Is Your bedroom Conducive to Sleep?
If a good night’s rest is eluding you, the first thing to look at is that inner sanctuary: the bedroom where you sleep. It needs to be pleasant, comfortable, attractive and sleep-inducing.
Here are 12 key ways to make your bedroom more comfortable and sleep-friendly for you.
Keep it dark
One of the most important ingredients of a room that is conducive to a good night’s rest is that it must be dark. This is because even a tiny amount of light can be enough to suppress production of the all-natural, sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Generally, electric lights have contributed to disrupting the body clock because bright lights send signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up and to be active.
Traditional bulbs are rich in blue wavelengths, which suppresses melatonin. Even the tiniest amount of this light in your room whilst you’re trying to get a good night’s rest can adversely affect the ability of the pineal gland in your brain to produce melatonin for that night, and this can lead to sleeping difficulties.
Get a sleep mask if necessary
If you are unable to completely eliminate light from streaming into your room, a quick and easy solution is to get a high quality sleep mask that is light and comfortable, and yet thick enough to block out all light. Note that you’ll also need a small flap of material around the nose area to block out light.
If you do need to have some light to get up during the night, use a red light bulb as the experts have found that they do not affect the production of melatonin but still enable you to see.
Make sure the room is the right temperature
The temperature of your room is a key factor in getting quality sleep. Your room cannot be too hot or too cold. Sleep experts suggest it should be slightly cool around 16-18°C (60-65°F). This is because if your room is too hot, that will prevent your core body temperature from cooling down to the optimal level for quality sleep.
Approximately 3-4 hours after you doze off, your core body temperature falls to its lowest level. If your room is too hot, this will prevent your body from falling to that optimal sleeping temperature. This will make it hard for you to get to sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
If it will be safe for you to do so, leave a window slightly open so that air can circulate around the room. Try not to leave the central heating on because this can dehydrate you and wake you up. Rather than heating up your room, invest in a warmer duvet.
A cold room can also disrupt sleep, so make sure that your room is at the right temperature range in which to sleep, which is in the region of 16-18°C (60-65°F).
Get a white noise machine
If you happen to live in a noisy area or have a partner that snores, invest in a white noise machine. A white noise machine is the simplest and most effective solution to blocking out noise. White noise is a unique type of sound signal which is used to promote healthy sleep by masking background sounds that might otherwise prevent you from falling asleep. It does this by drowning out those sounds and fading into the background. When it does so, it takes all other external sounds with it.
Keep your room clutter free.
Untidiness takes up space, time and energy. To enhance good sleep, it is important to ensure that your room is clutter-free. Clutter is a powerful energy drainer because it constantly reminds you of how disorganised you are. Clearing your room of clutter makes your room more organised which is good for achieving peace of mind, which in turn aids restful sleep. In addition, vacuuming and damp dusting your room on a regular basis will keep it free of night time asthma and allergies, which can wreck a good night’s sleep.
Note that clutter is not just physical. You can find clutter in various aspects of your life that you carry around in your head. It also includes fretting about one thing or another or negative thoughts concerning others.
Add plants that can help you relax
Keeping plants Aloe Vera, English Ivy and Snake Plant in your room. These plants are known to improve air quality by releasing a large amount of oxygen at night. In fact, English Ivy is known to reduce airborne mould by 94%.
The extra amount of fresh air will help make breathing easier so that your body calms down and stays relaxed at night. Plants like Lavender and White Jasmine are known to help reduce anxiety and stress. They will also help your room smell fabulous.
Note that this may not be appropriate for pregnant women or children.
Keep your extremities warm
Even though your core body temperature needs to be cool enough to induce quality sleep, that doesn’t mean your hands and feet should also be cool. In fact, sudies have found that cold hands and feet are associated with sleeplessness. If you find that your hands or feet are cold, increase their temperature by using a water bottle or bed socks.
Keep your room TV and computer free.
Don’t treat your bedroom as an extension of your living room or a study. Use it for sleeping and sex only. That means removing your magazines, TV, computer and anything else that might distract you from sleeping. Avoid use of technology in the hours before bedtime including computers, mobile phones and televisions
Surround your room with love.
Adorn your bedroom with sentimental and beautiful things that keep your mind in a good place such as photographs of your loved ones, artwork that you like, plants and ﬂowers. Doing so will help you form a connection with your room so that you look forward to going to bed every night.
Get a comfortable bed
The underlying basis of quality sleep is a comfortable bed. Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can lead to poor quality sleep that results in back pain, tiredness and fatigue. It really can make all the difference. A mattress with poor support can undermine your sleeping posture and prevent you from getting a good nights’ rest. If you are able to get a good night’s rest when you’re not sleeping on your bed, then it may be time for you to get a new bed.
When choosing your bed, go for value and quality over price. Shop around carefully to make sure you get a good price, but never compromise on quality where your health is concerned.
Avoid bright colors
Avoid filling your room with bold, bright and intense colours such as orange and red. These colors are less conducive to sleep because they are more stimulating and tend to increase the amount of energy in the room. Instead, think about using calming tones such as light blues, earth tones or soft, tranquillity-inducing colors that are relaxing and muted.
Interior designers often recommend shades of blue for the bedroom because they are known to contribute to better sleep. In fact, a 2013 study by Travelodge found that people who have a blue bedroom get the most sleep at night.
Choose the right bedding
To get a good night’s rest, you need to feel comfortable all night. If your body gets too hot or too cold during the night, you’ll probably wake up, which is why you need to check your bedding or duvet. The weight, softness and warmth of a duvet is measured in togs.
The lower the tog, the lighter and cooler the duvet, and the higher the tog, the warmer the duvet with 2.5 tog ideal for spring and summer, and 10.5 – 13.5 perfect for autumn and winter.
Just as important is the composition of your duvet. Natural materials such as cotton, wool and down are more expensive, but they offer a better quality nights’ sleep than man-made fibres such as polyester and nylon.
Your pillow should also be made of natural fibres so it doesn’t become too hot and will absorb moisture.