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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

6 Unexpected Ways to Get More Sleep

Dineese Walker

Woman asleep on a wonderful pillow

According to the American Sleep association, more than 35 percent of adults are sleep deprived, getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night. If you struggle to get enough sleep, youíre not alone. Whether itís insomnia, waking up in the night, snoring or sleep apnea, or simply not feeling rested, you can benefit from focusing on improving sleep. If youíve tried the conventional strategies, here are some lesser-known ways to get better sleep each night.

Take a Warm Bath

The bodyís temperature cycles right along with the sleep-wake cycle. A drop in core body temperature signals itís time to sleep. As your body temperature drops, you typically fall asleep within a few hours.

Try taking a warm bath an hour or two before you go to bed to mimic the natural cycle. This process will raise your temperature, initiating your body temperature to drop drastically in the next 30 minutes, triggering the brain to think itís time to sleep. A warm bath is also relaxing and can help soothe the body and mind in preparation for sleeping.

Assess Your Pillow Quality

Bed comfort is essential for good sleep. Maybe you have already assessed your mattress's comfort and quality or even replaced it for something better. What about your pillow? If it doesnít provide the proper support and align your spine correctly, you will wake up frequently and in discomfort.

A high-quality product, like the Nolah AirFoam pillowô, provides support for the head and neck while still being soft enough to feel comfortable and relaxing. If youíve had the same pillow for a while and struggle to sleep, you may need a new one. Another sign that your pillow is the culprit is if you wake up with a sore or stiff neck, shoulders, or upper back.

Read a Book

In the age of screens, fewer people pick up an actual book to go to sleep. This tradition used to be the norm and itís a strategy worth returning to for a better nightís sleep. Reading has the benefit of taking your mind off current worries. A book can transport you out of your own life and prevent you from dwelling on things that make you anxious and stressed. 

Itís best to avoid reading from a screen in bed. Read a print book instead. Studies show that the use of an e-reader before bed has several negative impacts on sleep:

  *  Screen use before bed increases the time it takes to fall asleep.

  *  It also interferes with the natural circadian rhythm, delaying the onset of the sleep cycle.

  *  Reading from a screen suppresses melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.

  *  Screen time decreases morning alertness and increases alertness later in the day, delaying bedtime.

Keep Your Room Cool

Itís beneficial to warm up an hour or so before bed to trigger sleepiness, but itís best to have the bedroom cooler. When you sleep, your body temperature drops. If the room is cooler, youíll cycle more easily into that deeper phase of sleep. A warm room can also make you uncomfortable. You may find you wake up sweaty and kicking off the covers. Keep the room at a cool temperature and add blankets for comfortable coziness.

Consider Supplements

If youíve tried other changes and still struggle to sleep, try sleep-promoting supplements. Itís always important to talk to your doctor before trying a dietary supplement, but melatonin is a remarkably safe option. Melatonin is a natural hormone that increases at night to indicate to your brain that itís time to sleep.

Many studies show that melatonin taken before bed can decrease the time it takes to sleep and improve overall sleep quality. Melatonin increases morning alertness. It doesnít seem to produce any withdrawal symptoms when people stop using it.

Get More Daytime Sunlight

The natural sleep-wake cycle follows the natural cycle of day and night. Many of our modern habits change this cycle, for instance, reading lit screens at night when itís dark outside. Spend more time outdoors or by windows during the day and avoid screens at night to promote the natural cycle.

Studies prove that bright light exposure during the day has a real impact on sleep duration, quality, and other measures. One study found that people with insomnia reduced the time to fall asleep at night by as much as 83 percent.

Think Outside the Box for Better Sleep

Getting enough sleep is a real struggle for most people, especially as the stress and worry of the pandemic have continued. If youíve been having a hard time and tried other solutions, use these out-of-the-box, but proven, methods for improving sleep duration and quality.  

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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