According to a new survey of approximately 2,000 people conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), 51% of Americans say stress disturbs their sleep. What’s keeping America up? Worries over job, family, and children. Unfortunately, sleeplessness has other casualties. According to the BSC survey, 45% of Americans say they toss and turn throughout the night because of their partner’s sleeplessness over stress. The survey also said that 36% of Americans lose sleep because of stress more than once a week.

Caffeine and stimulants prevents restful sleep, and so does alcohol. Smokers take longer to fall asleep and wake up more during the night, so there’s yet another reason to quit that expensive, stinky, and deadly habit. Exercise promotes better sleep, too. You can also do some practical things to encourage a good night’s sleep such as not having a TV in your bedroom, not watching disturbing images or news before bed, making sure your mattress is firm, supportive, and comfortable, and establishing a night-time routine to signal to the body “it’s time to sleep”. Taking a few hours to wind down before bed will also help.

Preparing Your Bedroom For A Good Night's Sleep

From your choice of mattress to aromatherapy, there are plenty of ways that you can prepare your bedroom for a restful night's sleep.

The Right Mattress An uncomfortable mattress or pillow can lead to back pain and a bad night's sleep. Mattresses and pillows should be replaced once the support in them has gone. Shortly after we were married, my husband and I bought a new firm mattress with a pillow-top on both sides. The result? We slept better, awakened refreshed, and eliminated back kinks and pain! I came across the Sleep Number Bed while shopping a few months ago, and took the time to try a few out. I haven't actually slept on one, but they feel heavenly! You may want to check out a Sleep Number Bed when you're out shopping if you're in the market for a new mattress.

Reclaim Your Bed If you're using your bed for watching TV and movies, doing homework/work, or reading, this may cause you to associate your bed with things other than sleep. This can result in difficulty "switching off" psychologically. Reclaim your bed by watching TV in another room, and doing work in an easy chair or dining room table, for example.

Keep It Dark Our body's circadian rhythms are set (and re-set) by light. If light is disturbing your sleep, invest in heavy curtains, room-darkening blinds (preferably in a dark color), or an eye mask.

Keep It Quiet Outside noises can be dampened by heavy curtains or blinds. Also, you can block distracting background noises by wearing ear plugs or playing soothing, low-volume music. White noise is also great, and you can actually purchase white noise generators. What I do is run my heater on "fan" mode to generate white noise, which blocks out the barking of neighborhood dogs or traffic.

Soothing Sounds Soothing music can help set the stage for a good night sleep. Try instrumental compilations with pipes and flutes or harps, as well as symphonies and other forms of classical music. You can also purchase CD's featuring nature sounds such as water falls, rain, whales and dolphins, and thunderstorms.

Fresh, Cool Air A stuffy room with stagnant air is not conducive to a good night sleep. Open a window, run a fan, or switch on an air conditioner. Both the circulation of air and the lowering of body temperature enhance sleep. Also, invest in an Ionic-Ozone Air Purifier to clean up the atmosphere in your bedroom.

Use A Dream Pillow A dream pillow is a small sachet filled with aromatic herbs. When squeezed, the dream pillow emits the fragrances of the herbs within to help you drift into restful sleep. Lavender is especially conducive to relaxation and a good night's sleep.

Use A Dream Catcher Dream catchers are a Native American tradition based on the belief that dreams are filled with meaning and purpose. The design of a dream catcher is a hoop with crystals, feathers, and beads attached, join to a web-like net with a hole in the center. Native American lore says that dream catchers protects you from harm while you rest, catching good dreams as they pass by and getting rid of any bad dreams as they drop through the hole in the middle. You can hang a dream catcher above your bed, or on the wall behind your pillow.

Use Feng Shui There are several theories about bed position according to Feng Shui: Do not place your bed under an exposed beam. Sleeping under a beam causes ill health, bad luck and relationship problems (e.g. back-stabbing and jealousy). Do not place your bed under a window. If your bed is placed immediately under a window, then support is sorely lacking. The rush of chi from the window also causes restless sleep. Lastly, do not place your bed with the head or foot pointed at a door. This is known as the "coffin position," and it drains away all your good luck and energy.

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Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This content was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.

Stress Relief - Sleep and Bedroom Preparation