We know that sleep needs vary from person to person, but researchers are now finding that individual variations in how and when we sleep are less important than the total amount of sleep we get in a 24-hour period. Cumulative sleep hours broken up by daytime naps and midnight bathroom trips can be as restorative for many adults as sleeping straight through the night.
The Importance of Sleep
This doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort to follow a regular sleep routine but it means you can take the pressure off yourself to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Chronic lack of sleep can increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Sleep loss can also contribute to loss of concentration, slow reaction time, memory problems, and increased accident risk. All of which provide adequate reason to turn your bedroom into a restful sanctuary dedicated to sleep.
A Relaxing Retreat
Sleep experts say sleep will come more easily if you associate your bedroom with sleep. To create a relaxing atmosphere conducive to sleep:
- Remove televisions, laptops, smartphones, and other electronics; even the small amount of light from an LED display can keep you from sinking into deep, restorative sleep.
- Invest in room-darkening shades.
- Use a white noise machine or quiet fan to block distracting sounds or listen to recordings of guided meditation.
- Establish a bedtime routine: Read, meditate or drink a cup of herbal tea before bed.
- Reset your body's clock by trying to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
If sleep eludes you, ask your Kendal at Home Care Coordinator to survey your bedroom and make additional suggestions. If you are new to Kendal Northern Ohio, learn more about the Care Coordinators with our free Meet the Team download, or schedule a tour at Kendal at Oberlin.
Photo: Daniel Horatio Agostino