Bedtime Jams: Listening to These Might Help You Sleep Better

As most people know, getting some shuteye requires getting in touch with your senses. To induce sleep, you have to lower your body temperature, shut off the lights, and clear your palate for starters.

Lots of people also need to be in a quiet place to shut down. Others, however, need some soothing sounds to lull them to sleep instead. If you’re one of the latter, here are a few things that you can try listening to so you can sleep better:

A Relaxing Playlist

Lots of people listen to some quiet songs to help calm their nerves after a long day.  The best part about this is that you can create your own playlist or find some nice ones online with great ease.

There are also those who found listening to the same song over and over again to be sleep inducing. The pattern tends to help some people to unwind so it’s also a dependable ‘sleep hack’ that you can try.

ASMR Audio

Playing with the concept of the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, ASMR Audio clips have become a relaxation phenomenon in the recent years.

What exactly is it? Technically, these audio clips trigger a “tingling sensation” that runs from your scalp to your spine. It can be very soothing that some people fall asleep to it.

These clips can have variou contents. Some features quiet sounds made by the most mundane things. They’re usually very slow, varied, and soft. Others feature whispered words or even songs. K-pop fans can find their favorite singers’ and groups’ ASMR renditions of their songs. The videos are not recommended if you want to fall asleep, though, because they can get silly and hilarious that you might not be able to doze off right away.

White Noise

Listening to white noise has been a popular sleep trick for a while now. As some people can’t really doze off when it’s too quiet out, having something running in the background has proven itself to be a great solution.

There are tons of ways how you can listen to some white noise while trying to go to sleep. Some people can easily tune in to the humming of their air-conditioning units while there are also some who like the whirring of their electric fans. The ticking of the clock can be a good choice for some people, too.

If you don’t find any of the white noise around you to be very relaxing, you can also setup some artificial sources of these sounds. Tabletop fountains are great ways to listen to moving water, for one. You can also get an actual white noise machine if you like.

Of course, you can also turn to the internet to get yourself some white noise audio clips. Choose according to what feels most soothing to you.

Bedtime Podcasts

The ease of online streaming may have done a number on traditional radio but it introduced a whole new way to broadcasting format which are podcasts. These things are a lot like radio shows except they usually tackle specific topics. They can be listened to live or downloaded to listen to at a later time.

You can find sleep-themed podcasts, too. Lots of people say they work, so you might just find them helpful.

Meditation Audio

Meditation audio clips have been around for decades already, so this one shouldn’t be surprising. They’re still available online so if you think getting your zen on will help you sleep better, give them a shot.

Audiobooks

Lots of folks read to fall asleep but if that doesn’t really work for you, you can also try listening to a calming book to get the same results. Just be very careful in selecting the title to listen to as anything too interesting or exciting might have the opposite effect.

Give these a try and you might just be able to fall asleep faster at night. Combine them with other efforts to improve your zzz’s and you might just be able to improve the overall quality of your sleep.

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5 Reasons Why Reading is the Best Thing to Do Before Bed

Nope, bedtime stories are not just for kids. Experts are actually recommending people to read before dozing off as a part of a solid bedtime routine as it has proven to be quite beneficial for your sleep.

This shouldn’t be surprising, really, as  there are tons of reasons why reading is good for you. And if it is good for you in general, it shouldn’t be bad for your zzz’s right?

But what exactly makes it an excellent addition to a foolproof bedtime routine? Here are the top five reasons.

Reading is (Largely) Relaxing

Reading can be very relaxing. For one, it lets you sit or lie down quietly without requiring you to do anything than absorb what’s written on the page. You don’t have to bother thinking about what to do or how to do whatever’s asked of you, so you can just chill with a book.

Then, there’s also the fact that it can effectively take your mind off things. If you’re worried about something, being immersed in a completely different world inside a book will help your mind calm down and unwind.

And because sleep doesn’t come easy to those who are stressed, being able to unwind easily is something you should aim to achieve. According to some studies, reading can help you calm down within six minutes. So if that doesn’t promise you a nice way to help you doze off, you’ll be hardpressed to find anything else that can do better.

Reading can be a Calming Part of Your Bedtime Routine

We know that we’ve said it about a million times before, but it really bears repeating that a bed time routine can really help you sleep easier and even better. As the brain works by associating things to one another, anything that you keep doing before hitting the hay can clue in your brain that it’s about time for bed.

