, encourage, and hold you accountable to your sleep goals.
Sound good? It is! When you schedule a one-on-one, it’s like meeting with a personal trainer who cares a lot about your sleep and wants to see you succeed.
Better sleep is possible, and it’s right here at your fingertips.
Interested in talking to a sleep coach? Schedule your free 10-minute introductory call today.
Settling for less-than-awesome sleep means settling for a less-than-awesome life. Don’t leave your sleep up to chance—take advantage of our Sleep Coach program and start sleeping like you mean it.