Quit snoring with these tricks

10 Tricks to Quit Snoring

Do you snore? Maybe you don’t, but someone you love (and sleep next to!) does. Either way, snoring can drive you crazy. It can wake you up in the middle of the night and keep you up for hours. This leaves you sleep-deprived and unable to function well when it comes to higher level processing and creativity.

If you or someone you love snores, make sure you get checked out by a doctor. After all, snoring can be a sign of a serious sleep condition, like sleep apnea. If everything checks out fine, try some of the tricks below to reduce or eliminate snoring.

Avoid Sleeping on Your Back

When you sleep on your back, your throat muscles can collapse. This causes the base of your tongue and even some chin tissue to fall into the open space created by the collapse. All of this tissue gets in way of the air passing through your throat, which can cause loud snoring. While your body still relaxes when you sleep in a different position, the relaxed tissue is less likely to block your airway.

If you always end up on your back, try sleeping on your side with a pillow behind you so it’s harder to roll over. You can also put a tennis ball under your sheet on that side. This will make rolling onto your back uncomfortable.

Open Your Nasal Passages

Clogged nasal passages can also cause snoring. Your stuffy nose can create a vacuum in your throat and you will make a lot of noise when you breathe. The best way to counteract this problem is to keep your nasal passages open.

If you struggle with this, try taking a warm shower right before you go to bed. If you’re really brave, turn on the hot water for a while, then make it as cold as you can stand for a few minutes before turning it back to hot again. This helps thin your mucus and constrict the blood vessels that can make your nose inflamed.

You can also try diffusing some essential oils in your room. Eucalyptus and peppermint are great for keeping your nasal passages open. Nasal strips can also hold your nose open from the outside, and nasal dilators will work from the inside. Try these solutions until you find what works for you.

Treat Your Allergies

Allergies commonly cause blocked nasal passages. If you can’t find a solution that works for you, there’s a good chance you’re allergic to something. Many people with underlying or low-level allergies don’t even notice that their nose is blocked until they try to fall asleep. They may find that one side is blocked more often than the other, too. Treating these can help keep those nasal passages open.

In addition, chronic untreated allergies can cause sinusitis, which leads to even more nasal blockage. Cut your allergies off at the pass before it gets this far by treating those allergies early.

Get a New Pillow

 

 

The right pillow will support your head and neck to keep your spine in neutral alignment all night long. Even if you can only sleep on your back, the right pillow will help support the muscles in your neck so they don’t collapse and cause snoring. On the other hand, the right pillow may allow you to sleep on your side instead of on your back, so you won’t have to worry as much about snoring.

Raise Your Head

Another solution for those folks who can only sleep on their backs, or for those whose nasal passages are stubbornly clogged, is to raise the head of your bed. This is easiest if you have an automatic bed that will do it for you. However, you can find pillows designed to raise the head in any bed. You only need to go up about 4 inches to reduce your snoring, so you shouldn’t notice much of a change in comfort levels at night.

Wear a Mouthpiece

There are several different kinds of mouthpieces you can wear, depending on why you snore, how badly you snore, and what your doctor and dentist think might work best for you. These work to keep your mouth closed, your airways open, and your tongue from falling down your throat.

They can take some getting used to, but the improved sleep quality is worth it. See your doctor or dentist to talk about getting one of these made. The process can take up to a few weeks and might be expensive, so be prepared before you go in.

Lose Weight

If your snoring has gotten worse as you’ve gained weight, chances are that losing some pounds would help the snoring problem, too. Overweight people have more fatty tissue around the neck, which can cause snoring or make it worse. They can also have more trouble breathing, so they end up breathing with their mouths open, which can also lead to snoring.

Being overweight also puts you at a greater risk for sleep apnea, which usually involves some snoring. If you’re not sure how to lose weight, talk to your doctor to get started.

Drink More Water

When you’re dehydrated, even just a little bit, your airways will be more likely to get sticky. This can cause mucus to build up inside of them, which can lead to snoring. Drink more water, and your airways will be healthier all the way around, not just at night.

Rather than drinking a ton of water right before bed, which can keep you running to the bathroom all night, work to drink throughout the day. This will keep you hydrated all the time, not just when you’re trying to sleep.

Drink Less Alcohol Before Bed

 

 

If you drink regularly within a couple of hours before bedtime, try to figure out if your snoring is worse on the nights you drink. Your significant other should be able to help you here! If drinking alcohol makes your snoring worse, try to stop drinking before bed, or give yourself 3-4 hours between drinking and sleeping.

Alcohol can make snoring worse because it relaxes the muscles in the body, including the ones in your throat. This makes it more likely that your tongue will slip backward and cause the throat snoring.

Stop Smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs, but for all of your airways. It irritates them, making them more likely to inflame. On top of that, it dries them out so that reducing inflammation is more difficult. Both of these things can lead to a buildup of mucus in the airways, and this can cause snoring or make it worse.

It can be difficult to stop smoking on your own. If you need some help or you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor. They should be able to devise a solution that will work for you.

You don’t have to live with snoring, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. If the tips and tricks here don’t help, talk to your doctor about finding a solution. Snoring is almost always preventable, and your sleep is important enough to take the time to find a solution that works for you.


Best Environment for Sleep

How to Create the Best Environment for Sleep

Sleep is important to you. You know that it makes you function better and that you feel so much better when you sleep well. But sometimes it still eludes you. Maybe you can’t fall asleep, or you wake up and stare at the ceiling for a while every night. While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee that you will sleep better, there are things you can do to make your environment more conducive to sleep. Interested? Here are some suggestions.

Mattress and Bedding

The mattress, pillows, and more that you sleep on can go far toward promoting better rest. They may seem unimportant, but they are actually the first place you should go to make changes when you’re trying to sleep better.

First of all, make sure that your spine is in neutral alignment. This means that it isn’t twisted, turned, or torqued in any awkward direction while you’re asleep. You may need to have a friend or partner take some photos of you on your mattress to determine whether it’s working for you. Choose a mattress based on your sleeping position, because back, side, and stomach sleepers all have different needs when it comes to their spines.

Similarly, you’ll want a pillow that keeps your neck in neutral alignment. It should also feel comfortable to you, so you want to lie down and rest on it. You may have to try several pillows before you find the one that works best for you. Many manufacturers give you a trial period so you can make sure that a pillow works for you.

Your bedding can be whatever you want it to be, but it should feel comfortable and promote cooling at night. Many people prefer cotton, though some like knit or flannel sheets better. You’ll want blankets that keep you warm but don’t make you hot. Some people prefer several layers, so they can make changes as the temperature changes overnight.

Feng Shui/Decor

Feng shui is a designing philosophy that comes from ancient China. It prioritizes the way energy flows through a room, arranging furniture and more for the best possible flow. While it hasn’t been proven to help, many people find that designing according to its principles creates relaxing spaces.

