One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four sheep… why can’t I get a good night’s sleep, sheep? And more importantly, am I really so sleep deprived that I’m talking to imaginary sheep?!
Sleeping poorly or not enough can have us doing some pretty strange things.
Unfortunately, the sheep in your head don’t have any of the answers. But we do. For a better sleep—easier, deeper, and longer—all you need are a few simple lifestyle adjustments. Here are three of our favorites!
#1: A Quiet, Soothing Environment
If sleep is a mental retreat, then your bedroom is your sanctuary. And your sanctuary is no place for distractions or disruptions—you need to be able to seek refuge from the stresses of your daily life in peace.
Pick up some of these helpful gadgets to sleep better without turning your bedroom into a literal bunker:
- Blackout shades – Bright lights, big city… but bad sleep. Now’s the time to invest in blackout shades to guarantee a sound sleep no matter what’s going on outside your windows. If you live somewhere with an early sunrise or blinding street lights nearby, these will be a real savior in combatting daytime tiredness.
- A white noise machine – Similarly, if you’re constantly awoken by car horns, passing trains, drunk tourists at nearby night clubs, or your lousy roommates who don’t respect your sleep, a white noise machine should drown out those sounds and replace them with soothing waves or whistling winds instead.
- An eye mask and earplugs – If you’re looking for something a little simpler, think of these essentials as your nighttime PPE kit. They’re sure to protect you from the harsh lights and loud sounds of anyone you share your space with.
#2: A Soft, Supportive Mattress
A good mattress is the foundation of a great sleep—quite literally.
Without something comfortable and supportive underneath you each night, you won’t have a fighting chance of getting a good night’s sleep.
A genuine high-quality mattress (our top pick is the Layla memory foam mattress) will revolutionize your evening slumber:
- Soft enough to be squishy and comfortable but hard enough to provide the support you need for your back, hips, and spine
- Copper gel technology that carries excess heat away from your body for a more comfortable nighttime experience
- Antimicrobial materials to fight odors and maintain freshness, so you can enjoy your mattress for many years to come
#3: A Solid Bedtime Ritual
Sometimes, you just want to crawl into bed after a long day without even brushing your teeth or changing your clothes. Other times, you might not even make it out of bed after crawling under the covers to enjoy a Friends marathon (courtesy of your CultureFly DVD box set).
But to the best of your ability, you should stick to a healthy evening ritual all the time:
- Avoid eating heavy, greasy meals after seven p.m. or so. In general, late-night snacking is a no-no, because the indigestion, heartburn, or even grumbling stomach sounds may keep you up.
- Stay away from caffeine (including green tea, chocolate, and of course, coffee) for at least four hours before bed.
- Put your cellphone away at least a half-hour before bedtime—one or two hours is even better, but we don’t all live in a utopia where we can neglect any and all incoming text messages, work emails, and phone calls.
- Put on a clean pair of pajamas and perform your nightly hygiene routine, including brushing your teeth, washing your face, and moisturizing.
Bye Sheep, Hello Sleep
Counting sheep might be a suitable remedy for those sporadic, difficult nights where sleep just won’t come, but it’s not a long-term solution. For that, you need to take concrete steps towards proper sleep hygiene and the ultimate sleep oasis—wave sounds and memory foam mattress included.