Tuesday, October 25, 2011

16 Questions About Sleep - Part 2 by Kermit Bauer

This is part two of a two-part article series. It contains answers to frequently asked questions regarding sleep related illnesses, the importance of sleep, and getting better sleep.

I've read in different places that the mattress I'm using can affect how I sleep, is this true?

Yes. Your mattress has the potential either to encourage sleep or rob you of sleep. How refreshed you feel in the morning can partially be determined by whether your mattress is a sleep friend or sleep foe. If you're tossing and turning more at night or if you're waking up feeling stiff or sore after a restful night's sleep, it could be a sign that your mattress is no longer comfortable. Don't let it keep you from sleeping well. Your body appreciates a comfortable, supportive mattress and will let you know if it's not up to the task.

I am getting married in a few weeks and would like to get a new bed. What size should I get?

Couples should sleep in a queen or king-size mattress for free, easy movement. Make sure to take your fiancĐše with you when you shop for a mattress. It's important that you find one that meets both your support needs and comfort preferences.

I think I might have a health problem related to sleeping. Nothing I do to sleep better seems to work. What should I do?

If you've tried the common sense tips from the Better Sleep Guide, and you know you're sleeping in a restful bedroom environment including a comfortable and supportive mattress, you should see your doctor. You may have a medical condition that interferes with getting a restful night's sleep.

I've read that napping can be bad for you. Is this true?

There's nothing wrong with taking a short nap to help refresh you during the day. But if you find you're napping all the time, it could be a sign that you aren't getting as much sleep as you should. Or that you're not getting the deep, restful sleep you need at night.

Why is sleep important?

A key part to any healthy lifestyle is sleep. Like eating right and exercising, sleeping well is essential to feeling your best during the day. It affects how you feel, your relationships, your productivity and your quality of life. While sleeping, your brain is working, re-energizing the body and consolidating the day's learning into memory.

I find myself falling asleep on the sofa watching television, but I can't seem to fall asleep in bed. What do you think is the problem?

If you regularly fall asleep on your sofa, you may not be getting as much sleep as you need at night in your bed. Or maybe your sofa is more comfortable than your bed! In either case, you should make sure to practice good sleep habits - from sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress to not drinking alcohol too close to bedtime. And try to get more sleep - it may change how you feel during the day. Check out the Better Sleep Guide for tips on how to get a better night's sleep.

I love being able to sleep in on weekends. Does this mean I have a sleeping problem or I am lazy?

Not at all. Most of us sleep more on the weekends than during the week. This simply indicates that most of us have a "sleep debt.Sleep debt accumulates when the body doesn't get enough sleep. The only way to reduce the debt is to sleep more, as much as your body needs every night. Make sure you're getting the right quality of sleep as well. Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room on a comfortable, supportive mattress to get your best night's sleep. You'll thank yourself every morning - not just on the weekends!

We have a new baby who cries throughout the night all the time. Neither my husband nor I can sleep now. What can new parents do to sleep better?

Few things are more difficult than taking care of a new baby. The good news is, as babies grow older, they sleep for far longer periods at a time and soon will sleep through the night. In the meantime, know that erratic sleep schedules and getting up in the middle of the night will be part of your lives for the next few months. So make the most of the sleep you can get - provide yourself and your husband with a restful sleep environment. Sleep in a cool, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress. That way, you'll get the best sleep you can, even if it's for shorter periods of time. And learn to sleep when your baby does. It may be tempting to tackle chores while your baby sleeps, but a quick nap will help boost your energy. Sleep is as important to you as it is to your child.