Sleep Hygiene: 10 Tips to Optimize Your Bedroom for the Best Rest11:40:00 PM
Are you tired of having trouble enjoying your sleep at home when you retire to bed after a long, tiresome day? Maybe it’s the loud noise, uncomfortable bed, bright lights, bedroom color, or the TV in your room that always steal your sleep. Well, whatever the cause, you’ll need to look for an effective solution, lest you continue to have miserable, sleepless nights. You should consider optimizing the bedroom to suit your needs for the best rest. But how exactly can you achieve this? Please read on for some of the simple, most effective tips that you can start implementing today.
1. Have a Good, Comfortable Bed and Mattress
Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed/mattress can be very stressful. If you manage to sleep at all, you’ll most likely wake up feeling tired, numb, or stiff – exactly the opposite of what you’d expect out of having the rest. Your mattress could be having holes, rips, or lumps that make it uncomfortable to sleep in. The pillows could also be old or have lumps and sags that make you fluff the pillow all night long trying to get comfortable. Should you find yourself in such a situation, it’s high time you consider replacing your bed, mattress, and/or pillows.
You should invest in a good mattress that suits your sleep needs and can last long while still in its good condition. Depending on your preference and lifestyle, whether it’s with sleeping position, adjustable stiffness, or fabrics used (should you be allergic to certain fabrics), there are several platforms around you where you can get just what you want. For instance, you can check out the Beloit Mattress Company for more information.
2. Consider Having the Room Darker
Light is one of the most common thieves of sleep that affects a multitude of people. The wavelengths (spectrum of frequencies) of both the light we can see and that we cannot see can impact our ability to sleep. You should always watch out for the blue light, which has wavelengths ranging between 450 and 480. This blue light can cause the photopigment cells in your eyes (melanopsin) to send signals to your brain to turn off the melatonin, which is a chemical responsible for making you sleep. This light can emanate from table lamps, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and TVs.
Therefore, you should concentrate on making the room darker when sleeping. You can turn off the light completely or sleep with filtered light. To achieve this, you can consider optimizing using the following ways:
❖ Wearing an eye mask with an elastic strap and extra padding in front to prevent any light leakages.
❖ Using a gentle nightlight.
❖ Wearing blue-blocker glasses with lenses that filter blue light.
❖ Specially filtered light bulbs with built-in filters to reduce the blue light.
❖ Use blackout shades especially if you’re usually affected by the rising sun. These shades contain more than one layers that can block out light and keep the bedroom cool, especially during the summer.
3. Check Your Bedroom’s Color
Different colors have different impacts on our moods. While bright, vibrant colors can be fun and attractive, they may not be fit for the bedroom. Such colors like blue, yellow, and green have been proven to promote a peaceful and calm rest hence most hours of sleep (a minimum of 7 hours 30 minutes). If your room is painted with colors like grey, brown, purple, and white (approximately six hours of sleep), you can consider painting it with yellow, blue, and green colors which will help you enjoy lengthy and healthy sleep.
4. Check Your Bedroom Temperature
Perhaps you can relate to the times you’ve had trouble having a comfortable bed rest because the room was too hot. This is what warmer and hot temperatures actually do, they affect the quality of your sleep. Several studies and experts have found the optimal temperature range for a good, peaceful sleep to range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your optimal temperature, however, may not be the same as that of your loved one. You’ll need to try different thermostat settings until you identify a more comfortable temperature for both of you or resolve to use different comforter weights. You may have to leave the air conditioner on throughout the night or you could open the windows, use an electric fan, or install a ceiling fan. You may as well consider using cooling mattress pads.
5. Block Out as Many Sounds as Possible
If you’re living in or next to a loud town, you may hardly enjoy a peaceful sleep every time you go to bed. You’ll be turning all night from the disturbing sounds from vehicles honking, pedestrians chattering, music from street clubs, and ambulance sirens. You’ll need to block out as much noise as possible for you to enjoy every bit of your rest henceforth, which can be achieved in a number of ways.
