Top Tips for Vets Pursuing Better Health Through Better Sleep


A good night’s sleep is one of the most important steps anyone can take to improve and protect their mental health. Unfortunately, Psychology Today explains that many veterans find that getting the rest they need is difficult, if not impossible. If you toss and turn at night or simply feel exhausted much of the day, take control of your sleep space and habits with your rest and well-being in mind. These tips presented by the Give Foundation can help you get started on the path to wellness.


Check Your Mattress


Too many of us are sleeping on the wrong mattress. Over time, use makes mattresses less comfortable, making you more sore and sleepy throughout the day and inhibiting your ability to really get comfortable at night. If yours is lumpy, sagging, or you can feel the springs inside, it’s time to upgrade.


It’s also worth considering an upgrade if you’re on the wrong mattress for your sleep style. For example, if you sleep with a partner, News24 notes it’s important to make sure you have enough room for both of you. Many people think a queen will cut it for two people, but if you and your partner sprawl or have large builds, a king can offer a better night’s rest.


Do some comparisons and go with a mattress that has little movement transfer, such as a Nest Hybrid. If you’re not sure which mattress is best for your sleep style, check out the Helix mattress – the company offers a quiz you can use to find your perfect mattress. 


Consider Lighting


True darkness is imperative for a good night’s sleep. This is due to several things – first of all, light is distracting. Even when you’re asleep, bright lights shining past your eyelids can still rouse you. Slight changes in light levels might not wake you up fully, but they can bring you out of the deep sleep cycles your mind and body need. Moreover, darkness encourages the production of melatonin, the hormone your body needs to sleep deeply.


If you live near streetlights, or on a busy road, consider investing in a good set of blackout blinds or curtains. These keep your room in total darkness, meaning you can get the rest you need. If you and your partner don’t go to bed at the same time, you can also get a sleep mask. This way they can use dim light while getting into bed without interrupting your rest.


Along those same lines, if your partner snores, some ear plugs might be in order. Look for earplugs with noise-masking for best results; you might find your best success with options designed for musicians. While they aren’t specifically made for sleep, they offer the sound blocking that can provide the quiet you require.


If your partner tends to steal the comforter, consider adding an extra comforter. Whatever issue you’re facing, find a creative way to address it together.


Pay Attention to Dental Care


Believe it or not, but dental care can have a direct impact on the quality of your slumber. Cavities, gum disease, and other conditions can disrupt your sleep or even prevent you from falling asleep altogether. This is why you need to incorporate a regular dental-care routine into your days and nights. Even then, problems can still arise.


For example, if you suffer from crooked/misaligned teeth, you may discover that keeping your teeth clean and healthy is difficult. This is where at-home solutions come into play. At-home aligners can make all the difference for those who have mild to moderate misalignment, but wearing them for several hours a day can get in the way of your day-to-day activities. That’s why many aligners, such as those created by Byte, offer nighttime versions that you wear as the day is winding down. If you have any questions about these treatments or other dental problems, don’t hesitate to consult your dentist.


Go Screen-Free


Technology helps us in many ways, but sleep isn’t one of them. TGDaily explains there are several reasons why you should limit the screens you allow in your room. For starters, screens emit a blue-toned light, which inhibits melatonin production. This makes it harder for you to fall or stay asleep.


Second, the use of technology in the bedroom teaches your brain to stay alert. Whether you’re doing work on a laptop or browsing social media on your phone, you’re training your mind to stay running. Keeping this habit out of your bedroom makes you more able to quiet your mind when it comes time to sleep.


Instead of surfing the web or watching shows right before bed, try replacing those habits with mind-settling meditation, or some body-soothing stretches. Calming your brain and muscles can help you transition from daytime alertness to nighttime relaxation.


Developing a healthy lifestyle takes time, so make sure you stick with it for the long haul. Veterans need sleep so their minds and bodies can thrive. Consider a bedding upgrade, eliminate issues keeping you up, and ease into bedtime with soothing activities. By tackling these elements in your habits and bedroom, you can turn nights into a restful oasis from the day, and give yourself the best opportunity for quality sleep.


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