Renew your estranged relationship with sleep–you will be more productive, more effective, more creative, and more likely to enjoy your life.
– Arianna Huffington
Here’s something to lose sleep over:
Sleep disorders, sleep deprivation and plain old sleepiness contribute over $15.9 billion to the national health care bill, and Americans spend nearly $41 billion annually on sleep aids and remedies. Add that to the estimated $411 billion a year in lost worker productivity in the U.S. and the $31 billion a year in insomnia-related accidents and it’s clear we’re spending a lot of $$$$ on our lack of ZZZZ’s.
When you add all that to this little fact — women who are menopausal can have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep — it adds up to one thing: we all need to figure out how to get a better night’s sleep. Here are a few tips taken directly from my new book, Love Your Age: The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life:
- Instead of making your bedroom ‘command central’ . . . Reserve the master suite for S&S — sleep and sex. If your bedroom serves as an office, TV room, and social media hub, you’ll have a hard time settling your brain down at night.
- Instead of watching TV all evening . . . Turn off the tube at least 90 minutes before bed. Exciting entertainment, especially action-packed or violent imagery, can wind you up and keep you from falling asleep.
- Instead of cranking the heat to get cozy . . . Keep it cool. Keeping the temperature between 60 and 67 degrees causes our body temperatures to drop as well, which helps us transition to sleep more quickly and stay asleep. This is especially important if you’re going through menopause.
- Instead of taking your stress to bed . . . Meditate before you lie down. A few minutes of deep breathing and meditation help settle the brain’s arousal system and release sleep-disrupting stress, getting you ready for a good night’s sleep.
- Instead of sleeping on the same old pillows, mattress and sheets . . . Consider outfitting your bed with the newest high-tech products and fabrics to stay cool, comfortable, and to definitely help you sleep better. Not sure where to start? Read on . . .
As a runner and marathoner, sleep is essential to my health and wellbeing. Without a good night’s sleep, I couldn’t imagine running a full marathon or, as I did recently, a 60k ultra marathon, and working, caring for my family and being involved with life as I am. But, I was quite surprised to find myself talking to the CEO and founder of Bedgear–a company that has harnessed the power of the latest technologies that can be applied to fabrics to create products that wick moisture, allow air to flow, conform to your body, and so much more to help you get a good night’s sleep–at the NYC Marathon Expo. In fact, the company was one of the lead sponsors of the 2017 NYC Marathon because they believe that the more active you are, the more your body needs the cooling comfort of their products to help you sleep more soundly through the night.
Intrigued, I spent time talking with former quarterback and CEO of Bedgear, Eugene Alletto, at the Expo, who told me that he entered the ‘sleep solutions category’ after his son had trouble sleeping due to bedding-related allergies. He experimented with different fabrics and technologies until he hit upon the best formula, and created a full line of mattresses, pillows, sheets, protectors and blankets.
Being the ‘Queen of Empiricism’, as my husband likes to call me, I wanted try it all out for myself. At the Bedgear area at the Expo, I was able to try out several mattresses, place my head on a few pillows, and feel the silkiness of the sheets. But the real test came when, after a series of questions about my sleeping positions, the knowledgeable staff was able to determine which pillow was right for me, and I took one home. In the past, I alway used two pillows to prop up my head while I slept. But the recommendation from the Bedgear experts was to swap out two wrong pillows . . . for one right one — the ‘dawn 1.0’. Bliss. That’s me hugging my new best friend at the Expo. I’ve also trained myself to sleep on my back by using my new pillow, which is the optimal way to sleep.
I was so happy with the pillow, that I ordered one for my incredibly fussy husband. He’s prone to neck pain, so after consulting with the Bedgear team by email, I chose the ‘Lightening 2.0’, which is specifically geared to larger body types and works like a a sleep charm. He’s less elevated, more comfortable, and definitely sleeps better.
The next step was to invest in some sheets that would bring our body temperatures down to help us both sleep more soundly. My husband and I get so overheated during the night that we sleep with the air conditioner on . . . all year long (bonus: instant white noise). The Bedgear’s sheets I chose are made with Ver-Tex technology to help regulate the body and dissipate excess heat build up. They’re smooth, silky, and always feel cool to the touch. I find that my sleep is deeper, and I wake up less frequently, because I never get overheated. My husband, who usually doesn’t pay attention to these details, got into bed the first night we had the sheets and simply said, “Wow.”
Speaking of being overheated: last night while I was resting comfortably in my lovely, cool bed, reading the latest thriller by Dan Brown, I thought about all the women I know who are going through menopause and experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. They need to know about Bedgear. Yes, Bedgear’s marketing position is that it’s performance-driven and was created with active people in mind. But these amazing products also address a very important problem for most women: body temperatures spiking during the night, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
Click here to find out more about Bedgear, its line of sleep-solution products, and how to find the right pillow, mattress, blankets and sheets for you.
Until then . . . sweet dreams.