(BPT) - After summer breaks and trips are over, it’s time for everyone to head back to their regular routines of work and school. While getting back on schedule can be a hard adjustment, re-establishing a good sleep routine can also be challenging. According to a recent study conducted by SleepScore Labs, 68% of Americans are sleeping less than the recommended seven hours per night for optimal health. What could be the contributing cause?
Even if you are trying your hardest to re-establish a good sleep routine, there are several key factors and sleep disruptors that may be causing you to get “junk sleep.” If you spend more time tossing and turning than you do sleeping at night, you may be suffering from junk sleep. If your brain feels foggy and groggy instead of refreshed and recharged in the morning, you may be suffering from junk sleep. If your regular 9-5 starts to feel like 9-500, you guessed it — junk sleep.
Only a good night’s sleep can help you feel like yourself again. Here are some tips to help fight sleep disruptors, get rid of junk sleep and transition easier back to your routines:
1. Keep your cool
A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that warmer temperatures can interfere with the ability to get a good night’s sleep. You may have had this experience, noticing that you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep when your room is too warm or when you’re using too many blankets. Starting out with a cooler room, around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, can provide a more comfortable sleep than a room that's too warm.
2. Upgrade your mattress
According to the Sleep Foundation, mattresses need to be replaced on average every 6-8 years. However, your mattress may also be telling you it’s time for a new one if it’s noisy, appears to sag in some areas or if you often wake up feeling stiff or sore. If you’ve been thinking about getting a new mattress, the time is now to help improve your sleep.
3. Take time to unwind
It’s hard to relax and de-stress these days, especially if you're constantly connected to electronics for work and/or play. According to the Sleep Association, the blue light emitted by electronics can interfere with your circadian rhythm — your body’s natural clock.
Creating a bedtime routine — the same way parents do for young children — can help improve your ability to fall and stay asleep. Turn off electronics and do something calming the hour before bed, like reading a book, gentle stretching or a warm bath — whatever leaves you relaxed and ready for sleep.
4. Un-junk your sleep
Mattress Firm is hitting the road to help people remove junk sleep from their lives for good. Their "Un-Junk Your Sleep" truck is touring the country, and has already stopped at sleep-deprived consumers' homes in New York City and Detroit. Sleep experts are helping people find their perfect mattress and replacing their old one with a new one for free.
If you live in Houston, you’re next! You can be considered for an un-junking by posting a photo of your offending mattress on Instagram or Twitter, along with a short description of why you're suffering from junk sleep, using #UnJunkYourSleepGiveaway and tagging @MattressFirm — and including the hashtag of your city: #Hou (your page must not be private). The Un-Junk Your Sleep team, complete with Mattress Firm Sleep Experts, will arrive at winners' homes in the Un-Junk Your Sleep truck to provide a personal junk sleep consultation and to swap out your old mattress with a brand-new one.
Want to learn more about how to un-junk your sleep? Visit www.junksleep.com.