Creating a Tranquil Space for Sleep Means Nothing Unless You Change Your Habits

Written by on February 21, 2019 in Alternative Health Care, Health, Prevention with 2 Comments

By Dave Pributsky

None of us are getting enough sleep. Whether it's because of school, a social life, a stressful job, starting a family, or all of the above, fitting in eight hours of sleep has become a luxury many of us can no longer afford. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours, but most Americans get fewer than seven. The result? Over time, we become chronically sleep-deprived.

It doesn't help that we've gone from single-television households to 24/7 news in the palm of our hands. When we wonder why we’re so tired, we turn to white noise machines, sleeping pills, earplugs, and eye masks. Some people buy expensive pillows or replace old mattresses. Others invest in blackout curtains.

None of this is wrong, per se — though maybe you should skip the sleeping pills. But you have to do more than change your sleep environment; you have to change your sleep habits, too.

The Ticket to Better Sleep

Even the most expensive sleep cures only do so much if you're still scrolling through your social media feeds or watching TV from your bed on a regular basis. Screen time has corrupted our sleep habits, which are now causing more problems than fancy curtains and great pillows alone can fix.

From suppressing melatonin production to interfering with circadian rhythm, if it doesn't make it harder for you to fall asleep, screen time is likely disrupting those high-quality REM cycles your body craves. The research is clear. We've got to scroll less and sleep more. Daily downtime is essential if we have any shot at recovering from our busy schedules.

But that's easier said than done. If it were so easy to get enough high-quality sleep while also raising a family, exercising, working, managing relationships, and keeping up with “Game of Thrones,” we would all be doing just that rather than reading this article.

So let's talk about a few ways you can jumpstart better sleep — after you turn off your tech, that is.

1. Try some old-school meditation.

At first, meditation might seem too new-age to work. But in reality, all it takes is finding the right soundtrack to change your mind and improve your health. Keep it old-school with CDs or records to eliminate screen time. If you're not quite ready to wrap your head around meditation, try something simple like listening to relaxing music before bed or reading an old-fashioned printed book.

2. Practice evening yoga.

A simple, low-impact yoga routine for as little as 15 minutes will help you relax, and you won't even need an expensive studio membership to make it happen. Search for gentle or restorative yoga routines on YouTube during the day, and then write down the poses so you don't need to watch the video before bed. Gently cycle though three to five simple poses, focusing on smooth, deep, even breathing to relax the mind and body.

3. Evaluate your pillow.

Your mattress is important, but your pillow is the real secret. Having the correct pillow for your sleeping position and body size is huge. It supports your neck and head, and a twisted neck can lead to poor posture and aches and pains that will hinder your sleep — and your daily activities.

4. Lose the lights.

Whether you use a smartphone or a digital clock, if it creates light, cover it up before your head hits the pillow. You might even consider switching to an analog clock so bright neon numbers don't keep you awake in the middle of the night. Dim your bedroom lights as you're winding down for the night to let your body know it's time to chill.

5. Buy a humidifier and a dehumidifier.

Both dry, cold winters and hot, humid summers can make it hard to sleep through the night. According to, humidity levels in your room should be about 50 percent year-round. Use these machines to get the humidity level just right no matter the weather.

6. Try aromatherapy.

From linen sprays to sachets and diffusers, aromatherapy is another option. Some scents are more sleep-friendly than others, such as lavender and chamomile. Minty scents, on the other hand, have been known to make you more alert, so avoid them if possible.

Adjusting your sleep environment alone won't fix all of your sleep problems, but changing your habits will get you much closer. Just because your phone is on your nightstand doesn't mean you need to scroll through Instagram instead of reading a book. Don't settle for six hours of interrupted sleep — use these tips to strive for the full eight hours you need and deserve.

Dave Pributsky is head of marketing strategy and business development at 2920 Sleep, whose products improve sleep quality and overall health with minimal environmental impact.

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  1. Dr. Derek Lodico says:

    I’m a physician of 15 years and can’t tell you enough how much sleep affects all of our activities of daily living. I routinely put folks to sleep for surgery and you can see the difference in folks with regards to how they wake up from anesthesia. I will refer folks for sleep studies based on how they react to anesthesia. A lot of them have symptoms of sleep apnea but most are a result of poor sleep hygiene. Not getting “restful” sleep results in the same signs and symptoms that those with sleep apnea get. Lack of the ability to concentrate, distracted at work, tiredness, headaches, irritability. Diseases such as hypertension, poor glucose control, and any of the other homeostatic machanisms in our body that depend on a regular circadian rhythm. Great article and a great wholistic total body overview and guide to finding ways to allow the body to rest at night (or day if you are a shift worker). I have recently switched to a new mattress and pillow and can’t say enough how much it helps. I also have made yoga and transcendental meditation a part of my daily routine. Cheers.

  2.' Frank Mason says:

    I was a call center agent for 2 years and a half. I worked in a graveyard shift so that’s why I am awake at night and sleep the whole day. And suddenly I quit my job because of my personal problem. And now I am having a hard time to sleep at night because I get used to being awake at night. Maybe one of the reason also is about my family problem. I really don’t know. So this is my problem now I want to sleep in a normal way but it didn’t happen, so I told my friend about this then he told me to try this CBD as a medicine I did not believe him at first coz i didn’t know anything about it. I came across this that marijuana can help me with my problem. I don’t know if this will work or not. Can somebody help me with this? Or any suggestion. Thanks in advance.

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