Our Ultimate Guide to Comfortable, Restful and Relaxing Sleep
In this post, we explore bed, pillow and sleep science
A recent study found:
25.3% dissatisfied with their sleep
29.9% have insomnia symptoms
9.5% have insomnia syndrome
48% complain of daytime fatigue
40% have psychological distress
22% are in physical discomfort
Big Picture - Humans spend almost 1/3 of life sleeping
Why humans need sleep for fuel?
Sleep helps you:
1. Produce melatonin, a natural hormone involved in many important body process
2. Rest your eyes, mind and body for rejuvenation and to re-energize
Pillows Affect your Posture
Ideal Alignment is to have your head in alignment with your shoulders, hips and heels throughout the day and also while you are sleeping.
The Pillow Shift
1. Check distance between your chin and chest, ear and shoulder when lying on your pillow and adjust so that there is space, your distances are open and neck relaxed
2. Make sure your pillow supports the weight of your neck and head. Neck should be relaxed when resting
The Bed Shift
1. We recommend avoiding posture pedic and memory foam beds because they conform to your body and make it harder for you to move naturally when sleeping (which is what ideally are doing a lot of)
2. When you sleep on soft beds your muscles tighten because they are holding you up. ideally your bed will support your structure and minimize the amount of muscle tension created so you wake up relaxed and loose, not tense and stressed.
3. So, look for something on the firmer side but that ideally is adjustable to your comfort. We use a brand called organipedic by OMI and like how it is adjustable between firm, medium and soft layers. Hope this helps you find a bed that supports you and brings you joy!
Why we don’t Stomach Sleep
Creep - Deformation stretch of the neck ligaments is caused when the same areas are under constant pressure for an extended period of time. This happens while you are face down with your head turned.
Position can impact amount of oxygen flow to the lungs
One sided neck rotation tenses the muscles and decreases blood flowing to shoulder and spine
A community based study found sleep problems were a risk factor for deterioration of general health-related quality of life
Functional impairment in social and occupational areas
International journal of Urology found correlation between Night time urination frequency, sleep disturbance and health-related quality of life: is there a relation?
Nights of inadequate sleep build on a severe sleep debt
Strategies to Monitor and Improve your Sleep
Sleep diary - done in AM, diary monitors quality and quantity of sleep
describe last night’s sleep
Scale of 1-5 monitor restlessness of previous night’s sleep
Sleep latency - lapse between lights out and falling asleep
Environmental Factors to Shift
Comfort on the bed
Formulating a Sleep Adaptation Strategy for Maximal Comfort and Minimal Distraction
Create an environment condusive to sleep wellness
(cool, quiet, dark)
get rid of noise
shield yourself from unwanted light
Avoid eating, reading, tv viewing, bill paying and other mind stimulating activities while in bed
Relax yourself physically and mentally
Avoid physical, mental and chemical stimulation right before bed
Warm bath rather than a jog
Warm milk instead of coffee
Focus on phrases that induce mental tranquility
Sex, breathing exercises, meditation and calming music
Prep for Bedtime
-Create a Sleep Routine. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
-Get to Bed as Early as Possible. Sleep as early as you can because growth and repair of your internal body occurs during sleep. If sleep is interrupted, detoxification and purification can’t occur efficiently.
-Use Your Bed for Sleeping. Your bed should be a place of comfort, safety, and most importantly, sleep. Doing anything else but sleeping in your bed is counterproductive to the sleeping process.
-Sleep in Complete Darkness. When you are exposed to light, the production of melatonin is disrupted. Melatonin secretion begins around 9:00pm and ends around 7:30am, meaning that you should be very sleepy during this period of time.
-Relax. Whether it’s taking a warm bath, reading a book, or starting a nightly contemplative routine, make sure to relax and settle down before bed.
-Orgasm. Orgasms increase endorphins which help you reach deep sleep.
-Perform Spinal Exercises Before Sleep. To relieve spinal tension or improve sleep, perform the twisting exercise or the towel exercise. You may find instructions attached.
-Do Not Eat a Late Dinner. Give yourself at least 4 hours to digest before you sleep.
-Do Not Watch TV or Use Any Electronics Before Bed. Sleep preparation should be calming and undisturbed.
Prep to Wake Up
-Yoga. Designate a space to wake up your body and connect with how you move and feel.
-Warm Water. Fill a mason jar with warm water and add cayenne, ginger, citrus to move bowels
-Do Not Use Loud Alarm Clocks. Not only is it unpleasant to wake up to a loud alarm clock, it also causes you to activate your fight or flight nervous system. Consider waking up to calm chimes instead.