Start by removing clutter from your bedroom. Devise storage solutions that keep your clutter out of sight. You can often put it under the bed or inside your closet, rather than somewhere where you have to see it all the time.

Think, too, about symmetry. Try to align things on a center line, and try to have two nightstands, two lamps, two dressers, etc. All of this can create a sense of balance in the room that feels peaceful to many people.

Lighting

 

 

Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to sleep. Light regulates our circadian rhythms, which tell our bodies when to wake up and when to go to sleep. Thus, you will sleep better in a room that is completely dark.

If your bedroom has a lot of natural light, try to regulate it with blackout curtains. These don’t have to be big, ugly contraptions. Any more, they make blackout curtains that look like regular curtains and, in addition, keep out extra light.

You’ll also want to make sure that the lights in your room are soft. Some people even go as far as to install a dimmer switch, so they can turn the lights way down at night. This helps promote relaxation and keeps the brain from thinking that it needs to stay awake.

Temperature

Different people need the bedroom at different temperatures to sleep, but most people find that a temperature between 60 and 65 degrees is best. This allows the body to cool, and it also allows you to use blankets and covers, even in the summer.

Blackout curtains block heat as well as light, so they can help keep your room cooler. If you don’t have A/C or you don’t want to run it all night, fans can help keep you cooler.

Scents and Smells

Many people find that certain scents help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. These can vary slightly from person to person, though there are a few that seem to appeal to many.

Lavender essential oil is one smell that seems to promote good rest. Many find it relaxing, and it’s easy to diffuse it. You should be able to smell the scent without it being overwhelming. Chamomile and mint are other scents that people often use to help them relax and rest.

It’s also important to avoid bad smells in your bedroom. The easiest way to do this is to open your window. Unless you live in a city or a particularly smelly area, this should let any bad odors out and bring fresh air in. You can also use an air filter if you prefer to keep your window shut or you find that it lets in too much light or noise to make sleep easy.

Colors

 

 

Color is powerful when it comes to changing your mindset and managing your emotions. Brands often focus a lot of time and energy on making sure the colors on their packaging appeal to their target audience. You can do something similar by thinking carefully about the colors you use in your bedroom.

Light colors, like pastels, are the most peaceful and calming. Neutral colors have a similar effect. These colors make use feel like we are out in nature, which is definitely relaxing.

In addition, dark colors can make a room feel smaller and cozier. If you have a big room, these can help it feel more comfortable. Rather than feeling like you are sleeping in a giant cavern, you can feel like you are in a cozy cabin.

Sound

Your brain hears and processes sounds at night, even if you don’t wake up. This can mean that noises wake you up, but it also means that you can use sound to help you sleep.

Block unwanted noise by closing your windows, running a fan, or wearing earplugs. While some earplugs are safe for regular use, others are not. Make sure that you are using earplugs that fit your ears well and that don’t cause pain or discomfort during the night.

You can also use white or pink noise to help you sleep. White noise is a steady sound, kind of like that produced by a fan or a humidifier. Pink noise is often tied to natural sounds, like babbling brooks, thunderstorms, or wind through the trees. You can buy machines that play both types of noise or even run it through an app on your smartphone. It may take time trial and error to find the noise that helps you sleep the best, but your improved rest is worth it!

Now that you know what a good sleep environment is like, assess your sleeping space. Does it seem like a good place to sleep, or are there changes you can make? Most people find at least one or two things they can do to make their bedroom a better place to sleep. Start implementing these changes today and keep track of your sleep to see how much it improves.


how many pillows should you sleep with

How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With?

Do you like to sleep on a pillow stack or do you have one, flat-as-a-pancake, pillow that you’ve had forever? No matter how you like to sleep, the important thing is that your neck and body are aligned at night. Here’s all you need to know to choose a pillow that will help keep your spine in alignment and your body healthy.

Understanding Neck Alignment

When you are asleep, your postural goal should be to keep your spine in neutral alignment. This means that nothing is twisted or torqued sideways or up-and-down. It means that your spine is allowed to lay as it naturally wants to, without being pushed or pulled in any particular direction.

While your nighttime posture depends on quite a few things, like your mattress, your sleep position, and more, your neck alignment is primarily influenced by your pillow. A pillow that is good for you helps maintain that neutral position, while one that isn’t good for you will keep you out of alignment. Note that a pillow that works for you may not work for your partner or someone else.

Here’s how to tell if your pillow is doing its job.

For Side Sleepers

If you are a side sleeper, test your pillow by lying on it as if you were trying to fall asleep. First, make sure the pillow’s position is correct. The bulk of it should be in the small of your neck, with complete contact throughout the length of your neck. You should not have pillows under your shoulders or touching your back.

Next, have someone take a photo of you from the back and the front and compare it to the chart below:

 

 

You should be able to draw a straight line from your sternum, up your neck, and through the middle of your face. The line shouldn’t have bends or twists. These indicate a postural problem and that you likely need a new pillow.

For Back Sleepers

Again, lie down as if you were about to fall asleep. The basics are the same. The pillow should like mostly in the small of your neck and should make contact with your entire neck. However, you shouldn’t have pillows under your back or your shoulders. In addition, make sure that the back of your head is lying on the pillow and you don’t have it scrunched up and pressing against the top of your head.

Take a photo and compare it to the chart below:

 

 

The line you draw this time will curve, because your neck naturally curves. However, you don’t want the curve to be exaggerated or too shallow. If you’re not sure, take a photo of yourself with good posture while standing and compare it to the one you took while lying down. Your neck posture should look the same, or you may need a new pillow.

For Stomach Sleepers

Maintaining healthy neck position is very difficult if you sleep on your stomach because you usually have to twist your head sideways to breathe. Consider sleeping without a pillow or changing your sleep position to one that is healthier for your body.

How to Choose the Right Pillow

You’ll want to choose the pillow that keeps your spine in alignment. Needless to say, this may take some trial and error. Many pillow manufacturers understand this and will give you a trial period when you buy your pillow. Be sure to keep track of this, in case you need to return your pillow later.

If at all possible, take a potential new pillow home and sleep on it for several days before you make your decision. Most people know pretty quickly if a pillow is right for them. In addition to performing the tests above, many people notice neck and back pain within a night or two if a pillow won’t work for them.

Not sure where to start? Many back sleepers like memory foam, because of the way it cradles the neck and head. You could also try an adjustable pillow, where you can add or remove different kinds of filling until you find the combination that keeps your spine in alignment all night.

Do I Need More Than One Pillow?

 

 

Most people should be able to find one pillow that keeps their neck in alignment and is comfortable to sleep on. In fact, layering pillows can cause more harm than good. Sure, you may be able to layer several pillows to get the height of one good one, but these can slide or shift overnight. This can cause spinal damage and neck pain.