The best bedtime routine should have a series of relaxing tasks to help you better ready yourself for sleep. Reading is certainly a perfect addition to this list, as the first point would tell you.

Reading can Keep You Away from Screens

The blue light in your smartphone, tablet, TV, and computer screens tell your brain that it’s daytime, so if you’re glued into them before bed, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Reading, on the other hand, can keep you away from these screens before you catch some shuteye. This is particularly true if you read a print copy or if your e-reader is not backlit with some blue light.

Books can Give You Something to Dream About

Want something nice to dream about? Read an equally nice book. The story you get to enjoy before dozing off can be your brain’s resource for your dreams. So if you want to dream about a fantastic adventure, grab an equally fantastic paperback before you go to bed.

The Right Books can be Better than a Lullaby

It wouldn’t be hard to find someone who’ll say reading makes them sleepy. And even if you’re an avid reader, there will always be some books that will bore you. So if you’re still highly energetic and very riled up by bed time, grab a dull book and go at it until you start feeling drowsy with sleep.

If you’ve been having a hard time falling asleep because of stress and worries, reading a book before bed might be the perfect solution for you. Combine it with a cozy Salem Bed  and you might be surprised just how effective reading before bedtime can be.

It’s Time to Start Enforcing Your Kid’s Bedtime Again

With just a couple of weeks to go before most kids’ summer vacation ends, it’s just about the best time to start adjusting their bedtime to help them get up in the morning more easily. While it would have been best if their bedtimes weren’t pushed back during the summer months, you can still make amends by enforcing a stricter bedtime for the next two or three weeks so they won’t have to suffer from grogginess on their first day back in school.

Earlier bedtimes mean that your child can get their recommended 8-10 hours of zzz’s and still wake up early for school. This will be a struggle, however, as most kids will want to savor the last few weeks of their freedom with late nights and sleeping in, but you have to be firm. Sleep deprivation can hold your child back from performing well in school so you have to do your part in making sure that your child won’t experience such.

Of course, there’s also the fact that correcting a late bedtime can already be more difficult once there are homework and school activities to tend to. If your kid has to spend up to 6 hours completing their assignments and projects, forcing them to go to bed earlier might not be productive. Aside from the fact that they might not be sleepy yet, they can also be too anxious to fall asleep right away anyway so you still won’t get the best results from doing such.

These are just some of the best reasons why you should start enforcing earlier bedtimes as soon as tonight. Two weeks will be a great period to get their body clocks readjusted so they will have ample energy to take on the many challenges they’ll face in school.

To help you get started in adjusting your little one’s bedtime, here are some tips that you should try out:

Don’t Be Drastic

If your child has been used to sleeping at 10 PM for the past two months, you can’t just make them go to bed at 8 PM right away. This won’t be too fruitful for everyone involved. Take their bedtime adjustment one step at a time. For example, for this week, start moving their bedtime routine at 8:30 PM so they can be in bed by 9. Cutting out

For example, for this week, start moving their bedtime routine at 8:30 PM so they can be in bed by 9. Cutting down their caffeine and sweets consumption before nighttime is important as well so the effects can already dwindle down by the time they need to be in bed.

Be Consistent

Consistency is essential to building good habits in kids and for a better sleep hygiene. You can’t make your child go to bed early tonight and then take them out tomorrow ’til late in the evening for some family bonding. Be consistent so your child’s body clock can really get attuned to your child’s routine needs.

Don’t negotiate. Your child will always see this as a means to get what they want and they will use it on you relentlessly every time you say no. It’s important to stay firm when it comes to bedtimes as these things aren’t the easiest to execute to begin with.

Make Earlier Bedtimes a Family Effort

It’s important that you and your spouse (and other adults in the household) are united in helping your child sleep earlier. Because routine is key to a healthy bedtime’s success, everyone should be in on the plan if you want your child to sleep earlier. Their grandmas or titas shouldn’t act on a whim and take them out even when they’re already about to fall asleep.

Adjusting your child’s bedtime will be a challenge, so you have to be ready to help them through the next few weeks. Things will be better, however, for everyone if they get enough zzz’s by the time they’re back in school so it’s definitely all worth it.

