What’s your quality of sleep? Good? Bad? If you’re unsure, you can use an app to track your sleep behavior! This information can help you see what is causing your sleep disturbances and find solutions to get a great night of sleep.
There is a mix of good sleep behaviors that make up a great night of sleep. In addition to the right sleep environment and mattress, sleep monitoring apps can help you get a great night of sleep by understanding what really goes on during your sleep cycles.
There are a variety of apps that monitor sleep patterns. When selecting an app, you should consider what you hope to find out. Many apps offer information on muscle movement, sleep duration, time of disturbances, and an alarm clock. If you need help falling asleep, many apps offer soothing sounds that can help you drift off into peaceful rest.
Here are a four sleep tracking apps to help you understand your sleep habits.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock – Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock analyzes and graphs your sleep quality plus wakes you up at your lightest sleep with a soothing tone. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock also monitors you movement to determine what sleep phase you’re in. Simply download the app to your smartphone and place it under your pillow.
Beddit – Beddit measures your heart rate, respiration, sleep cycles, and sleep time and includes a smart alarm to wake you up. Even nighttime events such as leaving the bed and snoring are tracked with Beddit. Every morning, you’ll receive a Sleep Score along with personalized tips to improve your quality of sleep. To use Beddit, you need to download the app to your smartphone and purchase a separate sensor that is placed under your bed sheet.
SleepBot – SleepBot tracks your nighttime movement and shows pattern changes and long-term trends. SleepBot goes beyond tracking your movements by also tracking sound levels that could contribute to your sleep disturbance. You can even set a reminder to go to sleep and an alarm will wake you up at the right time in the morning. SleepBot provides tips and recommendations to help you get a great night of sleep.
Sleep Time – Sleep Time shows your sleep cycle analysis in a monthly and week graph to help you track sleep patterns over time. The app analyzes movement while sleeping and learns to wake you up at the perfect moment of lightest sleep. Or you can use the app to set an alarm in the morning to wake up on your own schedule. After waking up, the app’s heart rate integration detects your pulse. Sleep Time can also be used to help you fall asleep thanks to the app’s soothing sounds. To use Sleep Time, simply download the app and place your smartphone in your bed.
While these sleep apps may help you get an idea of how well you are sleeping, they are not proven to provide a full analysis of your sleep behavior. Remember that a good bedroom environment plays an important role in your quality of sleep.
Are you afraid you’ll toss and turn all night? Does the fear of being unable to fall asleep prevent you from actually falling asleep? Lying awake and tossing and turning can be scary. What do you do when you can’t fall asleep? Learn how you can take the fright out of your night and get a peaceful night of sleep.
Create wind-down time at least 30 minutes before bed. Dim the lights and get yourself ready for bed. Whether this is preparing for the day ahead, making a to-do list, or doing a quiet activity, make sure to give your body time to prepare for sleep.
If you are unable to fall asleep, get out of bed. Do not lay in bed worrying about falling asleep. Instead, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Although it may be “bedtime” our bodies may not be ready for sleep. Let yourself unwind with a quiet activity such as reading.
Establish a regular bedtime routine. Find what helps you feel sleepy and incorporate it into your bedtime routine. A cup of decaffeinated tea, breathing exercises, stretches, or a soothing face mask can create a routine that signifies to your body it’s time for sleep. Remember to stick to the same schedule, even on the weekends.
Avoid drinking and eating late at night. Limit caffeine, even in the morning, to make it easier to fall asleep at night. Eating a large, heavy meal late at night can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. Try to avoid eating at least three hours before bed.
Get outside. Exposing yourself to sunlight during the day can help with your melatonin balance. Fresh air from a late evening walk can make you feel refreshed and ready for sleep.
Schedule “vent” time. Set aside a few minutes and jot down anything that might keep you up at night. You’ll be able to sleep knowing your thoughts, worries, and to-dos are written down and ready for you tomorrow.
Consider the quality of your mattress. A good quality mattress and comfortable pillows can make you fall and stay asleep faster. If it’s time to start shopping for a new mattress, let Serta help you with our simple and fun Mattress Selector Quiz – try it now!
Take the fear out of your night by incorporating these ideas into your bedtime routine for a peaceful night of sleep.
At lunch your friend shares the latest exercise trend. You read an article in the newspaper about keeping your heart healthy. Talk show hosts encourage you to make lifestyle changes by taking the stairs and going for walks. But after changing your habits and exercising more, you don’t feel any different. Often, an overlooked factor in health and weight loss is sleep.
