Mastering Your Sleep Hygiene – Start With A Good Mattress

what-is-inadequate-sleep-hygieneI had a conversation the other day about camping and the comfort of the great outdoors; tent, no tent or Winnebago. It was a random out of the blue question and I thought about it. It went from there in my head to all the places I had slept and got me to thinking about the fact that as an owner of a sleep company, I needed to do some self reflecting. The sort of thing you want to do if you want to really talk about a subject. How can you speak to a topic of bedding if you don’t sit back and say, “What do I really know about the subject?”

And after considerable deliberation and an overall review of my collective memory I decided it was quite a bit! I have had a stellar career of finding comfort (or not) in many beds because I travelled extensively for years through work, vacations and I just plain moved a lot! I can honestly say I have lost count. I know I’ve lived in excess of well over 10 different houses, several apartments, couple condos, two or three basement bedrooms, 5 dorm rooms, countless couches, concrete floors and hundreds of hotels. Some may not have been for very long but hey, I am a light sleeper! I took copious mental notes carefully stored in the event I needed to write a future article. Here is my chance.

I am such a light sleeper that I can hear a fly scratching his hind legs in the kitchen and that’s got to be some kind of record. But while I wait to hear back from The Guinness Book of World Records, I don’t relish it in the least bit because I need my rest. We all do and we seem to make such light of the fact and brag about doing all niters for crazy reasons that impart a general lethargic lifestyle that is counter productive and doesn’t do well for our daily active performances. I am not talking stage acting, dancing or singing. I am talking about parenting, working, eating healthy and others – or more importantly will I live through today without the burning desire to blast a hole in my budget on Starbuck’s with a caffeine load meant for Raja the elephant.

When I started in the sleep business I kept hearing about “sleep hygiene”. I thought, hmmm, brush your teeth, wash your face,…you know, hygiene stuff! Fast forward to the first conversation with my coordinator Theresa and a whole new world of hygiene opened up before me. She quickly educated me on the simple but completely neglected topic of “Sleep Hygiene”. And as you step back and think about it, sleep hygiene makes perfect sense and I was breaking every rule and I needed an intervention. As I learned more and more I found that for the most part we all needed an intervention with our “sleep hygiene”. A quick little survey of friends and I found we were all “sleep criminals”. We routinely hold our circadian rhythm hostage to poor mattresses, unfit pillows, terrible temperature variations, nighttime eating and cable TV. Not good says the sleep doctor, and that would be a universal across the board response from the entire lot of those boys of sleep!

There is no shortage of great products like the new technically superior mattresses in contrast to the stuffed sausages of my youth that were set upon an array of a bent metal canopy. My sleep company has used several different mattresses and it’s a matter of taste and needs when working with patients. We are solely collecting data and while that is a short limit time, say one or two nights, we do make it comfortable during the testing procedures.

Typically people pay so little attention to the one area where we all spend the bulk of our life in one spot, sleeping. It’s time to do a little shopping and clean your self up and wonder have I created the best spot for me to lay my weary head and get my “Circadian Rhythm” back! You’ve seen all the commercials and their virtues but it’s simply a matter of trying them out and working on a budget. So while they may look like a good pair of jeans,…you need to try them on! Mattresses are no different and I highly suggest you go bounce around on as many as possible to find the one best for you, just make sure you have your clothes on,…jail cells have horrible mattresses so I have been told.