One site I came across was http://www.sleepsherpa.com. The website is run by Ben Trapskin out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and focuses on products for better sleep.
I was impressed that he reported on the ASMR publication and I found his site well organized and informative. He provides insight on mattresses, pillows, bedding, sleep aids, and even books that he feels can improve sleep.
Many individuals report that ASMR is helpful to them because it makes it easier for them to fall asleep. But for anyone, whether they utilize ASMR to fall asleep or not, it can be beneficial to know about additional products and suggestions helpful to a good night’s rest.
Ben shares his tips and experiences with improving his own sleep, information about a pillow that plays sounds which won’t wake your partner, the advantages of using a sleep tracking device, his thoughts about ASMR, and more.
Below are my questions in bold and his replies in italics.
What motivated you to create sleepsherpa.com?
Ben, “I created the website primarily out of frustration. My wife and I have gone through over 5 mattresses in our 12 year marriage trying to find one that is both comfortable and durable. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. It was a huge waste of time and money. I wanted to educate people on what to look for in a mattress and the convenience and cost advantages of ordering one online.”
Why do people struggle with getting quality sleep?
Ben, “There are many factors that contribute to quality sleep. Many people think a quality mattress is the silver bullet that will fix their sleeping problems. While a good mattress is essential, people need to assess their overall sleep environment.
Make sure your room is dark. I covered all the small LED lights in our bedroom with electrical tape which made a substantial difference in darkness given we have a TIVO, HDTV, power strips and other gadgets in our bedroom.
Sometimes people mistake a poor mattress with a poor pillow. Make sure your pillow provides the proper support for neck alignment, it’s not always the mattress that is the problem when you have body aches.
I also can attest to the benefit of blue blocking glasses that block light emitted from phones and laptops that suppresses melatonin production.
I try not to consume any caffeine after 5pm. I used to drink a diet coke before bed and although I thought I slept fine, I didn’t realize its effect on my sleep until after I quit this habit. Small changes really do add up to results.
Try making a few small tweaks each month and adjust as needed. By making big changes all at once, you can’t isolate what works from what doesn’t.
I would say that if you aren’t getting quality sleep, you really need to make it a priority to fix your sleep problem. Lack of sleep affects so many aspects of our health. There is research being published almost daily about the value of sleep. It is a fundamental pillar of a healthy lifestyle.”
What behavioral or lifestyle changes would you recommend to help someone sleep better?
Ben, “If I could recommend one change for better sleep it would be exercise. On days that I exercise, sleeping just feels better. Your body is worn down and doesn’t have any pent up stress. I pay a toll in sleep quality when I slip with my regular exercise routine.
Aside from exercise, research has indicated that meditation helps.
Drinking is absolutely devastating to your sleep. It may be easier to fall asleep when drinking but you will end up being restless most of the night whether you realize it or not.
Finally, get into a good sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on weekends. It makes Mondays much easier.”
What medicines or supplements do you think work best to help someone sleep better?
Ben, “I try not to rely on supplements too heavily for sleep. But on nights where I know I may need help, for whatever reason, I use melatonin. The dissolvable tablets I use help me to fall asleep within 30 minutes of taking it. During the winter I will have chamomile tea in the evening to help me relax.”
What devices or products do you think work best to help someone sleep better?
Ben, “I am really a fan of blue light blocking glasses and screen protectors. It’s common now for people to read on their phone in their beds. These devices emit a blue spectrum light that suppresses natural melatonin production in your body making it much harder to fall asleep.
I am a big fan of my DreamPad pillow. It uses a bone conducting technology to play sounds and music that you can only hear with your head on the pillow so as not to wake your partner. I have never been able to fall asleep to music as I find it too distracting but the DreamPad comes with music in its free App that works perfectly.
Finally, you should really invest in a good sleep tracking device. I use a Beddit which tracks when I fall asleep, when I wake up, what times I’m restless, my pulse, breaths per minute and whether or not I was snoring. It gives me an overall sleep score each day. I use that data to determine what may be causing a good or bad night’s rest.”
What are your thoughts about ASMR and its helpfulness for relaxation and falling asleep?
Ben, “ASMR is such a fascinating subject. It has really exploded on the scene as a sleep tool. A few months ago the first peer reviewed study was published on ASMR with some promising findings. Although it is still very much a mystery to how it exactly works, people who use ASMR swear by it and are waiting for the science to catch up.
I occasionally use ASMR when I am taking a nap during the day with my DreamPad pillow. ASMR seems to be a harmless and effective way of getting better sleep. I look forward to reading more about ASMR as more studies are published.”
Click HERE to visit the Sleep Sherpa website and learn more about products to help you sleep better.
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