You can learn a lot about yourself by digging into your sleep habits. Whether you sleep on your side, constantly hit the snooze button, or lie in bed awake at night desperately trying to sleep, there are always ways find a better sleep routine. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking into your personal snooze habits.
YOUR SLEEP POSITION
If you sleep on your side:
You need a mattress with good pressure relief.
Many experts recommend side sleeping, because this position is good for digestion, snoring, blood flow, and pressure relief. Side sleeping may also help with spinal alignment and lower back pain. To avoid neck or shoulder pain, try using a pillow specifically designed for side sleepers. Also make sure your mattress provides good pressure relief to ease general aches and pains. For example, the Yogabed’s YogaComfort™ System is designed to support the body by dispersing weight evenly and reducing pressure points.
If you sleep on your back:
Choose your pillow carefully.
Sleeping on your back helps with sinus buildup, tension headaches, spinal alignment, back pain, and irritated facial skin. Make sure you choose your mattress wisely. Marshmallow-like memory foam may seem like heaven but might not offer enough support to keep you comfortable. Also make sure your pillow isn’t over-elevating your head. A contoured pillow that follows the curves of your spine is ideal for just the right head and neck support.
If you sleep on your stomach:
Go for a thin, flat pillow and firmer mattress.
Unfortunately, sleeping on your stomach can put stress on your lower back and neck, throwing your spine out of alignment. You may wake up sore or with uncomfortable aches or pains. If you’ve tried every other position and still can’t get to sleep unless you’re sprawled out on your tummy, make sure you change the direction of your head regularly, instead of always facing right or left. Choose a flat, thin pillow to prevent neck pain, and consider adding a pillow under your pelvis to ease strain on your back. Also take your mattress into consideration. A firmer mattress can help keep your spine in alignment, preventing back pain and improving those ZZZs.
Luckily, Yogasleep Yogabeds are suited for every sleeping position, offering just enough support to relieve joint and muscle pain while still supporting your body, however you choose to doze off.
YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
If you can’t fall asleep without tv:
Replace distractions with healthier noise.
You may find the sounds of late night tv soothing. Or the tv might be just another way to distract you from your own thoughts. The blue light from electronics like tvs, smartphones or computer monitors increases your stress hormone. Try replacing your typical background noise with white noise, which is scientifically proven to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Incorporating a white noise machine into your nightly routine can help tell your brain that it’s time to relax, while also blocking out distracting sounds that can jolt you awake throughout the night.
If you always get way too hot while you sleep:
Re-think your bedding.
If you find yourself waking up drenched in sweat each night, it might be time to try a different bed setup. Cooling mattresses like the Yogabed Cool Hybrid mattress encourage air flow to prevent your body from heating up during sleep. Sheets made of cotton or bamboo help wick away sweat for some nighttime heat relief. Still can’t manage to beat your sleep heat? Check out some more tips to getting through the hot summer heatwaves.
Your partner’s tossing and turning makes it impossible to sleep:
Consider your mattress.
You’re lying in bed, desperately trying to sleep, but your partner can’t seem to stop tossing and turning. It may be time to re-think your mattress. Getting a mattress with good motion isolation capabilities can help prevent you from being disturbed by your partner’s movements. You can also consider pushing two twin XL beds together, which lets each sleeper choose their own mattress and can prevent even more movement from being felt.
YOUR BEDTIME HABITS
If you’re always staying up way too late:
You’re either a night owl, or sleep procrastinator.
You could be a night owl — someone who truly functions better at nighttime. Or you could be participating in sleep procrastination, which is essentially trying to take back your own free time or avoid tomorrow’s problems by refusing to sleep. If you’re truly a night owl, you do your best work in the twilight hours. But if you’re refusing to sleep for other reasons, it’s probably best to look at your daily schedule and move things around to ensure you get at least 7 hours of snooze time each night.
If you can’t stop thinking long enough to fall asleep:
You’re probably stressed.
Worrying can often cut into your sleep time. If you run through all the stresses in your life while tossing and turning in bed, try creating a relaxing routine to engage in before you hit the hay. White noise, stretching, meditation, reading a book, or taking a warm bath or shower are all ways to wind down before getting those ZZZs. If you really can’t sleep, experts suggest getting up and out of bed, instead of tossing and turning for hours. It may seem counterintuitive, but it will help your body break the connection of being in bed and being awake. By leaving your room and doing something that requires little effort, like reading or knitting, you should become tired enough to fall asleep easily once you’re back in bed.
If you can fall asleep whenever, wherever:
You might want to see a doctor.
If you can fall asleep at literally any moment, you may not be allowing yourself enough time to sleep at night. Try going to bed earlier and making sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of restorative shuteye. Falling asleep at the drop of a hat can also be a symptom of undiagnosed sleep apnea, so checking with your doctor may be your best bet.
YOUR ENERGY LEVEL
If you wake up and you’re still tired:
Work on your sleep hygiene.
Most people need 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep to feel refreshed. If you feel tired often, you may not be allowing yourself enough hours, or your sleep quality may not be as good as you thought. Try sleeping with a sound machine to block out disruptive noises while you slumber. If you’re still sleepy after you’re sure you’ve gotten enough hours of undisturbed ZZZs, you might want to go to your doctor. Sleep apnea constantly interrupts your sleep cycles, but you won’t even remember these interruptions when you wake up. It’s linked to several health concerns, so it’s worth getting checked out by a professional.
If you wake up naturally before your alarm:
You’re in tune with your circadian rhythm.
If you’re up and at ‘em before your alarm even rings, congrats! You are probably very in-tune with your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal alarm clock. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a morning person — you could just be on a regular sleep schedule, which is great for your body and overall health. You might be a good candidate the app-enabled Dohm Connect, which can help signal your body for sleep by scheduling when your white noise machines turns on and off at different times during the week.
If you wake up at 5am no matter when you went to bed:
You used up your sleep drive.
As part of your circadian rhythm, your sleep drive increases throughout the day up until you fall asleep and diminishes during the night while you’re getting your snooze on. If you’re awake before the sun comes up and can’t seem to fall asleep, you might have just used up your sleep drive. However, if you’re consistently awake too early, you may want to check with a sleep specialist. You could have a circadian disorder called advanced sleep phase syndrome, which puts your sleep schedule out of whack, making you fall asleep and awaken earlier than normal.
If you’re always slamming the snooze button:
Start a sleep routine.
If you find yourself constantly smashing “snooze,” you could just love your mattress, blankets, and sheets so much that you don’t want to leave your bed. Or, you might have gotten into the habit of going to sleep too late, thus throwing your circadian rhythm out of whack. Try carving out your ideal sleep time and sticking to it. It’s important to stay consistent with your sleep and wake times (even on the weekends!) so that your internal body clock can get back on track. If you really are just too comfortable, taking a few moments to start the day on a positive note, by setting small goals or making a gratitude list, is a great way to enjoy the comforts of your bed without falling back into bad habits.
TO WRAP IT ALL UP (IN A NICE BUNDLE OF SHEETS)
Looking at your sleep routine can give you some insights about your sleep habits and general mindset. It can also help you figure out how to improve your snooze time. Have we inspired you to better your bedtime routine? Let us know on Instagram.
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your sleep, please contact your healthcare provider.