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Bed Basics

3 Unexpected Things Keeping You From a Good Night's Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping a full 7-8 hours? Have you looked into all of the obvious things that could be interrupting your sleep – a medical condition, noisy neighbors, erratic work hours – and can't seem to figure out what's keeping you up at night?

We all know that sleep is essential to our overall health, and it can be frustrating to regularly not be getting enough sleep without knowing a clear reason why. Our Mattress Firm team wants to offer a few ideas of some unexpected things that could be keeping you from getting a good night's sleep.

Your partner.


The sleep-stealer you've been looking for could be lying next to you. Often, if one partner has unhealthy or irregular sleeping patterns, it can affect the quality of their partner's rest.

Ask yourself these questions to see if your bed-mate might be bad for your sleep.

Does your partner snore? Research shows that 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers. If so, invest in a decent pair of ear plugs. A good way to test if this is the source of your sleepless nights is to sleep in a guest room for a few nights to see if you are able to sleep more soundly.

Does your partner stay up later than you? If your partner is a night owl who insists on watching television or reading in bed, invest in a sleep mask. Even if you usually fall asleep before your partner, the glowing screen of the TV or the brightness of their reading lamp could be disrupting your sleep without you being fully conscious of it. If a sleep mask doesn't help, ask your partner to finish their book or show before climbing into bed.

Does your partner move through the night? If your partner is moving around a lot in their sleep, that could easily be causing you trouble staying in a healthy sleep cycle. Consider upgrading to a larger-sized bed so that everyone can have plenty of room to get the rest they need.

Your stress.


When you're worried or stressed, your mind can keep spinning even when your body is exhausted. A recent Mattress Firm study found that stress has a serious impact on your quality of sleep. It's not tangible, like a lumpy mattress or a snoring partner, but the stress you carry through your day can certainly follow you to bed at night. In a stressed-out state, your brain has a hard time fully relaxing, and stress hormones are known to interrupt your normal sleep cycle.

If you think stress might be a factor in your sleep quality, it's important to try to take steps to decompress. It sometimes helps to write the day's worries down in a journal or do something creative like write poetry or draw. The point is to get it out and give yourself permission to not worry about it until the next day.

Alternatively, you could consider trying out yoga or meditation. However you choose to deal with stress, look hard at the root causes to see what you can eliminate. For more tops on how to keep stress out of your bedroom, check out this post on The Daily Doze.

Your habits.


Maybe your partner isn't the one staying up all night. When you're in bed getting ready to snooze, do you read, watch TV or scroll through your social media feed? While these are fine to do during the day, they really shouldn't be done in bed. You need to allow your brain to identify the bed as a place to sleep, and when you're in bed posting photos from your last vacation, you're sending yourself mixed messages on what "bed" is for.

Establishing a bedtime routine can also prepare your mind for sleep. We do it with children – snack, bath, story, bed. Adults can benefit from a regular routine as well. Your body will recognize the signals that it's time to wind down. Additional tips for overcoming disruptive sleep factors are to cut the caffeine at noon, because it takes some people several hours to burn it off, and to avoid exercise within three hours of bedtime.

As you look for what could be impeding your sleep, don't forget to consider one of the most important factors in your sleep quality: your mattress. There are many reasons the mattress you're sleeping on might be the wrong bed for you. Unsure of where to start? Visit one of our Mattress Firm locations and find the perfect mattress for you and your sleep needs.

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