#SWAAYthenarrative

Counting Sheep: How to Get the Best Night's Sleep

If you're reading this, you may have experienced trouble sleeping, or at least stayed up late a couple of times binge-watching your favorite Netflix show or just catching up with a friend. Whichever the situation, the point is that if you don't sleep well at night, it can be extremely difficult to concentrate and stay energetic the next day at work or in class. Sleep quality also has a lot of impact on your mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as your overall well being.


It would take a few articles like this one if we were to explore deeper into the immense benefits of sleep to the human body. In other words, the importance of getting adequate quality sleep every night cannot be overemphasized. The main question is, how can you ensure this?

Here are some ways to get the best night's sleep every day/night.

Have a Comfortable Mattress and Bedding

Your comfort during sleep will largely depend on the mattress you choose as well as your pillows and other bedding. Well, needless to mention, sleep comfort is a huge determinant of sleep quality. If, for instance, you sweat a lot at night, the wetness can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. On the other hand, if you have back problems, sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause you to feel pain, which is another major cause of sleep disruption.

For this reason, it's important to carefully choose a mattress that will guarantee your comfort during sleep depending on the kind of sleeper you are. If you were to click here you may find professional knowledge that will help you make your decision. Basically, the signature mattress model offers motion isolation and conforming pressure relief, thanks to its medium firmness and 3 layers of memory foam and polyfoam. Hybrid options are also available for those with additional sleeping needs. The main idea is to pick something supportive, comfortable, and gentle, along with comfy pillows and quality sheets.

Watch Your Diet

Going to bed hungry can be a real torment when you remember the burger or that roasted lamb in the kitchen. But then again, going to bed full with an overfed belly can really hurt your sleep. Therefore, it's important to plan and eat your dinner early, at least a few hours before you jump to bed. Also, you'll want to avoid taking a lot of fluids, greasy, and spicy foods. They tend to inhibit and disrupt that good night's rest. Enjoy a light snack before going to sleep if you still feel hungry some minutes to bedtime.

Sleep When You Get Sleepy

Have you ever gone to bed and ended up tossing and turning almost the whole night? Well, going to bed without sleep can be quite infuriating, especially if you have an early morning commitment the next day. Therefore, don't just go to bed for the sake of going to bed. Go to bed only and as soon as you're feeling sleepy, don't force your eyes to close this will even make it harder for you to sleep. Even though some studies have deemed it ineffective, you can try the counting sheep formula. As much as it might sound idiotic, it can help your mind to gradually slip into boredom and eventually give in to the most-awaited sleep. Nonetheless, it is more important to observe a consistent sleeping pattern/schedule so when it's time for bed, the mind will just automatically switch to sleep-mode.

Switch Off the Electronics

Switching off the TV, laptop, and phone can help you to fall and stay asleep. But how? Well, this is because the light that is normally emitted from these gadgets can stimulate your brain to stay awake, which can cause a lack of sleep. If possible, don't carry your handset to bed; either switch if off or leave it in another room. This will keep you from being tempted to use it in bed, not forgetting that it can disrupt your snooze after some hours when you hear a message notification or that late-night ring.

What's Your Sleeping Position?

Your sleeping position can be a real determinant of your sleep quality. You don't want to keep waking up in the morning or at night with an aching neck or back pain. These are likely to be caused by sleeping on the belly. Also, lying in the same comfortable position for at least 15-20 minutes should lull you to sleep easily. Consider using a good fluffy pillow – not too thin nor too bulky – to ensure your head and neck lie at a comfortable angle.

Mind the Lighting

Can you catch sleep easily in a bedroom full of discotheque lights? Well, it's hardly possible! Bright light in your bedroom might be the main reason you're finding it hard to fall asleep. Eliminate all sources of light in your bedroom, for that good night's sleep. You can also try putting on an eye mask to block light that you can't control.

Finally, you can also spice up your bedroom with warm colors and some sweet-smelling scents like lavender, which soothes you to sleep. Also, it's best to look out for any other behaviors that create sleep anxiety and eliminate them from your room and bedtime routine. With the above few tips in mind, getting a good night's sleep becomes easier.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.