Let’s be real. If you moved to a city, it definitely wasn’t with the goal to improve your quality of sleep. Since we’re headquartered in the city best known for never-sleeping, taking advantage of every opportunity, and striving to accomplish goals, we can confidently say that New York City is the urban mecca of sleeplessness. Not to mention, once you do finally shut off for the night, there are often street noises, bright lights, or obnoxious neighbors that make quality sleep nearly impossible.
But at the end of the day, quality sleep isn’t only a luxury we all deserve, but an essential component of our mental and physical health.
Which is why we consulted Anthony Prisco, a Certified Health Education Expert (CHES) and NYC resident, on the best ways to increase sleep quality while living in an urban setting.
Hi Anthony! Thanks for helping us crack the code on how to get better sleep. First thing’s first: on average, how many hours of sleep is recommended for adults?
The National Sleep Foundation maintains a great recommendation chart based upon age! It’s important to note that sleep requirements may vary from person to person but the general consensus is 7 hours. You want to make sure you’re getting more than 6 and not exceeding 10. Keep in mind that this needs to be consistent sleep!
Since consistency is key, can you tell us some benefits that come from getting a consistent full night’s sleep?
Definitely. The list goes on, so I’ll include some of my favorites! Science has linked quality sleep to an improved immune system, cognitive function (creativity, productivity, memory), and even living longer. Sleep also helps regulate our hunger and consequently our metabolism. We tend to be really hungry when we’re tired, which can lead to unwanted weight-gain.
Sounds like something we should all be prioritizing more of! So why are city residents specifically struggling to get adequate sleep?
For us city-dwellers, we certainly aren’t dealt the easiest hand when it comes to sleep. Many of us reside in lively neighborhoods filled with lights, sounds, and action. This may mean having light from the corner bodega sneaking into our windows, trucks honking in response to a double parked car on a tight one-way street, or a roommate returning from their night shift and making noise in our “cozy” apartments.
We totally agree. Can you share some tips for setting up healthy sleep habits for a city lifestyle?
A great place to start is to think about what’s actually disrupting your sleep. Is it stress? Keep a stress journal next to your bed and jot down your thoughts. Is it outside noise? Try a white noise machine and/or earplugs. Is it light? Maybe it’s time to invest in blackout curtains. There are answers to many of the common sleep disturbances, but everyone’s needs or different. Acknowledge what is getting in your way, research what can be done to combat those disturbances, and then test out what works for you. Maybe white noise doesn’t ease your mind but the sound of crashing waves does. Everyone likes their coffee different and the same can be said for their sleep environment. Given the parameters you are working with, take time to develop your own ideal sleep space! Even something as small as changing an old pillow can go a long way.
Thank you Anthony for all of your advice! What are the best next-steps to start a better sleep regiment?
If you’re reading this and feel as though you never receive a good night’s sleep, I challenge you to dedicate one day a week to focus on achieving that 7 hours. Then start with 2 days a week and so on. Tracking your sleep is a great practice to implement. There are many free phone apps that can assist with sleep monitoring and tracking! Everyone has different sleep needs, and the same goes for apartments! No one should be losing sleep, especially not over a stressful apartment hunting process. Check out our latest home openings to make your city life a bit easier and stress-free.