While it’s best to sleep with only one pillow under your head, many sleepers benefit from the use of other pillows elsewhere on the body.

  • Back sleepers often sleep better with a pillow under their knees. Ideally, this wouldn’t be necessary, but when we hunch over computers all day we often end up with excessive arching in the lower back. Raising the knees with a pillow helps reduce that arch and brings the spine back into alignment.
  • Side sleepers often like to sleep with a pillow between their knees. This helps keep the pelvis straight so that the top side isn’t torqued forward all night. Some side sleepers achieve this with a body pillow that they can also wrap their arms around, which can help with shoulder alignment, too.
  • Pregnant women can benefit from a body pillow or several different pillows to arrange as they will. This can help them deal with the various aches and pains that can pop up as the human body grows another human. As pregnancy progresses, many women find that a pillow under the belly offers needed support for the lower back.

You may have to experiment to find the pillow arrangement that works best for you and keeps your neck aligned. Take your time, and you should be able to find a pillow or pillows that will help you sleep well for a long time.


If you are in the market for a pillow, take a look at our in-depth pillow buying guides and reviews.


Sleep Trackers

Sleep Trackers – What to Know Before You Buy

Sleep trackers have been getting more and more popular over the last several years. At this point, there are sleep tracking apps, wristbands, mattress pads, and even rings. However, a lot of people take their sleep tracker’s data with a grain of salt. After all, how accurate can something be if it’s not measuring your brain waves to know when you’re actually asleep and awake.

Are you wondering if there’s any benefit to tracking your sleep? Here’s everything you need to know so you can make an informed decision.

Why Should You Track Your Sleep?

People track their sleep for all sorts of different reasons. Those with sleep disorders often use the data to get an objective point of view on how they are sleeping, so they don’t have to go with their own feelings and perceptions alone. Sometimes, they feel like they are sleeping better or worse than they actually are, and a sleep tracker can give more objective data.

Other people do it for just that: the data. Some people like to assign numbers to everything, so they enjoy knowing how much sleep they got, how much of it was deep sleep or REM sleep, etc. They may or may not find it actually helpful, but they enjoy looking at the information.

Finally, some people use sleep trackers to keep them accountable for getting enough rest. If you’re someone who likes to say up late or who ends up prioritizing other things over your sleep, then a sleep tracker can help keep you on track. It will give you useful data about how much you sleep, so you can make sure that you’re getting enough sleep and not making excuses for your lack of rest.

How Do Professionals Track Sleep?

 

 

There are several ways to track sleep. If you go into a lab for a research study and sleep there, they will use polysomnography (PSG) to measure your sleep. This involves attaching electrodes to your scalp so they can use EEG to measure your brain waves. They may also measure other things, like heart rate and body temperature, to make doubly sure that you are asleep when the EEG indicates.

Since most of us don’t want to sleep in a lab regularly (and don’t have that option), the best choice is actigraphy. Actigraphy is a measurement of how much you are moving, or how active you are. Actigraph devices are usually worn on the wrist, like some of the more common sleep tracking devices you might be aware of. While these don’t have the same level of accuracy as PSG, they are used in formal studies that measure sleep patterns and habits.

Monitoring the heart rate and/or skin temperature in addition to actigraphy makes the results more accurate. Some of the wrist-worn devices have been designed to add one or both of these features, as well. Since your heart rate accelerates and decelerates depending on what sleep stage you’re in, and your skin temperature changes, too, these devices can help ensure that the data researchers get is accurate. It also allows them some sense of which sleep stage a person is in, which actigraphy alone may not be able to do.  

How Do Sleep Trackers Work?

Most of the popular sleep trackers on the market today are worn on the wrist, and many double as a step-counter, exercise tracker, heart rate monitor, and more. There are also apps that claim to track sleep, as well as pads that you can put under your mattress to track your rest. These usually connect to an app or another device so it’s easy to get your results.

The majority of these sleep trackers rely on actigraphy, though some also combine heart rate technology and/or skin temperature monitoring to add to their accuracy. Most of the ones that include the heart rate or skin temperature are worn on the wrist, where it’s relatively easy to pick up your heartbeat and where they have direct contact with your skin. In general, if your sleep tracker has heart rate monitoring technology as part of its other capabilities (usually exercise monitoring), then it can also use that data to determine whether you’re asleep and what sleep state you’re in.

What Sleep Trackers are Available?

The Fitbit family of exercise trackers are among the most common wrist-worn sleep trackers. Some of these devices are limited to actigraphy only, but many of them now offer heart rate monitoring technology, too. Some of them offer information on your sleep stages, while others will only tell you when you were awake and when you were asleep.

A few of these devices have been shown to be about as accurate as EEG monitoring. While the main study on these devices was conducted by the company itself, and so should be interpreted with at least a bit of skepticism, it was verified by independent researchers, which adds credibility.

Among the apps available to monitor sleep, two of the most popular are Sleep Coacher and Sleep Cycle. Sleep Coacher asks you some questions about your rest, then makes recommendations for you to follow. It has you follow them for several days, then ignore them for a few, to see if you notice a difference in your sleep. It also requires you to keep your phone on your bed at night, so it can monitor your sleep, via actigraphy and noise monitoring, to give you an idea of what helps.

Sleep Cycle doesn’t give you recommendations for your sleep, but it does monitor your sleep and set off your alarm at a time that is good for you, based on what sleep cycle you’re in. It takes into account any movements you make, as well as any sounds it picks up from your or in your bedroom. You may have to experiment with where to put your phone to get this app to work at its best.

When it comes to sleep trackers that go on your mattress, Eight is popular. It is actually a mattress pad, and, in addition to monitoring sleep, it will also warm your bed and connect to various wifi devices that you might have. It also provides an alarm, similar to that in Sleep Cycle, that wakes you at a time that’s good for your sleep. There’s not much data on how accurate it is, but reviews indicate that people seem to think it helps them get a better night’s rest.

How Accurate are Sleep Trackers?

 

 

Since you probably won’t be hooking yourself up to a PSG device every night, we’ll focus on the accuracy of actigraph devices. However, most of the studies out there have been done on devices built specifically for actigraphy, and not on the popular wrist-worn devices that also track things like exercise, steps, etc. That said, there has been at least one study that included a Fitbit among the actigraph devices tested

Actigraphy alone seems to be generally accurate when it comes to healthy adults who have relatively normal sleep patterns. If, however, you have a sleep disorder, the devices become less and less accurate the more disturbed the sleep becomes. This is because people with sleep disorders tend to move around more in their sleep, which the tracker can interpret as being awake or frequent waking.