Sleep has been proven to play an important role in a body’s health. Studies have shown that the quantity and quality of your sleep is related to health problems such as weight gain, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes.
Did you know?
Receiving less than the recommended amount of sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity. The chance of weight gain increases as the amount of hormone secretion decreases.
During the sleep cycle, blood pressure usually falls. With interrupted sleep, it affects the decline which can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
Insufficient sleep can hinder the body’s ability to use insulin. This can lead to the onset of diabetes.
Not only does sleep affect your overall health, but the reverse is true as well – an active lifestyle can help with a better night of sleep. Sleep and a healthy lifestyle go hand-in-hand for positive well-being.
For example, staying active gives you energy throughout the day and speeds up metabolism. When it’s time for sleep, your body will be ready for rest. Studies have shown that activity during the day allows your body to sleep continuously at night. If you are feeling stressed, exercise can reduce stress, in return allowing you to fall asleep easier.
To get the most out of your exercise’s effect on sleep, be sure to exercise at least three hours before bed. Cooler body temperatures help with sleep onset and it can take as long as 6 hours for your body temperature to drop after a workout. If you weren’t able to fit a rigorous exercise into your day, stretches or a few yoga exercises can help regulate breathing and relax your muscles before bed.
Sleep and exercise work together for a healthy body. A great night of sleep should be part of any exercise program. Get inspired to incorporate exercise into your daily routine with ideas from our Get Fit, Sleep Right Pinterest board. If it’s time for a new mattress to help you start sleeping better, try Serta’ Mattress Selector Quiz now!
He snores. She’s too cold. He steals the covers. She needs noise to fall asleep.
Often when couples fall in love, they also fall out of their sleep habits. Sleeping in the same bed can cause problems for many happy couples, leading them to a poor night of sleep and poor attitudes.
Every person has sleep habits needed to fall and stay asleep. Ironically, one person’s sleep habits are often the opposite of their partner’s. Before making the move to separate bedrooms, learn how to compromise for a great night of sleep – together.
The first step is to determine your sleep needs. Write down your ideal sleep environment – cooler temperature, complete darkness, no noise – and share your needs with your partner. Talk out how you can accommodate each other’s sleep needs and find solutions to any known issues. Like all other aspects of a relationship, the key is communication. Your partner may not know their sleep habits result in your inability to fall asleep.
Noise Control: If your partner enjoys listening to music before falling asleep, headphones are great solution for both parties.
Bright Lights: Reading a book before dozing off is a typical nighttime routine. If the light bothers your partner, use a nightstand light or book lamp instead of an overhead light.
Tossing and Turning: Rolling around, tossing, and turning can easily wake up your partner. If this is happening to you, it may be time for a new mattress. Serta offers a variety of mattresses with featured designed to help reduce tossing and turning AND partner disturbance. Shop our selection now.
Lack of Space: A larger bed may be the solution if blanket stealing, kicking, or rolling is occurring in your bed. These common side effects of a too-small mattress can disrupt your sleep.
Night Owls: Does your night owl partner prevent you from falling asleep? Stagger your bedtimes and then have them join you after you are in a deep sleep.
Temperature Control: A hot issue for many couples is temperature control. For those who find themselves on the chilly side, double fold the blanket on one side or use additional blankets.
Snorers: While it may seem like a common problem, snoring can be an actual health concern. See physicians if snoring is frequent and pauses are noted. If your snoring is not a serious health condition, sprays or nasal strips can help reduce snoring.
Remember, like anything else in a relationship creating a sleep environment that works for a couple is about teamwork and compromise. Be patient and accommodating – change won’t happen overnight.
Ahh spring…fresh air, longer days, and the motivation to start anew. This spring, Serta encourages you to start living a healthier, better life. Looking to get a Wellness Reboot? Start here:
- Get active. Easier said than done. It can be difficult to find the motivation to get moving, but with warmer weather and more hours of daylight, it’s the best time of the year to get into the habit of exercise. Start with something small like a walk during your lunch break or in the evening. You’ll find the fresh air does your mind good, and you’ll sleep better at night too.