 

A Bedtime Book that Guarantees to Help Put Your Child to Sleep

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Bedtime stories are some of the most traditional ways in putting your child to sleep. As it involves some quite time with your little ones, it has been an effective strategy in relaxing children at night and easing them into falling asleep. However, there are also those times when reading a book or three isn’t enough to knock them out for the day. In cases like this, bedtime can get a little tricky.

This is why the book, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep is gaining so much attention as of late. Touted to help children fall asleep in minutes, this bedtime title has topped the Amazon best sellers list.

26 pages long, the book is about a young rabbit who is traveling with Roger, the young rabbit who wants to fall asleep, to see Uncle Yawn, “the world’s kindest wizard, who lived just on the other side of the meadow,” best known in making children fall asleep using his magic powder. It is written and self-published by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, a Swedish behavioral psychologist and linguist who has also penned books about leadership and personal development in the past.

What makes The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep so effective is its use of various widely researched psychological reinforcement techniques in calming a person and making them feel sleepy. It asks parents to read the book slowly and yawn frequently, which can be a contagious action in itself. Of course, it also makes use of the natural rhythm of carefully stringed together words, as well as some emboldened phrases that should be emphasized by the reader. It also involves the child in the adventure, alongside little Roger, by providing space (“insert name here”) for parents to mention their child’s name in the narration.

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The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep has received great feedback and promises a safe way to put your little ones to sleep. With reviews that tell of their kids drifting off in as fast as 2 minutes into the book, this title is totally something worth looking into, especially for parents who constantly face an exhausting battle during bedtime.

The Best Pre-Sleep Timeline Ever

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We’ve said it before, establishing a bedtime is always an essential for a good night’s sleep. It’s really not just for young children, but adults may benefit greatly from a regular bedtime as well. It can easily improve your health, make your skin better, give you more energy, help you lose weight, and even boost your memory. Of course, it can also fight sleep deprivation and all of its ugly consequences, making a sticking to a bedtime one of the most important habits you should have.

However, some may argue that establishing that bedtime can be quite difficult. This is generally true, especially if you’re not too fond of routine and are always coming up with something to do with your time in the evenings. There’s a way to get you in the right track, though: get to know how your evening activities can affect your sleep.

According to experts, the things you do before you hit the hay at night can easily affect your slumber. For example, you like to have some coffee in the evening, then it’s very likely that you’ll have to endure wakefulness until the caffeine wears off well into the night. As you would know, substances and activities have great effects on the human body, so choosing which ones to avoid in the evening would be helpful to your sleep.

Check out this infographic from the Huffington Post:

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Coffee: 6 Hours Before Bed

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In this infographic, various activities are drawn in a timeline, noting how far apart certain items should be from you going to bed. First in the timeline is drinking coffee, or any beverages with high caffeine content. Caffeine, being a stimulant, can really disrupt one’s sleep and even hamper the person’s ability to enjoy quality slumber. In a study conducted by researchers from the Michigan’s Henry Ford Hospital’s Sleep Disorders & Research Center and Wayne State College of Medicine, they were even able to discover that caffeine consumed in less than six hours before bed can be detrimental to one’s sleep. This is why they suggest that anyone who’s interested in having a good night’s rest should avoid drinking coffee at least six hours before they turn in.

Alcohol: 3 Hours Before Bed

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If you’re more inclined to have a glass of wine or whisky as a night cap, make sure to do so at least three hours before lights out. Why? This is because while most folks can argue that drinking can make them drowsy, therefore making them sleepy right away, having an alcoholic drink before bed is still sleep- disruptive. In a study conducted at the University of Melbourne, their research shows that consuming alcoholic beverages right before bed will resort to the interference of the alcohol to deep sleep, preventing your brain from executing full restoration which is important for a good night’s rest. Articles from TIME magazine and the Huffington Post discuss the study more closely, so you can also head there for more information.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t drink at all in the evening. What experts suggest is to have it at least three hours before you try to sleep, so the effects can wear off, and you can give yourself a better chance at having a good night’s sleep.