These trackers cannot be used to determine which sleep stage you are in. Since they rely on movement alone to determine sleep stages, the best they can offer is a very limited generalization. This does change if the tracker takes heart rate into account when determining sleep stages, since your heart rate changes depending on the stage you are in. However, even these trackers will only give you a general idea of how long you spend in each stage, since they aren’t monitoring your brain waves.

How Do I Choose a Sleep Tracker?

Researchers warn that even the most accurate trackers will probably not get your sleep duration perfect. Most of them either overestimate or underestimate how much sleep you’re getting. They may assume that you are asleep when you are lying still in your bed, wide awake, or they may assume that you are waking in the night when, really, you are just restless in your sleep.

Given this data, as long as you are using your sleep tracker to give you a general idea of how much and how well you are sleeping, it is probably a worthy device. After all, scientists use them all the time and rely on the data they offer. If, however, you want to know exactly how long you are sleeping and how long you are spending in each stage, they aren’t going to help you a lot. The technology just isn’t there, yet, to give you that level of accuracy on a device you can wear every day.

Eight Sleep Tracker

 

If you decide to get a sleep tracker, it can help you reach your sleep goals. It might help you do your best to note what time you fall asleep, what time you wake, and how long you are awake at night. Then, compare the data to your sleep tracker. Doing this for a few nights can help you determine how accurate your tracker is. Then, you know how much you have to generalize the results you get from it.

In the end, sleep trackers are valuable, especially if you aren’t sure how much sleep you’re getting or you want to hold yourself accountable to sleep more. Even though you can’t completely trust the results, they can help you remember to get more sleep and give you feedback about whether you are getting the sleep you think you’re getting. If these uses appeal to you and fit your needs, then it’s time to get your very own sleep tracker.


Best Military Mattress Discounts

At Best Mattress Reviews, we are all about helping active-duty, reservists, and military veterans get the recognition and rest that they deserve. We applaud your service and recognize that because of the critical work that you do, you might have specific sleep needs. We hope our sleep guides and informative reviews help active-duty military and veterans find the best bed for them.

Service to our nation can be physically and mentally stressful which means sleep is all the more important to you. The rigors of service in the armed forces can’t be underestimated. Even those that don’t serve on the front lines have far more physically vigorous jobs than most civilians. That means you need a bed that will support you, ease your aches and pains, and gives you the rest you deserve.

We appreciate those that served our country and those that are doing so now. We partnered with mattress brands that offer a discount not only to active duty personnel but also those in the Reserve, Guard, retired, and veterans that served in the past.

 

 

Discounts for dedicated active and former servicemembers

To help those that serve in our armed forces, Best Mattress Reviews works with key mattress brands to bring you savings and discounts on quality mattresses and bedding. We know that you don’t serve because it pays well – you do it because you’re dedicated. So, we want to help you get the best night’s sleep possible, no matter your budget, and that’s why we’ve partnered with brands to bring you discounts to respect your sacrifice and service.

Best military mattress discounts

Some mattress makers offer year-round discounts to eligible active-duty, retired, and prior-service veterans. Others offer sales tied to key holidays associated with the military such as Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. With Memorial Day right around the corner on May 28, 2018, it’s a good time to start mattress shopping and get ready to take advantage of the deepest veteran discounts you’ll find on a mattress all-year long.

This year, Veteran’s Day falls on Sunday, November 11, but is observed on Monday, November 12, 2018, as a federal holiday, so there should be two good shopping days for mattress discounts this Fall if you miss the Spring sale at Memorial Day. If you’re not ready to buy a mattress right now, that’s okay. There are many brands that offer a mattress discount or mattress coupon to veterans and active service personnel throughout the year.

If we can answer any questions for you about mattresses, sleep needs, or military discounts, please contact us via email or our social channels.

Mattress Companies That Give Back

Avocado Green

 

 

The Avocado Green is an all-natural latex bed with pure New Zealand wool batting and organic cotton covers. The bed is eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, and eco-INSTITUT certified to have no VOCs, heavy metals, or other harmful chemicals. Avocado’s price point is very reasonable for a quality latex bed. The price shown below is before the military discount is applied. They only ship to the 50 US states.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Standard Price $959 $999 $1,199 $1,399 $1,699 $1,699
Price w/ Pillowtop $1,199 $1,299 $1,499 $1,799 $2,199 $2,199

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

Avocado’s military discount

Avocado Green offers a $150 discount on each mattress ordered. To get the promo code, go to the Avocado Green website, and click the chat icon that lives on the bottom right of the page. Tell them you’re military, and they will ask you to confirm via one of the following methods:

  • Photo of yourself in uniform
  • Photo of military ID
  • Copy of DD214
  • Email from your military account

 

 

You are eligible for Avocado’s service discount if you’re active duty, reserves, a veteran, or retired from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.

Brooklyn Bedding

 

 

Brooklyn Bedding offers three different product lines. Bowery is their all-foam bed while Signature is a hybrid (innerspring and foam), and the Aurora line offers cooling tech for those that sleep hot. All are well-reviewed by customers, and their array of products should fit every budget. They only ship to the US and Canada but will work with freight forwarding services for those stationed overseas.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Brooklyn Bowery $449 $499 $599 $649 $849 $849
Brooklyn Signature $599 $649 $799 $949 $1,149 $1,149
Brooklyn Aurora $999 $1,199 $1,499 $1,699 $1,999 $1,999

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

Brooklyn Bedding’s military discount

Brooklyn Bedding offers a 25% discount off your entire order. To get the discount, load your products into the cart then click the red Troop ID icon to log into your ID.me wallet to certify your eligibility. If you don’t have an ID.me account, it’s easy to use and qualifies you for many offers.

 

 

You can enjoy the Brooklyn Bedding discount if you’re active military, a veteran, IRR, National Guard, retired military, a military spouse, or a dependent.

Eight Sleep

 

 

Eight Sleep’s three product lines of beds are available with and without smart tech to optimize your sleep experience. Saturn is a three-layer foam bed, Jupiter is a four-layer foam, and Mars is an innerspring and foam hybrid. The tech monitors 15 factors, warms and cools the bed, and integrates with smart home devices and sets smart alarms for optimal waking. They ship to the 48 contiguous states only.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Saturn/Saturn+ $349/NA $399/NA $499/699 $699/899 $899/1,099 $899/1,099
Jupiter/Jupiter+ $549/NA $599/NA $799/999 $899/1,099 $1,099/1,299 $1,099/1,299
Mars/Mars+ $749/NA $849/NA $1,099/1,299 $1,199/1,399 $1,399/1,599 $1,399/1,599

*The lower prices are without smart tech and all are retail prices before the military discount is applied!

Eight Sleep’s military discount

Eight Sleep provides a 10% discount off your mattress and bedding order. To access the discount, go to the military discount page and log into id.services to certify your eligibility. If you don’t have an account, confirmation is fast so long as you have appropriate documents on hand.