- Bring in the freshness. Incorporate fresh and natural scents into your home, particularly into your bedroom. Opening the windows is the easiest way to let in fresh air. Keep a window open during the day or during a cool evening to let in a burst of sweet spring scents like new grass or blooming trees. Try adding a bouquet of fresh flowers to a nightstand or dresser in your bedroom to add color in addition to fragrance. If strong scents and allergies bother you, use essential oils to add fragrance. Mix fragrant oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz the scent into the air or on linens.
- Eat right. It’s best to finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. Refrain from eating heavy meals before bed to avoid a disruptive sleep due to upset stomach or indigestion. Instead, eat a full, healthy breakfast to help steer your eating habits in the right direction throughout the day. Try a breakfast of oatmeal with fruit or create a smoothie loaded with vegetables.
- Evaluate your room. Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature is especially important during warmer months. Now is the time to invest in a new ceiling fan or air conditioner to establish the right conditions you need for sleep. Removing distractions, such as television and noise, will allow you to get a peaceful night of sleep. Don’t forget a comfortable mattress and bedding! Not only will the proper mattress give you the support you need, but it will be free of allergens that might affect your sleep quality.
Remember, there’s no better time for a Wellness Reboot than right now. How are you kick-starting your wellness this spring? For more ways to Spring into Sleep, visit our latest Pinterest board.
We are celebrating Sleep Awareness Week with the National Sleep Foundation all week long! We’ll be sharing sleep tips and facts to keep you feeling well-rested and ready for a great night of sleep.
With Daylight Saving Time just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing your body for the change that will be taking place. Your mind will know there’s a time change, but it will take your body a bit of adjusting.
Start to prepare your body over the weekend by gradually making modifications. Start to head to bed 15 minutes early a few days before the change. This method will prevent a shock to your body when it loses an hour of sleep.
Be prepared for the feelings after the time change takes place. It may be difficult for your body to adjust to the longer daylight, so balance the light and dark by opening your shades in the morning and dimming your lights when it gets dark. This will help your body know that it’s time to get ready for sleep.
Know that Monday is going to be tough. While the actual time change occurs on Sunday at 2 a.m., Monday morning is when most people feel the effects. As if Mondays weren’t tough enough already! Be prepared by going to sleep on time on Sunday, and take a short walk on Monday around midday.
Use these tips as you prepare for Daylight Saving Time. Follow us on Facebook for more sleep tips and facts this week.
Holiday Survival Guide (Part 4): Five Surprising Facts You Should Know About Sleep for Your Better Sleep Resolution
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the most common reason people feel excessively tired is self-imposed sleep deprivation. To help you live healthier in 2014, we’ve compiled five surprising facts you should know about sleep for your Better Sleep Resolution:
1. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have a bigger appetite. Leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone and when it decreases from a lack of sleep, your appetite increases. If your resolution is to lose weight, getting enough sleep plays a key role.
2. Snoring disrupts approximately 90 million American adults. Snoring may seem harmless, but it could be a symptom of sleep apnea, a life threatening sleep disorder. If you wake frequently throughout the night gasping for breath and snore loudly with pauses in the snoring, consult a physician.
3. Sleep patterns may change as we age, but the amount of sleep needed does not. Most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
4. If you wake in the middle of the night and after 20 minutes still cannot fall back to sleep, it is best to get out of bed, go to another room, and read or listen to music. Avoid looking at the clock and when you are sleepy, return to bed.
5. Regular exercise will help you to fall asleep easier and sleep better. However, exercising right before bed or exercising irregularly will make falling asleep more challenging.
How will you get better sleep in 2014? Start by determining if your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. Make sleep a priority and stick to your sleep schedule even on the weekends. Remember to put away electronics and turn off the television at least an hour before bed.
What’s your 2014 Better Sleep Resolution?
By Tésa Nicolanti of www.2Wired2Tired.com
Travel and the holidays go hand in hand. Many of us will be maneuvering our way through crowded airports, traffic jams, flight delays, and unexpected weather to celebrate with family and friends. All of this can be exhausting and that’s why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep so you can enjoy the festivities once you arrive at your destination. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your holiday travel sleep arrangements.
Bunking With Relatives
Will you be staying with relatives over the holidays? Worried that Grandpa’s snoring is going to keep you awake night after night? Make sure you pack earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. If you are a night owl while everyone else is an early bird or if you are simply dealing with jet lag, this can help keep the din of busy house to a low level allowing you can catch a few more z’s before your feet hit the floor for the day. They also can block out the snoring of any roommates or Grandpa down the hall helping you to get the rest you need so you have the energy to bake cookies, wrap gifts, go sledding, and enjoy every moment.
