We hear it over and over again: you will spend one third of your life asleep. So, if the average lifespan is 81 years old, that means that you will be asleep for roughly 27 years cumulatively. With figures like that, it’s no wonder why sleep is the single most important factor contributing to your longevity; even more importantn than diet and exercise. While you are sleeping, your body is fighting off infections, resting your cardiovascular system, processing information and restoring your body balance. Lack of sleep can cause heart problems, lowered productivity, concentration issues, car accidents, etc. and yet people continue to toss and turn. Your mattress isn’t the only factor when it comes to a better sleep; if you’re having sleep problems then there may be something else you can change.

1. Beds: Choosing the Right Mattress
Your mattress should be an extension of your body. It should contour and support, not cause pain and restlessness. Mattresses generally last for up to ten years, beyond that, they will basically statrt disintegrating. When choosing a mattress, you should be sure to test your mattress for comfort and test more than one. Cost should not be the overriding reason for your choice. The right mattress should be an investment towards your health. You should also factor in your lifestyle and body type. Bigger people and bigger families need bigger beds; don’t be afraid of the king size mattress. Back pain and body aches should also be a clue that you are not sleeping on the right mattress. There are many options for extra-supportive beds: pocket coils, extra firm, memory foam mattresses, etc. Choose the mattress that suits you the best because you will be in it a lot!

2. Bedrooms: Set the Mood
Bedrooms should be the ultimate places of rest and relaxation. The colours on the walls should soothe you; your lighting soft and warm. Keep your room at a steady, comfortable temperature so you are not jumping into bed shivering, or sweating because you’re too hot. Try heated blankets or conversely, fans to control the temperature as well. Soothing pictures and a radio may help set the stage for a deep sleep as well.

3. Diet: Eat to Sleep
Adjust your eating and drinking habits so they are not interfering with your sleep habits. Eating heavy meals, workouts and excessive tobacco, alcohol and caffeine intake can all contribute to a poor sleep. Before hitting the hay, a light snack is recommended, and moderate activity can help tire you out. Save the heavy stuff for the morning or early afternoon, and avoid caffeine after 2pm.

4. Routine: Pencil It In
Just like children, adults need bedtime routines too. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every night; even during weekend hours. If you feel like you need more sleep, don’t be afraid to nap, but don’t necessarily make a habit out of it. Try a warm bath, soft light or decaffeinated tea before bed every night so your body learns to respond to these sleep cues. Also make sure you get enough sleep every night. To achieve optimal results, adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, although sleep needs do vary depending on the individual. Your body is an efficient machine and should wake you up naturally without an alarm clock if you have had enough sleep. If you feel groggy in the morning, this may be a hint that you need an earlier bed time.

5. Relax: Just Breathe.
Having a busy or stressful (or both) day can definitely affect your sleeping habits. It is almost impossible for some people to lull themselves into a rested and relaxed enough state so they can fall asleep. Before you close your eyes for the day, take some time to relax and unwind. Try deep breathing or a good book. Close your eyes and picture a peaceful place. And above all, don’t worry about NOT sleeping. If you are having a sleep issue, know that is can be fixed – don’t put extra stress on your body by worrying incessantly about it.

Some Other Tips and Sleepy Tricks:

  • Get to know your body’s sleep preferences. For example, if you are a side sleeper, shop around for the best mattress for side sleepers.
  • Give yourself enough room. Don’t curl up in a ball just to be polite – carve out your niche and stay there.
  • Drown out distractions. If your spouse snores help him or her to find help when they sleep; if you live in a noisy are of town, use a fan for white noise at night.
  • Know when to consult a Sleep Expert. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea or sleep walking are not easily cured with a mattress or cup of tea and should be taken seriously. Consult a doctor if you have exhausted all other options and are still not getting the rest you need.
Author's Bio: 

Lilly Gordon is a freelance writer and web publisher. She is currently researching a variety of topics including better sleep tips, the best mattress and Tempurpedic Edmonton mattresses.