Sweet Dreams: A Guide To Great Sleep in the Big City

January 18th, 2018

New York City is a wonderful, exciting, amazing place, but one thing it is decidedly not is peaceful. Catching a few Z’s in the big city--and even the modern world in general--can be a bit of a challenge. It a world of deadlines, bright lights, smartphones, and general clamour it can be hard to clear your mind and relax. Sleep affects just about everything in your life. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to feel worse, perform worse, and overall live a crummier life. Nobody wants that! We’re here to help with a handy guide to getting the best sleep possible. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be snoozing in no time. Nap Smarter: For many of us, naps are a great way to catch a few extra Z’s during the day. They’re not bad for you either. Research has shown that a short nap is a great way to perk yourself up. However, there are some restrictions you should follow. Be sure not to sleep more than twenty minutes, as anything longer will leave you feeling groggy. You should also be sure to avoid taking them later in the day, as this can mess with your sleep cycle when you do decide to go to bed. Curb Your Caffeine: A wonderful mug of coffee is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning, but you should be careful with your coffee consumption. It should go without saying that something that’s meant to wake you up will also interfere with your sleep. It’s a double-edged sword. Avoid drinking caffeine later in the day and you’ll be golden. Use Your Bed as a Bed: Many of us (particularly those living in studio apartments) use our bed for more than just sleep. We surf the web, read, work, and even watch TV from the comfort of our bed. On the surface it makes sense: your bed is comfy, so why not use it for comfy relaxation? Bad idea. By training your mind to associate your bed exclusively with sleep, it will subconsciously shift into sleep mode whenever you’re in there. It’s a simple trick that can make getting to sleep that much easier. Keep to a Tight Sleep Schedule: We all have an internal clock inside us. Your habits teach your body when it’s time to eat, time to sleep and time to use the restroom. That’s why you should try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible. You should be going to bed and waking up at the same time every day--even on weekends. Anything else will throw your body-clock off and reduce the restfulness of your sleep. Exercise with Intelligence: A solid exercise routine is key to a healthy life. A regular workout schedule has been shown to improve overall quality of life, especially sleep! That said make sure you’re not working out right before bed. Those awesome exercise endorphins are unfortunately prone to keeping you awake. Ideally, you should cease all vigorous exercise 3 hours before bed. Manage Noise: It’s a fact of life that cities are noisy places. Traffic noise, loud neighbors, fussy children, and even something as small as a dripping faucet can all hinder your ability to sleep your best. On the flipside of that, sometimes your apartment will be too quiet! Many people complain that a lack of noise is just as much of a problem as too much. We’ve all got a bit of Goldilocks within us. That said, it’s actually fairly simple to mitigate most sound, or lack thereof. We recommend listening to white noise to filter out obtrusive noise and fill empty spaces. Crashing waves, blowing wind, and falling rain are not only only soothing, but can help trigger your brain to shift into sleep mode. These days, there are plenty of free apps and websites that can create just about any soothing and sleep inducing noises. Banish Blue Light: More and more, research is showing that we pay a considerable price when using our smartphones. The light that is emitted by your phone’s screen is known as blue light, and it actually tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime. You see, back in the old days, people would naturally start to feel sleepy when the sun went down. City life is full of artificial light, and now that we spend much of our time staring at bright screens the problem has worsened. Quite simply, our brains are getting confused. Your brain stops releasing the proper amount a melatonin (an important hormone for sleeping) when it encounters blue light. The solution to this is simple, you need to avoid blue light as much as possible before bed. If you’re the kind of person who reads or watches videos on your phone before bed, you’re doing your sleep a great disservice. If possible, avoid looking at your phone screen up to two hours before bed. If that’s too difficult you can take other steps to diminish the presence of blue light in your life. Many free apps add a filter to your phone screen to prevent it from emitting blue light after certain hours. You can even purchase eyeglasses that block blue light. Reading on a Kindle or similar e-ink device is a great way to enjoy content without exposing yourself to blue light. Scour your bedroom and seek out any stray sources of blue light. Your computer and your internet modem are sneaky sources of blinky blue light that can chip away at your sleep quality. Remove them from your sleeping area or use a bit of electrical tape to cover the LED sources. A truly dark room is a must for amazing sleep. Talk to Your Doctor: All of the advice contained in this blog post is helpful, but you really can’t beat a doctor’s advice. If you’ve tried all of our tricks and still can’t get a decent night’s sleep, it’s time for you to talk to a doctor. Their medical expertise and long years of training will help them guide you to the sleep solution that’s right for you. Sweet dreams!