Dinner: 2-3 Hours Before Bed

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To quote Chef Cheryl Forberg, RD, “The time that you eat dinner is not as important as how close it is to your bedtime. If you’re eating dinner too close to your bedtime, you may experience reflux (heartburn), not sleep as well as you otherwise might, or skip breakfast the next morning (this is quite a common pitfall).” These are just some of the few things you’ll experience if you sleep immediately after you’ve consumed dinner, not to mention its effects on your sleep. Big meals typically affect a person’s metabolic rate and will increase body temperature, making it difficult to fall asleep.

Experts say that 2-3 hours before bed is the best time for a meal, as it will allow your body to digest the food without making you hungry before you nod off. Hunger pangs are something you should also definitely avoid if you want a good night’s sleep, as the discomfort will definitely keep you up all night.

Of course, what you eat before you hit the sack is also important to look at if you want quality sleep (and prevent weight gain). According to this article, it’s okay to have a light snack presleep, but you have to reach out for complex carbohydrates instead of junk food to ensure quality slumber and avoid packing some pounds.

Exercising: 2 Hours Before Bed

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There’s no doubt that breaking a sweat from a good workout is good for the body. It gets you in great shape and a number of studies even show that it can also have great effects on sleep, although, as to exactly how and why, scientists are still about to pinpoint it out. In most people, they like to exercise so they can tire themselves out before they go to bed. This offers an easier way for them to doze off, using exhaustion as a lullaby.

However, according to sleep medicine professor, Dr. Stuart Quan of Harvard Medical School, working out so close to your bedtime may have the opposite effect on some people. While others find it easy to wear themselves out after an hour of rigorous exercise, others may feel effect of having high levels of adrenaline, making it difficult to wind down. This can impact sleep negatively as you’ll need your body to calm down in order to fall asleep.

To ensure a good night’s sleep, some sleep experts suggest giving yourself some time to cool down after a nighttime workout. Schedule your training to finish at least two hours before you sleep, so you get the chance to ensure the great quality of your slumber.

Working, Studying & Stressing + Fiddling with Electronics: 1 Hour Before Bed

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Many of us try to do more by squeezing in a last task for work or finishing a paper for school before hitting the hay. In most cases, though, it’s not the most efficient thing to do, as you either do not finish what you started doing, or you end up sleeping way later than your target bedtime. Both situations can easily cause you to toss and turn in your bed while you lie sleepless, fidgeting about how you have to finish that task you left hanging or how you have to be up so early the next morning.

Stressing out is another cause of sleeplessness among a huge chunk of the population. The thing here, though, is that there are so much reasons for getting stressed, that avoiding it entirely can be very difficult. In the end, it can cause you a great forty winks, because you can’t stop thinking about an issue you can’t possibly handle right then and there while you’re lying down on your bed.

With the rise of the electronics in the recent years, recent studies now show how these screens can affect sleep. According to the several sources, the blue light electronics emit easily affects people’s wakefulness, so having backlit screens glaring so close to your face at night could certainly have a negative effect.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t do all of these before bed, though, but like the other items in this list, we suggest you do them a few hours before you try to nod off. At least give yourself an hour of winding down after you work, study, stress yourself out, or use your electronics, allowing you to become calmer and more ready for slumber.

Follow this timeline and you’ll get a good start at creating a bedtime routine that will help you improve your sleep. Of course, you also shouldn’t forget about your comfort, as it may be your mattress that’s causing you some sleepless nights. At Salem Beds, we make sure that we only offer the best surfaces for sleep, so you can guarantee some quality shut-eye.

Bedtime Procrastination and How it Damages Your Health

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Bedtime procrastination, or what experts would describe as the habit of putting off sleep for no important reason to a later time instead of sticking to the intended schedule, is a harmful phenomenon that an increasing amount of people struggle with unwittingly. Most people are not exactly aware that moving their bedtime at a later hour can be bad for their health, which is why there is a growing concern about this behavior and why people should deal with it immediately.

Why You Procrastinate Even for Bedtime

For a lot of people, falling asleep as soon as they get the chance is a rare and amazing occurrence. This makes sleep more enjoyable, especially if you’ve just had a long day. However, according to a survey conducted by scientists from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, subjects tend to put off sleep not because they want to, but because they do not want to stop doing whatever it is that’s keeping them awake.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Floor Kroese, says that this is because most folks have a problem with self-regulation. “As bedtime procrastination seems to be a self-regulation problem, we speculate that dealing with distractions (a typical case of self-regulation) would be one of the factors that could be related,” Kroese was quoted in this Time magazine article.