You can improve your windows by replacing with triple-pane glass, using wooden shutters, and sealing with weather-stripping and caulk shutters. This can be costly but the satisfaction of good healthy sleep will be worth it. You may also consider relocating your bedroom to be in a room far from the exterior noise sources.
But that’s not all, you can generate white noise to mask the background sounds by using a specific white noise machine or by running a fan. Repositioning your bed to a safe distance from the exterior wall, lining the outside wall with clothes racks and bookshelves (fabric and books can absorb significant amounts of noise), and putting on earplugs when having a rest can also be essential to block the noise.
6. Get the Right Bedding
One of the reasons why you’re having trouble sleeping could be because of the type of fabric used in your bedding. You need to choose fabrics that can make you enjoy the best sleeping experience possible. For instance, fabrics such as linen, bamboo, wool, silk, and cotton contain moisture-wicking characteristics that allow them to absorb excess moisture hence providing extra comfort. Synthetic satin and polyester have the ability to trap moisture, creating a warmer sleeping environment.
The fabric should feel good on your skin and not cause discomforts. In case you’re allergic to dust and molds, you should look for an allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers (remember to wash them on a regular basis as well). Different seasons may require different bedding widths; thinner bedding during summer and thicker for winter. Ensure to also get yourself and the family bedsheets of the right size and fit.
7. The Bedroom Smell
You could be wondering how the smell in your bedroom could determine if you’ll have a good rest or not. Well, smell is a powerful sense that can be fed into our limbic system, the system that controls our emotions, sex-drive, and impulses. Depending on the scent in your room, it can either make you relaxed or very active (and you’ll hardly feel the need to sleep). There are different optimization tips that can help you relax and have a peaceful, healthy sleep.
Aromatherapy can be the most effective to achieve this. Here, you’ll use a pillow spray or diffuser to distribute essential oils full of scents known to bring a relaxation feeling (such as ylang-ylang and lavender) throughout your bedroom. However, you should avoid using candles or anything that can spread fire when you’re sleeping.
Other possible methods include opening the windows to improve air circulation especially if there’s a good air quality outside and installing humidifiers or dehumidifiers to control the moisture levels inside your bedroom.
8. Consider Getting Rid of Clutter
Having too much clutter in your bedroom could deprive you of peaceful sleep. Remember, the bedroom should always be the room where retire to a sweet rest. But you won’t enjoy your sleep if you turn your bedroom into a playroom, office, or gym. You should remove all the clutter in the bedroom that could distract your sleep in one way or another. Let each room serve its purpose – bedroom be the room for sleeping only. Getting rid of all the clutter will help clear any potential distraction and as a result, you’ll enjoy a sweet rest throughout the night.
9. Ditch the TV
You’d probably want to watch your favorite show, match, or music videos while relaxing in bed, right? But did you know that the TV can steal your sleep? Well, it actually does. Right from the blue light emitted by the screen to the motion and sound. All these (as explained above) can affect the quality of your sleep. For a good, peaceful rest, you should discipline and restrict yourself to only watch the TV in the living room. And if you must have the TV in your bedroom, you should switch it off about 30 minutes to your sleeping time. During this time, you can read a novel, take a bath or any other activity that makes you relax.
10. Ditch All Other Electronics
Apart from the TV, other electronics like mobile phone, tablet, laptop, and other electronics with bright LED lights can also affect the quality of your sleep. LEDs can emit light that works against the melatonin, hence stealing your sleep. The gadgets can also tempt you to surf the internet, check your mails, and interact with your friends on different social networks during the time you were to sleep. Such activities can keep you active and you may hardly think about sleeping. But if you ditch them out of the bedroom, you’ll have zero distractions when sleeping, hence enjoying a peaceful sleep.
Not having enough sleep can be dangerous for your health and how you’ll perform your daily activities. Several factors can deny you having a good, peaceful sleep that you deserve after a long day. Fortunately, you can choose to optimize your bedroom using the tips explained above and your sleep hygiene will certainly improve. Don’t live to blame that mattress or bedding or pillows for not having a better rest that you deserved. You can act now and change your bedroom to suit your sleep needs. All the best!