The beginning and end to a successful day is a good night’s sleep. Getting six to eight hours of quality REM sleep improves job performance (and athletic performance), but the National Sleep Foundation reports that daytime sleepiness because of insufficient sleep affects close to 30 percent of workers each month.
1. Keep it cool.
Though personal preferences may vary, according to sleep experts, you should keep your bedroom somewhere around 65 degrees for optimal sleep. A too-hot room interferes with the body’s natural dip in body temperature associated with sleep. Temperature is so important to sleep that some types of insomnia result from improper temperature regulation. Lowering the air conditioning and using specifically designed cooling pillowscan help.
2. Don’t settle for the wrong mattress.
According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, 93 percent of respondents consider a comfortable mattress important to a good night’s sleep. Choosing the wrong mattress and it being either too firm or too soft often results in a lack of support and back and/or neck pain. The best way to figure out if a mattress is right for you is to test it out. Go to a local mattress retailer and try out mattresses of different firmness levels and different materials, and take your time testing them out—the extra sleep you’ll get later is worth it.
3. Make scents.
Surrounding yourself with smells you love is not only pleasant but can also help you sleep better. The National Institutes of Health research shows that using lavender oil decreases blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature in sleepers. Participants in the study also reported feeling more active, fresh and relaxed. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on a tissue and place it under your pillow, or use an aromatherapy diffuser.