Bedtime Procrastination = Insomnia?

As bedtime procrastination is basically not falling asleep when you’re supposed to, some people tend to confuse it with insomnia. What should be clarified is that bedtime procrastination is simply not a manifestation of insomnia or a symptom of it. As mentioned earlier, this behavior is all about the individual’s desire to actually go to sleep and not his or her inability to doze off. Most folks who choose to put off their sleep doesn’t really have problems getting their shuteye; it’s just that they actually choose not to go to bed just yet for one reason or another.

Why Bedtime Procrastination is Bad for You

Procrastination is a bad habit that a large portion of our modern society has. It can be a waste of time and a great hindrance for productivity. However, when it comes to bedtime, it can get much worse. Putting off sleep can prevent you from getting adequate shuteye, which can lead to health complications that lack of sleep can bring.

If you’ve ever found yourself making excuses to put off sleep to a later time in the evening, you may want to find ways how you can drop your bedtime procrastination habit. Find the right bedtime for yourself and have the discipline to stick to your schedule for starters. Put away all electronic devices when your bedtime draws near and avoid books that are too gripping (or at least have the self-control to put it down when it’s time for you to drift off to sleep). And most importantly, close lay down and close your eyes come lights out. Stick to this routine and you’ll be able to get rid of your bedtime procrastination problem.

Finding The Perfect Bed Time

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Improving your sleep is not just about getting more shuteye every night. As experts say, regular sleep is necessary, as it allows the body to stick with its circadian rhythm, enabling our systems to function at their best. Getting regular sleep, however, can get tricky at first, as it will require you to follow a strict schedule. It gets easier after a while, though, because as soon as your circadian clock falls into step, you’ll find yourself falling asleep at around the same time nightly.

To make the most out of your efforts in improving your sleep, figuring out the best time to go to bed may be of great help. Again, as regular sleep is most ideal for your circadian rhythm, learning when you should start dozing off every night can guarantee better results, as studies show that the time of night also affects the quality of one’s sleep. In an article for Time magazine, Dr. Matt Walker, the University of California, Berkeley head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, notes that as the night wears on, the quality of sleep also changes.

Basically, sleep is categorized in two types of cycles: the non-REM and the REM sleep. The non-REM sleep, which is more desired for its restorative abilities, as well as for offering deeper slumber, usually occurs during the earlier hours of the night. This allows the sleeper to get rest and recharged right away, just in case the sleeper needs to get an early start in the morning. The REM (or rapid eye movement) sleep, on the other hand, is lighter and dream-infused, as well as designed to cater to our mental health. It also takes place later in the night, as the wee hours of the morning rolls in.

This means, that if you sleep before midnight, chances are, you’ll be getting more non-REM sleep and get more rest. If you’re more of a late night person, though, and you like sleeping right before the day breaks, you may still find yourself exhausted even after a few hours of shuteye, as the shift from non to REM sleep takes place at a specific time of the night, regardless of whatever time you’ve decided to hit the sack.

The best bedtime is right around 8pm to 12 midnight, according to experts. This gives you a great chance of getting enough deep sleep for optimal functioning. However, as there are still different types of people, forcing yourself to sleep before 10 if you’re a night owl may not work at your advantage, while sleeping past 11 may be harmful for morning larks. So, it should depend on your personality and lifestyle what the best bed time is for you, as long as it falls right inside the 8pm-12am window.

According to another expert, Dr. Allison Siebern, associate director of the Insomnia & Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Stanford University, the best bed time for you is still around the time when you’re usually the sleepiest. You can also count back to get 8 hours to determine the time when you should hit the sack from the time you usually have to wake up. So, if you normally wake up at 6:30 am, hitting the hay at around 10pm will be ideal, as long as you also already feel sleepy around that time.

Dr. Siebern also notes that your ideal bed time changes as you age. However, once you’ve already mastered having a healthy sleeping schedule, adjusting wouldn’t be that hard. You just need to be consistent, as well as observant to your body’s needs.

By learning the perfect bed time for you will help you get started in achieving a healthier sleep hygiene. Pair it with a high quality Salem mattress, and you’re off to improve your health amazingly.