4 New Ways to Make Sleep a Priority

November 30, 2023 · Morgan Jackson

4 New Ways to Reap the Benefits of Better Sleep

Sleep boosts your immunity. It helps regulate your digestive system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and central nervous system — that’s your entire brain.

Sleep is arguably as important for your body as any other process. Get enough sleep and your body has all the energy it needs for a productive day. Get less than the minimum seven recommended hours of sleep per night, and many adults are left with health issues like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression.

As the only species on earth that willingly deprives itself of sleep, humans are well-versed in sleep-related excuses. Whether you’re finishing a movie or spending a late night with friends, sleep can sometimes take a backseat to other priorities. However important these priorities might seem, they can leave your body ill-equipped to handle the next day on the horizon.

If you’re looking for ways to take your sleep more seriously, here are four new strategies to help.

1. Start a Sleep Journal.

One of the first ways you can prioritize your sleep is to better understand it. Sleep journaling helps provide a better perspective on the conditions surrounding your sleep patterns and habits. Whether you regularly achieve a full night’s sleep or you have trouble with frequent wake episodes, a sleep journal can help.

Keeping a sleep journal is one of the simplest ways to improve sleep hygiene. Record details like the time you wake up, the approximate time you feel asleep, and the amount of time it took you to fall asleep. It’s also important to record any details on sleep disturbances, from snoring to frequent wake episodes.

Your sleep journal is also the perfect place to record more subjective details about sleep, like how well-rested you feel each morning. You can also use your journal to document any life events, diet changes, or stressful situations that you feel are contributing to your nightly sleep quality and longevity.

Together, the observations you track in your sleep journal can serve as a roadmap for improvement. They help you understand, and track, factors that affect your entire sleep profile. For example, the contents of your sleep journal can help you recognize patterns between your sleep patterns and device usage before bed. Your sleep journal is also extremely useful in consultations with a clinician, who might ask you questions about your recent sleep patterns that a sleep journal can help you answer.

2. Unwind to a Bedtime Playlist.

The jury’s still out on whether music can actually help you fall asleep. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that music has various positive effects on mental health, helping to relieve stress and relax your body. This makes a soothing bedtime playlist the perfect companion to any bedtime routine, particularly after a long day.

Soothing music can work wonders for your mind in the minutes before you fall asleep. Prioritize types of music that help your body relax, perhaps songs with soft instrumental tones. You might also consider using a sound machine with natural noises like a rainforest, ocean waves, or thunderstorm.

It’s important to choose the right form of music to help you sleep. While you might prefer songs with upbeat melodies or harsh instruments during the day, those same songs won’t help you fall asleep. Instead, choose songs with calming melodies. If the songs have lyrics, make sure they are conducive to positive sleep hygiene.

For best results, integrate your bedtime playlist into a larger bedtime unwind process. Close the blinds, dim the lights, and create a comfortable environment that puts your body and mind in the right place. If you’re a creature of habit, complete a sleep hygiene checklist that outlines the most important pre-sleep steps to follow.

3. Use Sleep-Inducing Teas.

If you need a little bit of help preparing your body for sleep, tea is often the perfect solution. Many sleep-inducing teas are made from natural elements that prepare you for sleep without introducing any harsh chemicals into your body. Sleep-inducing teas are proven to help reduce fatigue and serve as a healthy alternative if you’re trying to kick a pre-sleep caffeine habit. 

Sleep-inducing tea is also a great way to enjoy a familiar fruit or herbal flavor before drifting off to sleep for the evening. Different teas offer different taste profiles. Some, like lavender or passionflower, offer slightly sweet notes. Others, like chamomile or valerian root, might offer more of an herbal flavor base. With so many sleep-inducing teas to choose from, there’s bound to be an option that matches your flavor preferences.

Like sleep journaling and a calming bedtime playlist, sleep-inducing tea has a role within your overall bedtime routine. Set aside time to enjoy your tea during that routine, preferably before you brush and floss your teeth. Many people choose to enjoy their “sleepy tea” in a specific place, perhaps at the table or a bedside chair. This regularity helps your body recognize the beginning of your bedtime routine and naturally transition into the second half of your wake-sleep cycle.

4. Invest in a High-Quality Mattress.

Your mattress is a major determining factor in sleep quality. A great mattress can make all the difference in how you feel when you wake up. It provides appropriate levels of support for your limbs, back, neck, and head — leaving you refreshed and ready for the day.

Look for a mattress that specifically accommodates your health needs. If you need extra back support, find a firm mattress that keeps your spine aligned and helps you easily take in oxygen while asleep. If you’re a side sleeper or you’re looking for a mattress that alleviates pressure, consider a high-quality plush mattress.

Unlike other sleep-related aides like a CPAP machine, white noise, and herbal supplements — which can objectively support better sleep no matter your condition — mattresses are as personalized a sleep product as they come. What works for you won’t always work for someone else, given your body's unique size, shape, and sleep needs.

That’s why Mattress Warehouse created our patented bedMATCH sleep diagnostic system: to make sure you end up with a mattress that supports you. The process helps pair you with mattresses best suited for your height, weight, and body type. Create your profile, complete our bedMATCH analysis, receive your mattress recommendations, and choose your mattress in under 10 minutes.

Take the bedMATCH quiz to make sleep a priority in your home today.