Secrets to Sleeping Well

By Chris Dato  •  November 25, 2014

According to a sleep study by the Huffington Post, 41% of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep. This number increases this time of year, as sleep tends to be one of the first things that go out the window when the chaos of Christmas rolls around. With this issue in mind, here are a few tips to help you catch some missing winks this holiday season.

 

Bed  

 

If you are having issues getting comfortable at night or wake up sore, it may be time to replace your mattress. Like most people, I have always heard that the rule is to replace your mattress every eight years. Also like most people, I always assumed that was just a capitalist wives tale in order to trick me into buying a new mattress. I was mistaken.

 

As we toss and turn at night, this causes us to sweat. We also tend to drool, shed skin cells, and a myriad of other actions that we would be self-conscious about if we were awake. The debris from all that commotion gets left on and absorbed by your mattress, which causes it to double in weight after eight years.  If you have ever dealt with moving a mattress, you understand how deeply disgusting a thought that is. And I won’t even go into bed mites… ewww.

 

Take advantage of the upcoming deals for the shopping season, and invest in a new mattress for yourself. Stores like Sears are sure to help you find an amazing price without the hassle.

 

Body

 

One of the main factors responsible for stealing shuteye is one most people are not even aware they are doing. Nearly 20% of people suffer from bruxism, which is the medical term for grinding your teeth. While many of us are aware that we do this when we get frustrated, one in five Americans involuntarily grinds their teeth in their sleep. There are numerous negative side effects from Bruxism. Some are obvious, such as the wearing of the teeth and damage to the gums. However, bruxism can also be responsible for TMJ: temporomandibular jaw (the medical name for damage to your jaws cartilage), tension headaches, and even shoulder and back soreness.

 

Since the primary cause of bruxism is stress, the holidays can be a particularly troublesome time for your sleeping jaw. Of course, do your best to cut down the stress in your life. An effective way to do this is by “winding down” before bed by doing calming activities like reading or taking a bath. This little bit of relaxation before you lay down can dramatically cut down the amount of tension your carry into your sleep. If you continue to have issues, consider getting fitted for a sleep guard to prevent you from grinding your teeth. Really savvy readers with health insurance know that the end of the year is the best time to take care of minor medical issues like this one, since the deductible has already been paid and will reset on the first of the year.

 

Sleep is a delicate and important part of every one of our lives. While things like changing your mattress will dramatically improve your sleeping experience, little changes can have an impact as well. Developing a regular routine with the same bedtime and wakeup will improve your overall health, prevent tossing and turning, and ensure that your start your day on the right side of the bed.

 

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Chris Dato Chris Dato A Southern California kid born and raised, Chris is happiest with sunglasses on his face and sand under his back. Although a self-proclaimed master money saver, he prefers the term 'responsibly frugal' to 'cheap.'


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