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Habits You Need For Better Sleep

starry sky

Getting a good night’s rest might seem like a luxury in this day and age – but it should not. Compared to our ancestors the cavemen, our lifestyle has changed. Big cities around the world are constantly bustling with activity. When in the past, without electric light, the sun would govern our sleep schedules, things have fallen out of balance with the creating of artificial lighting and all other kinds of modern technology.

But first things first, how much sleep should we be getting in the first place?

This depends on your age, and of course your individual sleep needs. Even though individual sleep needs vary a lot, there are recommendations for certain age groups.

Age groupRecommended amount of sleep
Newborns14 to 17 hours a day
12 monthsAbout 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps
Kids 2 yearsAbout 11 to 12 hours at night, plus a 1- to 2-hour afternoon nap
Kids 3 to 5 years10 to 13 hours
Kids 6 to 13 years9 to 11 hours
Teenagers 14 to 17 years8 to 10 hours (as few as 7 and up to 11 may be fine)
Young adults 18 to 25 years7 to 9 hours (as few as 6 and up to 11 may be fine)
Adults 25 to 647 to 9 hours (as few as 6 and up to 10 may be fine)

This is not all. Other factors can also determine how much sleep you need. So over the years, you will find, that sometimes you need more or less sleep to feel well-rested.

Pregnancy: Changes in the body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep

Aging: As you grow older, even though the recommended amount of hours stays, you will find that you sleep shorter and lighter. Listen to your body to adjust accordingly

Previous sleep deprivation: If you are sleep deprived, for any reason, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Sleep quality: Sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity. A disruptive sleep will cause you to wake up feeling groggy, even if you sleep enough hours.

So how should you go about to improve your sleep quality?

Start by taking a look at your habits. Incorporating new habits, or getting rid of bad habits can drastically change your life. However, as with all habits, you need to be prepared that it will take some time to see long-term improvement.

Breaking a habit, or creating a new one requires time and discipline. Don’t try to change everything at once, as this will likely backfire once the short-term motivation wears off. A habit can take 18 to 254 days to form, though the average lies around 66 days. And though daunting, keep in mind once you are used to it, it will require much less willpower to keep going. Cut yourself some slack on your journey and don’t beat yourself up about it if it does not work on the first try.

Researchers have found, that writing down your goal and keeping track of your journey helps immensely. When you experience some setbacks, you can look back and see how far you have come. This in turn can give a boost of energy and motivation which propels you to keep going, in addition to the energy you will be getting from having a great night’s sleep.

A final tip, start with one habit at a time and anchor it to already existing habits to make it easier. For example, brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed could be the cue to turn off all devices to not get any more distractions.

What are bad habits for sleep and what to do instead?

coffee cup

1Don’t consume alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine before going to bed.

Instead, you can make yourself a nice cup of tea if you enjoy having a warm drink before going to bed.
Even though many people claim they fall asleep faster having drunk alcohol, this disrupts your deep sleep phase. This greatly reduces the quality of sleep that you get

2Don’t use technology in bed.

Our devices, phones, computers, and other screens emit blue light all the time. Overexposing to blue light messes with our bodies’ natural sleep cycles, making it hard to fall asleep. In the absence of blue light, melatonin production increases and we get sleepy. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone.

Instead, turn your devices off an hour or two before bed, or install blue light reducing apps on your devices if turning the device off is not an option for you.

man looking at phone at night
alarm clock

3Don’t go to bed at odd hours.

Instead, set an alarm to go to bed at a consistent time and create a wind-down routine for yourself. Just like a morning routine this will calm you down and signal to your brain that it is time for bed.

4Don’t take a nap in the middle of the day or the evening.

Instead, when feeling slumped do some exercise to get an energy boost. This will also help you when you go to bed in the evening so that you won’t feel wide awake when you try and sleep.

woman exercising jogging

5Finally, DO evaluate your room to establish the ideal conditions to get good sleep.

beautiful bed

How to optimize your bedroom for good sleep?

In addition to looking at your sleep hygiene (sleep hygiene = behaviors that one can do to improve sleep), take a look at your room.

