Regardless of age, sleep is vital for our overall health and wellness. As a PE or health teacher, you not only want to practice good sleep habits so you feel your best every day, but also so you continue to inspire your students to take charge of their overall health now and long into the future. If you’re having issues with your sleep, try these basic sleep-boosting steps:
Manage Your Sleep Routine By…
Buying the Right Mattress
Do you wake up exhausted in the mornings? Does sunrise seem to bring aches and pains? Your mattress could be to blame for both. Sleeping on an old, worn-out mattress does no favors for your sleep quality, and over time this can contribute to more aches and pains. Before you start shopping, it helps to figure out your preferred sleeping position (back, stomach, side, combo), which has a lot to do with the type of mattress you should choose. Regardless of cost or sleep style, it’s critical to find the best bed to enhance your sleep and keep you well-rested.
Focusing on your Teeth
Believe it or not, your teeth may be at the root of poor sleep quality. If you suffer from TMJ or bruxism (also known as teeth grinding), your sleep may be interrupted by sleep apnea. What’s more, both TMJ and bruxism can be exacerbated by an issue many adults face: misaligned teeth. If you have tooth misalignment that you believe may be the cause of poor sleep, you have the option to correct the issue at home with an aligner. There are many alignment options available to treat minor misalignment, which means you’ll want to take the time to research the pros and cons of each. It’s best to do a side-by-side comparison to ensure you make the right choice. And if you have severe misalignment or other dental issues outside of minor tooth misalignment, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist.
Sticking to Soothing Room Colors
Is your bedroom currently painted in shades of red or orange? If so, you could be unknowingly causing yourself added stress. The emotional impacts of color have been seen in multiple studies, and bright colors like orange or red are typically linked with feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. While these emotions may be helpful during the day, they are not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Soothing, sleep-friendly colors, like blue, purple, or green, could be a better choice for your bedroom walls, especially if you are currently having a hard time relaxing and falling asleep at night. You can add bolder colors with smaller accents and decor.
Keeping Electronics Out of Bedrooms
If you’re scrolling through Instagram or bingeing TV shows in bed at night, you could be unknowingly keeping your brain awake. The blue light emitted from these electronic devices has a way of disrupting the processes in your brain that are responsible for helping you fall and stay asleep at night. So, whenever possible, consider removing televisions, laptops, and other sleep-hindering technology from your bedroom completely to improve your sleep habits.
Boost Your Sleep with Technology By…
Responsibly Using Your Smartphone
Okay, so you definitely shouldn’t stare at your phone right before bed, but if you pick up one of the latest smartphones, like the latest iPhone, you can actually use your new tech to help you get better sleep at night. That may sound counterintuitive, but iPhones have enhanced features to keep them from crashing or dying in the middle of the night, including the ability to charge wirelessly. Android phones also come equipped with useful features like long battery life. So, how can these features improve your sleep? Well, you can use your phone to run apps like Sleep Cycle or Sleep Time to track your sleep patterns throughout the night, so you can find practical ways to resolve your sleep issues.
Taking Advantage of Stress-Relieving Apps
Managing stress is crucial for feeling your best throughout the day, but it’s also essential for quality sleep. So if you are going to invest in a brand new smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone or a newer Android, you should also look for apps to help you manage your stress and sleep at the same time. For example, you can use Headspace to create a relaxing meditation routine and to play sleep sounds that can lull you to sleep at night. Calm is another option for boosting your self-care and sleep routines, and you can even use this app to listen to soothing bedtime stories read by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey for a more relaxing way to fall asleep at night.
You can’t thrive without adequate rest. The good news is that making small changes to your sleep environment or even through tech use can help naturally improve your sleep. As a bonus, you can pass these strategies onto your students to help them establish healthy sleep habits that will last a lifetime.
Gabriel Patel enjoys writing about health and wellness. He co-founded Health Well Wise with a group of friends who share the desire to help people live happy, healthy lives.