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Wellness

What Are Some Ways You Can Start Making Improvements In Your Sleep Environment?

I have found that it is not just what I do in bed, but the physical environment there in terms of how I am positioned in bed; the type of mattress, pillows and bedding that are used in bed; and the sleeping arrangements used during the day or night that can make a difference in how I feel.

Sleep is one of the most critical functions of our day; how the sleep environment in our homes or in our cars affects our daily activities is a topic that I want to explore in this book, particularly for those of you living in a car and for those of you who drive and sleep in the same room as your home.

To begin, I want to talk about what it is like to be in “sleep mode” on the road. While your blood pressure, breathing and heart rate are normal while driving, driving while fully asleep can have some quite negative effects on your sleep. Let’s start with one of the best ways to get to sleep at night:

1) Make it a ritual:

If it has been a week or more since the last night’s sleep, you might want to think about relaxing the night before, making yourself comfortable and taking up your favorite position. I know it is tempting to put on some music to make yourself feel more relaxed. What is actually happening is that listening to music while you fall asleep makes you more likely to fall asleep, and this is bad news not only for the music itself but for you as you end up falling asleep with the music playing (in the same way that the soundtrack of a movie or television program is generally more memorable than the story itself). In fact, music does the exact opposite of its original function; by making you sleepier, it makes you more likely to need or want to go to sleep faster.

While you are sitting in bed making yourself comfortable, getting up and dressing, thinking about your job, what you heard last night from the doctor or your favorite book, or any other routine activity, it is best to just be present and be in the moment, being in control of your body, mind and emotions at that moment.

If there are any important things that have been on your mind since the last night’s sleep, try to think them out in your mind right before you get out of bed. Make sure that you know what you need to change in order to improve the sleep you just got, not wait until the next day so that you may find a new solution when the new solution is actually the problem.

2) Take a bath:

While driving, you rarely stop when your car is filling up and you may spend the last few minutes of the trip in your car. You usually want to drive as much as possible, not because you are in any way in a hurry, but because it is fun! However, if you are going to be in your car for a long time, even in the middle of no-where, making it a habit of taking a long hot bath while you are in the car will help you relax.

3) Have an early meeting:

The good old “early to bed, early to rise” rule is one of the best ways to make the most out of your sleep. Just as people sleep differently during the day, our brains can sleep differently at night. That is one of the reasons why when you feel like you cannot sleep at night, or cannot sleep for the very least. Simply taking the time to go to bed earlier in the morning will help you fall asleep earlier and wake feeling less tired. You can’t even begin to understand the relief you feel when you are able to fall asleep at midnight, not an hour earlier, and not only feel better but actually do fall asleep on time.