 

 

The Eight Sleep discount is for active duty military personnel, veterans, retired military, military spouses, and dependents

Drömma Bed

 

 

The Drömma mattress

Drömma makes an advanced memory foam bed that’s three layers thick. Unlike other memory foams, their materials sleep cooler and are eco-friendly. They use cooling gel and adaptive foams for pressure relief, and less motion transfer all in a thick 12” design. All their foams are CertiPUR-US certified for low VOCs, no heavy metals, and no toxic chemicals. They ship to all 50 US states with a $125 premium to Alaska and Hawaii, but no international shipping.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Price $574 $674 $849 $999 $1,099 $1,099

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

Drömma’s military discount

Drömma has a military discount that you must hit while it’s hot. They offer 10% off, but you can’t access it while they are running other promos. That means it’s only off the regular prices. To access the discount, load the item you want into your cart, then click the Military Discount button. If there is another promo running, you will get a message saying the discount is temporarily unavailable.

 

 

The Drömma servicemember discount is available to active duty members, veterans, retirees, and reservists.

GhostBed

 

 

GhostBed makes two models of bed, the original GhostBed, and GhostBed Luxe. The original is a three-layer memory foam and latex mattress made for cooler sleep. GhostBed Luxe is a seven-layer mattress specifically designed for cooling with innovative phase change tech that dissipates heat and a cover with cooling fibers woven into the yarn fibers. Shipping is free to the 48 contiguous states, $600 to Alaska or Hawaii and no international shipping is available.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
GhostBed $495 $650 $845 $895 $1,075 $1,095
GhostBed Luxe $995 $1,175 $1,350 $1,475 $1,785 $1,825

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

GhostBed’s military discount

The military discount from GhostBed is $50 off. However, before adding the code to the shopping cart, look to see if there is a better discount. Sometimes GhostBed runs better promos of greater value, and the military discount doesn’t stack on top of other offers. The current offer should appear by default in the cart. If it’s better than the military discount, the “VET50” code will not register and it will say “expired” even though it has not. It’s a bit confusing, but you can call customer service and they can help.

 

 

GhostBed’s discount is for all active duty and veterans.

Leesa

 

 

Leesa has two product lines: Leesa and Sapira. Leesa is a foam bed while Sapira is a hybrid of pocket coils and foam. Sapira is a costlier version with more features such as less motion transfer, better cooling, and enhanced edge support. Both beds are well-reviewed by buyers and are well-suited to all sleep positions. Leesa ships to all 50 US states, but not internationally.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Leesa $525 $695 $855 $995 $1,195 $1,195
Sapira $995 $1,095 $1,295 $1,495 $1,795 $1,795

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

Leesa’s military discount

Leesa offers a 15% military discount. To access the discount, start at ID.me. You must be Troop ID certified. If not, take care of that first. Then at the Leesa site, add items to your card, click for the military discount, and the site will verify your eligibility through ID.me then apply this discount to the cart. You cannot stack discounts, so be sure to see if there is a better discount on offer before you apply the military code.

 

 

Leesa’s discount is good for all active duty, veterans, and retired military from all branches of service

Saatva

Saatva, Loom & Leaf, and Zenhaven are all part of the Saatva family. The Saatva line is an innerspring and memory foam hybrid with an optional plush 3” Euro-top at no extra charge. Loom & Leaf is a premium memory foam mattress with an organic cotton cover and high-tech cooling gel. Zenhaven is their all-natural latex line that is flippable for firmness options and contains zoned support and an organic wool and cotton cover. Saatva delivers its products to the 48 contiguous US states only.

Twin Twin XL Full Queen King CA King
Saatva $599 $699 $899 $999 $1,399 $1,399
Loom & Leaf $749 $799 $999 $1,099 $1,499 $1,499
Zenhaven $1,299 $1,349 $1,699 $1,899 $2,499 $2,499

*This is the retail price before the military discount is applied!

Saatva’s military discount

Saatva offers $50 off each mattress purchase, and the discount applies to all their product lines. To access the discount, you must call them at (877) 672-2882 before placing your order. If you already placed the order, call them, and they will refund the $50 promptly. They need your military ID number for active and reservists, your DOD number, or other documentation.


3 Tricks to Sleep Well in a Hotel

You park the rental car, walk to the check in counter. You make small talk with the concierge as she hands you the room key. You’re in room 403. The elevator is down the hall and to the right. You swipe the key, open the door to your room. No surprises here: a bed, a desk, a toilet, a mini fridge stocked with mini beverages. You toss your luggage on the floor and sit on the edge of the bed.

Tomorrow is a big day, and you need your energy for it. Coffee alone won’t do the trick. No, you need sleep, and plenty of it.  

But it’s hard to sleep in a hotel room. The bed doesn’t feel right, someone’s always slamming the door, the curtains don’t block the streetlights, the pillows are too hard. Some nights, morning can’t come soon enough. We’ve all been there.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your sleep in these alien environments. So let’s get to them, yes?

1) Keep it Dark

Our circadian rhythm – the 24-hour cycle that governs sleep and wakefulness – is regulated primarily by light. Bright light in the morning wakes us up, and an absence of light in the evening signals the release of our sleep hormone, melatonin. With melatonin there to help us, we can have restful sleep.

But when our sleep environment isn’t dark, our body thinks it’s daytime, and melatonin isn’t released. And dark means dark. Our eyes, even our skin cells, contain photoreceptors that are sensitive to even a tiny amount of light. So for optimal sleep, the room must be pitch black.

With this in mind, the first thing to do in a hotel is unplug anything that emits light. All those blinky diodes on the TV, alarm clock, etc. – shut them down. If you’re feeling extra-motivated, place a towel along the doorway to stop exterior light from seeping in. Finally, make sure you put on a sleep mask before hitting the hay. The eyes are the most photosensitive part of the body, after all.

 

Keep the Bedroom Dark

 

2) Keep it Cold

After light, room temperature is probably the most important factor for quality slumber. Everyone knows how good it feels to bundle under the covers on a chilly night.

But it’s not just a good feeling. If the room isn’t cool enough, REM and deep sleep are impaired. And when you don’t get enough REM and deep sleep, your brain function suffers the next day.

Luckily, most hotels have an air conditioner. Set it for a comfortably cool temperature – 62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or so – and your brain will thank you the next day.

3) Pack Magnesium

Magnesium supports many functions in the human body, and sleep is no exception. For instance, magnesium supports two hormones – melatonin and adiponectin – that help you snooze. Low levels of adiponectin, in fact, can lead to sleep apnea, so it’s good to maintain healthy levels of that hormone. Magnesium also increases levels of a circulating protein called renin, also linked to sound sleep.

What about clinical evidence? In one study, just 500 mg per day of magnesium improved sleep quality in a group of elderly folks. According to another comprehensive review, magnesium supplementation is a proven way to reduce anxiety. That’s a nice benefit if you’re wound up after a long day of travel.

