If there is one thing that almost all of us can use more of, it is sleep. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that nearly 30% (40.6 million) of American adults are sleeping six or fewer hours each and every day. Given that the recommended amount of sleep is at least seven hours a day, nearly one-third of us are literally sleep deprived.
But it is not just the amount of sleep which is inadequate. It is also the quality of the sleep we are enjoying each night which is suffering. A recent survey conducted by the National Sleep foundation found that:
- 12% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as “excellent”
- 18% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as “very good”
- 35% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as “good”
- 23% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as “only fair”
- 12% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as “poor”
We've compiled a list of research, technologies, and gadgets which will help you enjoy a deeper and more restful sleep this year.
- Make Exercise About More Than Losing Weight
Arguably the most common goal all of us have for the new year is to shed a few pounds and to become more fit. Burning calories and improving our physical health is a fantastic goal, but we should all step back and recognize the importance of sleep on our overall health.
It is well known that regular exercise will improves the quality of our sleep at night. But what many may not be recognized is that sleep can also improve performance when working out and shorten recovery time.
Exercising depletes our bodies of energy, fluids, and it breaks down our muscles. While hydration and the right fuel are critical to training and recovering, the third most important component is sleep.
Studies have found that REM sleep boosts both the energy of your brain and your body. If you cut your sleep time short, then your body does not have enough time to repair and consolidate your memory as well as release important hormones to help you physically and mentally.
Keeping track of our exercise and sleep patterns can be difficult, which is why a number of products promising to keep track of your fitness and restful periods have hit the market recently. One of the best products this year is the Garmin Vivosmart HR+. Not only has it been ranked “fitness tracker of the year”, it also features 24/7 heart rate monitoring as well as sleep monitoring capabilities.
- Create A Schedule And Stick With It
The National Sleep Foundation found that the average adult will go to bed at 10:55pm and wake up again at 6:38am on a work day. But this average can vary dramatically, even for those who have a regular work schedule.
Sleep experts have found that having a routine before bed can improve sleep for anyone, including those who may be struggling with their career, parenthood, financial concerns, and other major stressors that may keep you awake at night. They also suggest that you make your sleep schedule your own by identifying factors which are the most disruptive to your own sleep and then focus on changing those behaviors and patterns.
Figuring out when and why your sleep may be disrupted each night can be difficult. That is where the silent alarm clock created by the company “Lark” may help. Featuring an app and a wristband, this product will track your micro-movements all night and provide you with a full report about how you slept at night, including:
- Your quality of sleep
- How long it took for you to fall asleep
- How many times you woke up (and when)
The app will also provide you with an action plan which allows you to set goals and which will set reminders to keep you on track.
- Tackle Your Sleep Problems Early On
One of the wonderful things about these new technologies is that you can start to pinpoint exactly what is keeping you up at night and then begin to address those issues. Keep a sleep journal and write down your thoughts, emotions, or any events of the day which may leave you feeling energized and unable to sleep. Also be sure to make note of any “middle of the night” problems which may be causing you to waken unexpectedly.
Snoring is often one of those issues. Dealing with a snoring partner is not easy, and it can take months if not years for you to realize that it is the snoring of your partner which is causing your nighttime woes. There are a number of snoring solutions out there, making this sleep problem all the more difficult to solve. But there are some immediate remedies you can try tonight include:
- Help train your partner to sleep on his or her side or stomach (you can use pillows to prop him or her up)
- If your partner has been prescribed a CPAP machine but cannot stand its humming, you can request a longer cord so that the machine can be kept in the closet or another area of the home
- Invest in an anti-snore mouthpiece to reduce or eliminate your partner’s snoring
The Good Morning Snore Solution is one of the leading anti-snore mouthpieces on the market today. It is an affordable solution backed by both a clinical study proving its effectiveness, and a money back guarantee. The mouthpiece requires no orthodontic visits and has few, if any, side effects.