1Keep your room temperature cold – according to most sleep experts, the optimal room temperature for sleep should be between 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celcius)

2Keep it dark – even though your eyes might be closed, your brain still picks up the light signals around you. When it detects light, it delays melatonin release, produces cortisol, and keeps your body temperature raised, leading to you being much more wakeful.

Inside your room, turn off or cover and electronic lights before bed. If you’re worried about finding your way in the dark, you can install motion-activated night lights or under-bed lights to aid you a little.

If your windows let in light or you sleep past sunrise, consider investing in blackout window shades or curtains to keep your bedroom dark and cool instead of being woken up by the morning sun.

If it isn’t practical or possible to block out light, your last resort could be to get a sleep mask that covers your eyes. Find one that is comfortable and is made of breathable materials.

3Block disturbing sounds – Noise can affect your deep sleep cycles, even if you don’t remember waking up to them. If the noises in your environment are outside of your control, earplugs or a white noise could help, since they can blur background noise and make it easier to fall asleep.

4Ensure your mattress is comfortable – if your mattress has become old (it is generally recommended mattresses get swapped out every 7 to 10 years), consider swapping it out. This could improve stress and reduce back pain should you be experiencing that. Check our guide about mattresses or guide about mattress toppers to learn more. Keep in mind that changes in age, weight, and health can also change comfort needs, even if the mattress itself is still in decent shape.

5Keep your pillow in shape – just like mattresses, your pillow needs to be taken care of as well. If a pillow does not support your neck and spine well, it can cause neck pain. Check out this guide about pillows to see how, and why, you should make sure you have a high-quality pillow.

Puppy sleeping in bed

As you can see, many factors can decide whether or not you get a good night's sleep. If you are struggling with these habits and home improvements, you might find it helpful to print out or write down these recommendations and reread them at intervals.

Remember, long term change needs time. So if you are experiencing setbacks, don’t worry too much about them and just keep going. You will soon reap the benefits of an improved night's sleep!

We have a new collection of mattress toppers, feel free to check it out!

And you can use the discount code SweetSleep15 to get a 15% discount on your next order!

Habits You Need For Better Sleep

starry sky

Getting a good night’s rest might seem like a luxury in this day and age – but it should not. Compared to our ancestors the cavemen, our lifestyle has changed. Big cities around the world are constantly bustling with activity. When in the past, without electric light, the sun would govern our sleep schedules, things have fallen out of balance with the creating of artificial lighting and all other kinds of modern technology.

But first things first, how much sleep should we be getting in the first place?

This depends on your age, and of course your individual sleep needs. Even though individual sleep needs vary a lot, there are recommendations for certain age groups.

Age groupRecommended amount of sleep
Newborns14 to 17 hours a day
12 monthsAbout 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps
Kids 2 yearsAbout 11 to 12 hours at night, plus a 1- to 2-hour afternoon nap
Kids 3 to 5 years10 to 13 hours
Kids 6 to 13 years9 to 11 hours
Teenagers 14 to 17 years8 to 10 hours (as few as 7 and up to 11 may be fine)
Young adults 18 to 25 years7 to 9 hours (as few as 6 and up to 11 may be fine)
Adults 25 to 647 to 9 hours (as few as 6 and up to 10 may be fine)

This is not all. Other factors can also determine how much sleep you need. So over the years, you will find, that sometimes you need more or less sleep to feel well-rested.

Pregnancy: Changes in the body during early pregnancy can increase the need for sleep

Aging: As you grow older, even though the recommended amount of hours stays, you will find that you sleep shorter and lighter. Listen to your body to adjust accordingly

Previous sleep deprivation: If you are sleep deprived, for any reason, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Sleep quality: Sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity. A disruptive sleep will cause you to wake up feeling groggy, even if you sleep enough hours.

So how should you go about to improve your sleep quality?

Start by taking a look at your habits. Incorporating new habits, or getting rid of bad habits can drastically change your life. However, as with all habits, you need to be prepared that it will take some time to see long-term improvement.