Bottom line – magnesium is a safe and inexpensive supplement to support sleep and relaxation on the road. Plus it takes up less space than your toothpaste.

 

Magnesium Supplement for Sleep

 

Recap

Let’s go over those sleep strategies one more time. Upon entering your room, turn off the lights, unplug the blinky things, and ready your sleep mask. This will create enough darkness to facilitate melatonin release. Then crank up the A/C until the temperature is cool enough to promote healthy sleep cycles. Finally, pop some magnesium to support sleep hormones, increase renin levels, and lower stress.

Do this, and when morning comes, your brain will be fresh, your body will be rested, and your energy will be primed. In other words, you’ll be ready for action.


Essential Oils and Sleep

Essential Oils and Sleep

Even if you’re not into essential oils, you’ve probably heard of them, and not only because three or four of your friends have started selling them. People make all sorts of claims about essential oils. They’re supposed to do everything from healing burns to fighting MRSA, balancing hormones, and more.

Researchers are still studying whether or not oils can help with all sorts of conditions, but they have concluded that some of the oils (jasmine, for example) can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you struggle with insomnia or you’d just like to get better rest when you’re asleep, it may be worthwhile to try an oil.

How Essential Oils Help You Sleep

When it comes to sleep, essential oils work mainly through aromatherapy. We all know just how powerful scents can be. A certain smell can remind you of a particular person or a whole period in your life. Scents work this way because they stimulate the amygdala and the limbic system, both of which work to control memory and mood.

They do this by controlling two bodily systems: the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system. The autonomic nervous system is the nervous system that exists outside of our conscious knowledge, at least most of the time. This system regulates respiration, heart rate, body temperature, digestion, and more. When it is excited, we feel anxious and may go into fight or flight mode. When it is calmed, we feel relaxed, happy, and at peace.

The endocrine system controls the hormones in the body, which in turn regulate everything from sexual function to mood, growth, and metabolism. In fact, there’s not much that the endocrine system doesn’t have a hand in regulating.

Together, these two systems can play a huge part in helping you sleep. If you can use the right aromatherapy tools, then, you can help yourself relax and feel good about who and how you are.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

There are several ways to utilize essential oils for sleep. One of the most popular is to put them in a diffuser. You can purchase one of these online, most for less than $40. A diffuser is basically a small humidifier that also disseminates the oil. You put in the required amount of water, then add 5-10 drops of an oil of your choice. Turn on the diffuser and, within a few minutes, you should smell the oil throughout your room.

Diffusers come with all sorts of options. Some last longer than others, while others offer automatic shut-off after a certain amount of time. Many have a light that will change colors, or where you can pick one color to use as a nightlight. If you go this route, make sure that you choose a diffuser that is the right size for your room. Most of them will have a maximum square footage number in their product description.

If you don’t have a diffuser and you don’t want to get one, there are other ways to use essential oils for sleep. You can mix a few drops with water and put it in a small spray bottle. Spray your pillow and your sheets with enough time to let it dry before you go to bed. You should smell the oil wherever it was sprayed.

You can also use the oil on your body, though you’ll want to mix a few drops with a carrier oil first. Never put undiluted essential oils on your body unless you are an expert because some of them can burn your skin. Use something like jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil. Mix just a drop or two of essential oil and rub it on your skin. Popular places include the bottoms of the feet, the wrists, and the temples. You should then smell the oil as you are drifting off to sleep.

The Best Essential Oils for Sleep

 

 

There are many oils that can help you rest and relax, and here are some of the most popular and best-researched options.

Lavender

Lavender essential oil not only makes your bedroom smell like a garden, but it also calms your autonomic nervous system. This means that it helps lower your respiration rate, heart rate, and body temperature. Since these usually happen when you’re falling asleep anyway, this can help aid the process. Lavender also helps alleviate anxiety and depression, both of which can interfere with sleep.

Chamomile

Officially known as Roman Chamomile, this oil is one of the most popular natural sleep aids. Most people, however, brew it in tea and drink it, rather than inhaling it directly as an essential oil. No matter how you take it, chamomile will help you get rid of stress so you can sleep better than you ever have before.

Valerian

This unassuming oil has been used to help with sleep since the 17th century. It will not only help you fall asleep, but it can raise your sleep quality, too. This means that you will feel more rested and energized in the morning.

Neroli

This little-known essential oil is a big hitter when it comes to sleep. Combine it with lavender and chamomile, and you just might have found the cocktail that will work for you. It has a very distinct smell, so, if you like it, mixing it might help you tolerate other oils that you wouldn’t otherwise choose to use. It may be especially effective for women

When you’re choosing an essential oil to help you sleep, it’s not only important that it aids in rest and relaxation, but also that it is a scent you enjoy and can tolerate. Some people don’t like certain oils, and that’s fine. There is usually another oil with similar properties that will work just as well. Some oils may also help you sleep better than others will, and you may need to experiment with several before you find the one that will solve your insomnia problems for good.


How does sleep deprivation impact your body?

How Does Sleep Deprivation Impact Your Body?

No one loves to get a bad night’s sleep. It makes the next day (and maybe the next few days) that much harder. Some people feel exhausted, others find it hard not to snap at people all day, and even others just feel like the whole world is slightly off-kilter.

However, not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you feel off, it also negatively affects the way your body functions. When you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, it changes your body’s functioning from your brain to your heart and more. The more sleep deprived you are, the more pronounced these effects will be, and the more likely you’ll be to suffer long-term effects.

Sleep Deprivation Impacts on Your BodySource: Healthline.com

 

This is Your Brain on Sleep Deprivation

Your brain does NOT like it when you don’t get enough sleep. It uses the time that you spend sleeping to process events and store data for later retrieval. When you don’t get enough sleep, it doesn’t have time to do those things well. This means that sleep deprivation ends up negatively affecting both your long- and short-term memory.

Sleep also seems to help us with higher level thinking skills, like being creative, solving problems, and being able to focus or concentrate. When we don’t get enough rest, our scores on all of those things go down significantly.

Sleep deprivation also makes us more accident-prone, especially when we’re driving. In fact, going without sleep for even 18 hours makes us drive as if we were drunk. Losing a couple of hours of sleep every night for a week will have a similar effect. We may think that we are perfectly competent behind the wheel when we’re sleepy, but we’re not.

Our brains don’t handle adversity or difficulty well when they are tired. We are more prone to mood swings, and even to anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Impulsive behavior goes up when we’re tired, so people may be more likely to commit suicide when they are sleep deprived.

Sleep Deprivation and Your Heart

The heart also doesn’t like it when we don’t get enough sleep. In fact, people who don’t sleep enough have significantly higher chances of suffering from high blood pressure.