Hitting The Sack At A Hotel
When you know you’ll be staying in a hotel be sure to do a little research and pack a few things to ensure a good night’s sleep. Did you know that Serta is the number one mattress supplier to the hotel industry in the United States? If your hotel has a Serta mattress you are sure to be in good hands. When packing bring a sound machine or find a good white noise app on your phone. Listening to hotel room doors bang shut, ice machine racket, elevators roaring up and down, or the clamor of street traffic will surely keep you up all night. Block out all the commotion with the sleep machine or app. It’s an easy and simple way to drift off to sleep while traveling.
Will you be hosting guests this holiday season? Make their stay memorable by offering amenities that will have them sleeping as soundly as if they were in their own beds at home. Put a TV in the guest room so they have a place to unwind at the end of long and festive day. Provide reading materials, magazines and books, so they can enjoy them as they lounge in bed just a little while longer or prior to nodding off. Pamper them with Serta Memory Foam Pillows and Luxury Fleece Blankets to chase away the winter chill. Provide a small basket of snacks and drinks so they can enjoy them in their room when hunger hits.
These tips will make holiday travel a little easier and more pleasant this year. A good night’s sleep is important and will help you enjoy the festivities to their fullest.
How many times have you said “Go to bed!”? Probably too many. Back to school is an adjustment for many families, particularly when it comes to getting back into a bedtime routine. Sleep plays an important part in a child’s growth development, allowing their muscles, skin, and bones to grow and fix injuries, and in keeping them healthy. Studies show that kids and teens who don’t get enough sleep have trouble focusing in school, which can cause behavior problems, inability to focus, and poor grades.
Here are a few tips for getting back into a bedtime routine and helping your kids get the sleep they need.
1. Set a Firm Bedtime and Stick to It
Start making bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the desired school night bedtime. This will help make a smooth transition from summer hours to school hours. Once you have a routine, keep it consistent so their bodies adapt and sync with that sleep schedule. If your children or teens have a packed schedule, try to limit late-night activities to only 1-2 nights during the school week.
2. Limit Television and Electronics
Those bright lights can significantly affect a child’s ability to fall asleep. Make sure computers, cellphones, video games, and television are turned off at least one hour before bed. Not only will kids go to bed later with these distractions but having them in their bedroom can be the cause of schoolwork distractions.
3. Dim the Lights
Dimming the lights in the evening can create a more relaxing environment and prepare your child for sleep. Darkness is necessary for one’s body to trigger melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.
4. Create a Wind-Down Time
Take 30 minutes before bedtime to wind down. Use this time to create a bedtime routine: brush teeth, drink that final glass of water, pick out clothes for the next day, make lunch, double check that everything is ready for tomorrow, and read a quick story.
Cooler temperatures, the crackle of leaves under your feet, pumpkin-flavored treats, football games, and thick cozy sweaters all evoke the excitement of the fall season! There are many aspects to love about fall; why not embrace it in your bedroom?
Transition your bedroom for autumn the same way you do your wardrobe, food, and attitude. This fall, stay warm in your bedroom with luxurious fabrics and cozy colors for a great night’s sleep. Here are some decorating tips for embracing those chilly autumn nights in your bedroom:
- Warm, Earth-Tone Colors – It’s time to change up those bright or non-existent colors in your bedroom for warmer autumn-inspired hues, including red, orange, brown, yellow, and gold. Warmer colors help your bedroom feel more welcoming and comfortable, especially during the fall. Add these colors to your blankets, linens, curtains, or if you’re feeling bold, your walls!
- Cozy textures – Your autumn wardrobe probably consists of knits, wool, fur, and cashmere. Take inspiration from your fall clothing and embrace those textures in your bedroom. Look for thicker fabrics for your rugs and blankets to make a statement and increase your comfort level. Add fall-inspired prints, such as leaves, for a subtle nod to the autumn season.
- Soft lighting – Setting up dimmer lights in place of harsh lighting can create a cozy environment in your bedroom. Use colored candles in fall hues to add more autumn inspiration. Don’t be afraid to decorate with candles, especially scented candles to create a warm ambience. Smells such as apple pie, pumpkin, maple, or the always classic vanilla, will create an environment that smells as good as it looks!