Expert tips for healthy sleep
By Karen Spence
You might think—after a long day—that you’d be entitled to a good night’s sleep. You might be wrong. Maybe the kids are restless. Maybe it’s hard to get comfy. Maybe the kids jump up when the first bird chirps—just as you’re finally nodding off! Sleep deprivation is a nasty business, year round. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 60 percent of moms report waking up feeling unrefreshed several days each week. Lack of sleep affects your mood and impacts your ability to drive safely and work effectively. Now, here’s the good news: from science to scents, from fitness to food, we’ve got expert tips on how to get a healthy sleep.
Choose The Perfect Pillow
Eileen McGill, sleep concierge at the Benjamin Hotel in New York, helps weary guests get a refreshing rest by helping them choose from the hotel’s 10-item pillow menu. She says that a good down pillow works for most people—or one made from a hypoallergenic spun fiber or memory foam. Where you position the pillow is important, too. She explains that if you sleep on your back, you need support under your neck—the pillow or neck roll should fill the space between the bed and your neck. If you sleep on your side, try a five-foot body pillow—it gives your skeleton something to lean against, and it takes pressure off of your hips.
Heat does make it harder to sleep, so any way you can manage it, bring your temperature down! Dr. Joyce Walsleben, a sleep expert at New York University Sleep Disorders Center and associate professor of research at New York University School of Medicine, suggests that moms take a cool shower or bath before going to bed, keep the lights low to reduce heat and dress down. If air conditioning isn’t an option, put a wet cloth over the front of a fan and let the air blow through—it humidifies and cools.