healthy living

6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep This Summer

Good sleep is a must for anyone’s health. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. As summer approaches, you may need to work a little harder to make sure you have a peaceful slumber.

1. Wear a Mouth Guard

If you’re one of the 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea or grind their teeth at night, getting a good night’s sleep may seem like it’s completely out of your hands. Fortunately, a simple trip to the dentist (of all places) may be able to help you get the sleep you need. Jaw positioning can sometimes be the cause of sleep issues such as sleep apnea, and a mouth guard that gently shifts the placement of the jaw while you sleep can prevent your soft palette from preventing you from breathing at night. That said, while only half of adults visit their dentist every six months, consider visiting yours to get fitted with a custom mouth guard to help with sleep apnea, snoring, and more.

2. Wear Noise-Reducing Earplugs

The average person in the U.S. moves about 12 times in their lifetime, and neighborhood noise is often one of the most common reasons for moving. However, if you live in an area that has a lot of noise and you’re unable to move to a quieter neighborhood, noise-reducing earplugs can make a world of a difference. While completely noise-canceling earplugs would be ideal, many people avoid them because they need to hear their alarm in the morning. Noise-reducing earplugs allow you to still hear your alarm while quieting more distant sounds like neighbors, music, and car horns.

3. Indulge in a Massage

It’s hard getting to sleep when you’re super tense, anxious, or living with chronic pain. That’s where a good massage comes in. Local massage therapy provides four key benefits: it reduces stress, reduces muscle tightness, improves relaxation, and boosts the immune system. Regular massage therapy can improve your sleep habits, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

4. Clean Your Air Filters

If you sleep with a fan on, you know how important it is to clean the blades to keep dust and hair from blowing around the room. The same is true for your HVAC system. Cleaning your air filter not only reduces your energy consumption by 5% to 15% but it can also keep dust, dirt, and debris out of the air, so you can breathe better while you sleep. That means you don’t need to worry about trying to sleep with an itchy throat or stuffy nose.

5. Insulate Your Home

A comfortable home is a must when it’s time to get some rest, so make sure you have proper insulation. Otherwise, up to 20% of every dollar spent on home heating will be wasted and go right through the roof. According to Forbes, you need a heating repair if you have unusually high energy bills, weird sounds, uneven distribution of heat, and burning smells. Once your heating system is over seven years old, it may naturally start to break down in need of repair or replacement. Room temperature is important for a good night’s sleep, but if it fluctuates, it’ll be hard to sleep through the night.

6. Get Quality Bedding

Even if it’s too hot to sleep under a thick comforter in summer, you need quality sheets and pillows. If your pillows are too flat, it can hurt your neck and cause you to wake up with a cramp. A mattress pad can add extra comfort to a hard or firm mattress. When you don’t change your pillows, it allows bacteria and allergens to collect on them. According to the Sleep Foundation, you should change pillows every one to two years.

Good sleep is vital for health. When you sleep, your brain and body have a chance to rest and recharge. However, if you can’t do so due to noise, allergens, or body tension, you’ll feel those lingering effects on your attention span, energy level, and more. As summer approaches, make sure you take the time to create a relaxing environment. The more rested you are, the easier it’ll be to enjoy some summer fun with friends and family!

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