Breaking a habit, or creating a new one requires time and discipline. Don’t try to change everything at once, as this will likely backfire once the short-term motivation wears off. A habit can take 18 to 254 days to form, though the average lies around 66 days. And though daunting, keep in mind once you are used to it, it will require much less willpower to keep going. Cut yourself some slack on your journey and don’t beat yourself up about it if it does not work on the first try.

Researchers have found, that writing down your goal and keeping track of your journey helps immensely. When you experience some setbacks, you can look back and see how far you have come. This in turn can give a boost of energy and motivation which propels you to keep going, in addition to the energy you will be getting from having a great night’s sleep.

A final tip, start with one habit at a time and anchor it to already existing habits to make it easier. For example, brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed could be the cue to turn off all devices to not get any more distractions.

What are bad habits for sleep and what to do instead?

1Don’t consume alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine before going to bed.

Instead, you can make yourself a nice cup of tea if you enjoy having a warm drink before going to bed.
Even though many people claim they fall asleep faster having drunk alcohol, this disrupts your deep sleep phase. This greatly reduces the quality of sleep that you get

coffee cup

2Don’t use technology in bed.
Our devices, phones, computers, and other screens emit blue light all the time. Overexposing to blue light messes with our bodies’ natural sleep cycles, making it hard to fall asleep. In the absence of blue light, melatonin production increases and we get sleepy. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone.

Instead, turn your devices off an hour or two before bed, or install blue light reducing apps on your devices if turning the device off is not an option for you.

man looking at phone at night

3Don’t go to bed at odd hours.

Instead,
set an alarm to go to bed at a consistent time and create a wind-down routine for yourself. Just like a morning routine this will calm you down and signal to your brain that it is time for bed.

alarm clock

4Don’t take a nap in the middle of the day or the evening.

Instead, when feeling slumped do some exercise to get an energy boost. This will also help you when you go to bed in the evening so that you won’t feel wide awake when you try and sleep.

woman exercising jogging

5Finally, DO evaluate your room to establish the ideal conditions to get good sleep.

How to optimize your bedroom for good sleep?

beautiful bed

In addition to looking at your sleep hygiene (sleep hygiene = behaviors that one can do to improve sleep), take a look at your room.

1Keep your room temperature cold – according to most sleep experts, the optimal room temperature for sleep should be between 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celcius)

2Keep it dark – even though your eyes might be closed, your brain still picks up the light signals around you. When it detects light, it delays melatonin release, produces cortisol, and keeps your body temperature raised, leading to you being much more wakeful.

Inside your room, turn off or cover and electronic lights before bed. If you’re worried about finding your way in the dark, you can install motion-activated night lights or under-bed lights to aid you a little.

If your windows let in light or you sleep past sunrise, consider investing in blackout window shades or curtains to keep your bedroom dark and cool instead of being woken up by the morning sun.

If it isn’t practical or possible to block out light, your last resort could be to get a sleep mask that covers your eyes. Find one that is comfortable and is made of breathable materials.

3Block disturbing sounds – Noise can affect your deep sleep cycles, even if you don’t remember waking up to them. If the noises in your environment are outside of your control, earplugs or a white noise could help, since they can blur background noise and make it easier to fall asleep.

4Ensure your mattress is comfortable – if your mattress has become old (it is generally recommended mattresses get swapped out every 7 to 10 years), consider swapping it out. This could improve stress and reduce back pain should you be experiencing that. Check our guide about mattresses or guide about mattress toppers to learn more. Keep in mind that changes in age, weight, and health can also change comfort needs, even if the mattress itself is still in decent shape.

5Keep your pillow in shape – just like mattresses, your pillow needs to be taken care of as well. If a pillow does not support your neck and spine well, it can cause neck pain. Check out this guide about pillows to see how, and why, you should make sure you have a high-quality pillow.

Puppy sleeping in bed

As you can see, many factors can decide whether or not you get a good night's sleep. If you are struggling with these habits and home improvements, you might find it helpful to print out or write down these recommendations and reread them at intervals.

Remember, long term change needs time. So if you are experiencing setbacks, don’t worry too much about them and just keep going. You will soon reap the benefits of an improved night's sleep!

We have a new collection of mattress toppers, feel free to check it out!

And you can use the discount code SweetSleep15 to get a 15% discount on your next order!