As if that weren’t enough, sleep deprivation is also linked to an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. It seems that the body eliminates inflammatory chemicals while you’re resting. When it doesn’t get a chance to do this thoroughly, these are left in your body unchecked. Inflammation is tied to both heart attacks and strokes, so these become more likely in people who aren’t getting enough rest. Lack of sleep itself might even raise inflammation levels more, actively increasing your chances of suffering one of these events.

Blood Sugar and Weight

 

 

Sleep deprivation is also tied to increased chances of being overweight and obese, and of struggling with Type II Diabetes. When you don’t sleep enough, your body releases more insulin after you eat. This hormone controls your blood sugar levels. The more of it you release, the more likely your body is to store fat and learn to resist it, which leads to Type II Diabetes.

Sleep also influences how much leptin and ghrelin your body produces. These hormones regulate feelings of hunger and satiety. When you don’t get enough rest, they become imbalanced. Tired people end up eating more because the hormones tell them that they’re still hungry. Over time, this can lead to significant weight gain.

Your Immune System

The immune system uses the time that you’re asleep to produce several different disease-fighters for your body. One of the most important of these is cytokines. These actively help your body fight off illness. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body doesn’t have time to build up enough of these to effectively keep you healthy.

Balance and Coordination

 

 

People who don’t sleep well struggle more with balance and coordination than their well-rested peers. This may be because these are complex brain process and, as we discussed above, the brain doesn’t perform those very well when it’s tired. It may also be because tired muscles, tendons, ligaments, and more don’t get a good chance to recover when you don’t sleep enough. When they aren’t firing well, you may become more clumsy.

Sex Drive and Development

Testosterone is essential for a good sex drive in both men and women. However, it is only produced when you are asleep for at least three hours. This means that people who don’t get enough sleep, or those who wake frequently during the night, will have lower hormone levels and, therefore, lower sex drives.

Sleep also triggers high levels of production of human growth hormone in children and adolescents. It affects how fast they can build muscle mass and how effectively their tissues repair themselves. Kids who aren’t getting enough sleep may not produce enough of this to grow well.

Sleep deprivation is a bigger problem than we tend to think that it is. After all, many of us forego sleep in favor of all sorts of other things, all the time. We might think that it’s annoying, but we don’t worry too much about it. However, sleep deprivation is changing the ways our bodies work. If we want to stay healthy and live as long as we can, getting more sleep should become a priority.


Sleeping With a Top Sheet: The Great Debate

To sleep with a top sheet or not…that is the question. It may seem like a trivial issue, but you might be surprised at just how passionate people can get on this seemingly innocuous topic. People who love top sheets really love them, while people who don’t like them can’t understand how anyone in their right mind would sleep under one.

In the end, it all seems to come down to preference. Sleeping without a top sheet is very European. In fact, some Europeans don’t even use fitted sheets. They tuck a regular (top) sheet in all the way around the bed and sleep with a duvet in a duvet cover for their blanket. In the USA, we tend to be fans of the top sheet, even though it means taking a few extra steps when making the bed.

Pros to Sleeping With a Top Sheet

 

 

Folks who are fans of top sheets have many different reasons for loving them. Here are just a few of the reasons why you might want to consider that extra piece of material.

Laundry is Easier

When you sleep without a top sheet, you have to wash your duvet cover as often as you would normally wash your sheets. If wrestling a duvet in and out of its cover once a week isn’t something you’ll do (and, trust me, it’s always a wrestling match!), you will probably stay cleaner if you stick to using a top sheet.

More Layers for Temperature Regulation

Do you get hot at night? Or maybe your partner gets hot but you tend to be cold. Having a top sheet and a comforter, or even a top sheet, blanket, and comforter, can allow you to achieve the perfect sleeping temperature. It can also allow partners with different thermostats to still be comfortable sharing a bed.

Sheets Don’t Fall Off the Bed

Unless you get a duvet that is extra large for your bed, the darn things have a tendency to end up in a heap on the floor. Then you either have to wake up and haul the whole thing back on the bed, or you end up uncomfortable for the rest of the night. If you do get an extra large duvet, you can tuck it into the bottom of the bed so it will stay. This is often bulky and odd-looking, though.

Protect Your Nice Bedding

Your duvet cover or bedspread will last longer if you’re not washing it all the time. Since people tend to invest more money in these things than they do in their sheets, because they’re buying for the look and for comfort, not just for comfort, it makes sense to try and make it last. Keep sweat stains off it, too, by using a top sheet.

It’s Nice and Cozy

There’s something about a sheet that feels nice and cozy at the end of a long day. The sheet often feels cool on the skin, then gets swathed in the warmth of the blanket over the top. People who like top sheets don’t just love them for ease and cleanliness, but because of the way they feel on the skin that is different from a duvet.

It Feels Cleaner

While you probably won’t sweat any more or less under a top sheet than you do with just a duvet, you may feel cleaner. Because the duvet is attached to the duvet cover, it seems more likely that you would sweat through the cover and have sweat on your duvet than it is that you would sweat through a sheet and have sweat on your comforter. It may not actually be true, but it certainly feels that way to many people.

Pros to Ditching the Top Sheet

 

 

Wondering why someone would want to sleep without a top sheet? Here are some of the most common reasons.

Making Your Bed is Easy-Peasy

Tucking in that top sheet is a royal pain. Ditch it, and all you have to do is throw on a fitted sheet over your mattress pad, then toss the duvet cover on the duvet and put the whole thing on the bed. Easiest bed-making ever. There are even some tricks to getting the duvet where it belongs, so you don’t feel like you’re wrestling an octopus.

Duvets are Meant to be Used Without Top Sheets

There’s nothing like the feel of a soft, fluffy duvet settling around your body. If you use a top sheet, you will miss many of the comfort benefits that duvets are meant to have. In fact, duvets are designed to be used without top sheets, combining the comfort of a top sheet and a blanket into a single item.

Duvets Regulate Temperature, Too!

Many duvets and their covers are designed to regulate temperature for you, so you don’t have to do anything. They will hold heat in when necessary, wick sweat when needed, and more, all so you can sleep and not have to bother with constantly trying to get comfortable.

It Can be Cheaper

Some sheet companies are starting to sell top sheets separately. This means that you will pay more if you want to use a top sheet than you will if you choose to sleep without one. If you like to save money or regulating expenses is really important to you, this is a small step that could help you reach your financial goals.

Less Twisted Bedding

How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night, only to find your top sheet twisted around your ankles? If you sleep with a partner, it can be even worse because, when one partner’s bedding gets messed up, it almost always gets messed up for both. Save yourself the hassle of midnight untanglings by skipping the top sheet entirely.

It’s the Ultimate in Being Low Maintenance

If you kick your top sheet to the bottom of the bed and never touch it again, what’s the point of having it in the first place? If you’re not going to fix it every morning, there’s no reason to bother putting it on the bed.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to sleep with a top sheet, the most important thing is that you do what works best for you and your partner. If you feel gross without one, putting a top sheet on a bed is not all that hard. If you love the feeling of a duvet, then you may decide to sleep without one. Try them both and do whatever works best for you!


Chronotypes: Early Birds vs. Night Owls

Are you definitely a night owl or an early bird? Maybe you can’t sleep past 5:30 AM, or you can’t go to bed before 2 AM. Some of us have very clear preferences when it comes to what time we get up and when we go to bed. Other people seem to be more adaptable, able to change their schedules, at least somewhat, without major consequences.

Have you ever wondered why you want to sleep and get up when you do? It all comes back to your chronotype. If you’re not sure what that is or how to leverage it to live your best life, here’s everything you need to know.

 

What is a Chronotype?

While it may sound intimidating, “your chronotype” is just a fancy way of saying “your preferences for when you like to wake up and fall asleep.” It goes back to the Greek word “chronos,” which refers to time.

Most people fall into one of two chronotypes. They are either early birds, who prefer to get up early and go to bed early, or night owls, who prefer to go to bed late and get up late, too. Some people say that there are other variations, that not all early birds are the same, for instance, but these are the two main types.

 

What Causes Your Chronotype?

Your chronotype is determined by your circadian rhythm. This is basically your body’s clock, and it tells you when to get up and when to go to sleep. It also determines things like when you are hungry, what times during the day you experience a lull in energy, and when your body produces certain substances like neurotransmitters and hormones.

The circadian rhythm is guided, more or less, by light. When the light goes away, the body wants to sleep. When the light comes back, it’s time to wake up. However, not everyone responds to light in the same ways, or at the same time. Some people begin to feel sleep within an hour or two after sunset, while others don’t feel sleepy for several hours or more.

Indoor lighting, especially the blue lights that come from screens, can influence this to a certain extent. If we flood ourselves with indoor lights and screens, we will probably struggle to sleep at an early hour. However, blue light doesn’t seem to influence chronotype, as early birds still want to fall asleep earlier (even if they can’t) than night owls.

Instead, research shows some evidence that chronotype is genetically determined. A recent study asked people to report whether they were night owls or early birds. Researchers found several 15 genetic variants that seemed to be associated with being an early bird. Seven of these were located close to genes already known to influence the circadian rhythm. While this study isn’t definitive, it indicates that your chronotype is influenced, if not determined, by your genes.

 

What are the Differences Between the Chronotypes?

 

 

There are some interesting and scientifically-backed differences between early birds and night owls. These don’t seem to have much to do with when you go to bed or when you get up, but they are consistent in the research.

  • Night owls score higher on intelligence tests. Conventional wisdom says that the early birds are the smart ones, but a 420-person study proved them wrong. Night owls did better on tests that measured everything from mathematical acuity to reading comprehension and processing speed.
  • Night owls have more vices. A study of 537 people showed that night owls take in more nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol than do their early bird counterparts. A big part of this is that night owls are more likely to participate in nightlife, like going to bars, clubs, or parties, where these things are present. Caffeine intake may be tied to the fact that night owls often don’t get enough rest, given their chronotype and the way society is structured.
  • Early birds are perfectionists. A study in Spain showed that early birds are more likely to persistently pursue a goal without getting frustrated or feeling like it is difficult. Night owls, on the other hand, often struggle with impulsiveness and extravagance. In general, early birds like stability and night owls prefer excitement.
  • Both early birds and night owls are more creative in their off hours. Night owls tend to experience their most creative time of day in the morning, while early birds are more creative at night. Scientists think that this happens because people have less inhibitory control when they are not at their peak, so they are willing to consider and implement more creative solutions. So if you have a difficult problem, think about it when you’re sleepy!

 

Chronotypes and Sleep Disorders

For most people, their chronotype doesn’t interfere with their lives and, therefore, is not at all in the category of a sleep disorder. For a few people, though, their chronotype becomes disruptive. It’s either so overwhelming that they cannot deviate from it, even if they want to, or it pushes them to extremes that make normal life very difficult.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is a diagnosis given to extreme night owls. They get tired much, much later than other people and also want to wake much, much later. People with this disorder often fall asleep after 2 AM every, single night, no matter what they try to do to change that. These are the people who feel hopeless about ever falling asleep like a normal person or getting enough rest.

People with Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome have the opposite problem. They want to go to bed very early, like 7 PM, and then they find themselves wide awake in the middle of the night, sometimes as early as 2 AM. This person’s body is ahead, rather than behind, that of the general population. While this sleep schedule works for some people, many find that it interferes with their work and social life.

 

Can You Change Your Chronotype?

You probably can’t change your chronotype completely. Because your chronotype seems largely dependent on genetics, it is predetermined for you. However, you can train yourself to go to bed and wake up at more suitable times of day.

It’s usually night owls who have to figure out how to do this. Most common schedules work well for early birds. They have time to get up, take care of themselves, and get to work on time. While they may not be the life of the party at night, they go to bed when they’re tired and get the rest they need.

Night owls don’t fit most common schedules well. They can’t go to sleep when they want to and get up when they want to and still make it to work on time or do the things they need to do.

While they can’t change their night owlishness, these folks can train themselves to go to bed earlier. It helps to set a goal, then move toward it in 15-minute increments. If you usually got to bed at 2 AM and you’d like to go to bed by 11, start slowly. Get yourself in bed by 1:45 for a few nights, then move it back to 1:30, and so on. It will take some time and some dedication, but you should be able to sleep earlier so you can get the rest you need.

You can also use melatonin to make your body sleepy earlier than usual, and use a broad spectrum light to help yourself wake up – and feel awake – in the morning.

 

Make Your Chronotype Work for You

 

 

Whether you are a night owl or an early bird, it’s best to embrace your chronotype as much as possible, rather than resisting it or feeling frustrated with yourself. Since it’s largely out of your control, there’s not a lot of point in resisting it unless you must do so to function well at work, etc.

If you’re an early bird, try to get things done in the morning, especially if you’re up before everyone else. This is the perfect time to sit quietly with a cup of coffee, journal, exercise, or finish up anything that needs to be done before you go to the office. Getting it done early means you won’t feel pressure to stay up late.

If you’re a night owl, accept the fact that your mornings will probably be rushed. Do your best to get yourself to bed in time to get plenty of sleep, but otherwise, don’t put pressure on yourself to go to bed earlier. Instead, get your stuff done at night. This can be a great time to work, work out, or get in your alone time.

No matter which type you are, you need to take care of yourself. As long as you are getting enough sleep, though, there’s no reason to pressure yourself to change. Instead, accept yourself as you are and do what is best for yourself in light of that.