Your sleep environment is crucial to making your sleep as good as it can be. Of course you want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day, but what are simple ways to guarantee this? Well, you should definitely make your sleep environment comfortable and suitable for your needs. Sometimes this involves a little tweaking to your current situation, but it can be totally worth it. Here is a list of 5 things you can do to make your sleeping space perfect for a great night’s rest. Even if you only decide to adhere to a few of these suggestions, it can totally improve your sleeping game. Let’s begin, first things first….
- Make your room dark – I know not all of you are going to like this suggestion, but it is scientifically proven that sleeping in the dark helps you sleep better. This is because light suppresses the a production of melatonin, a hormone produced by your brain that helps you sleep. So turn off the lights and cover up your windows (with shutters or sheets), because even sun can wake you up before you are rested enough.
This is a hard one, but ditch the electronics before and while in bed. I am guilty of turning the lights off and watching netflix on my laptop til my eyes droop. But as research shows, I am definitely not the only one. According to a poll done by the National Sleep Foundation, “95% of people use some type of computer, video game, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.” This means a whole lot of us are actually trying to fall asleep while our bodies are still charged up. The melatonin simply cannot catch up with our desire to catch some zzzz’s right after a Friends marathon in the late hours of the night. So try some alternatives before bed like reading a book, drawing or getting your freak on! All of these are fun and do not involve staring directly at a screen.
- Get rid of annoying noise pollution – Whether you have a rapping roommate or live in the city, noise can disrupt your ability to get and stay asleep. I recently started working at a building with several therapist’s offices. Naturally they want the hallways kept quiet to drown out the daily noise, so therapists set up “white noise machines”. Believe it or not, these things work well! If you want a great sleep but live in a noisy area try buying a white noise machine. White noise helps drown out other sounds and this allows you to have a better chance of staying asleep through random noise disturbances. If you don’t want to buy a machine the National Sleep Foundation suggests you create white noise using a fan, air conditioner or air purifier.
- Keep your bedroom clean – I don’t know about you but I feel more at ease when things around me are clean and tidy. Sixty-two per cent of American people that took National Sleep Foundation’s poll said that a clean bedroom makes all the difference for a good night’s rest. For one thing, you don’t want to be getting up in the middle of the night and step on something painful. But also, a clean room creates peace of mind and prepares you to relax before bed. Also try and avoid too many distractions like TVs or game systems.
- Make sure your bed is the clean island it should be – I once saw a show that said for the best sleep you should change your pillowcase every two days but if anyone with little time knows, this can be hard to do. So my aim is to change the sheets once a week and damn, does that first night in fresh sheets feel beautiful! According to the National Sleep Foundation, their poll found that 75% of people are actually more excited to go to sleep when their sheets are clean! You may also find a soothing scented laundry detergent that helps you sleep. If you are sensitive to scent, opt for a scentless detergent. If you want to freshen your sleeping island even more try washing your mattress cover in piping hot water and sprinkle good old baking soda on your mattress. Life hack: baking soda works to clean almost anything.
- Cool down that room of yours – According to experts, the best temperature for sleeping is 65 degrees. During the day, your body changes temperature multiple times and reaches it’s lowest temperature around 5 am. As you become drowsy your body is actually cooling down! If your room is too hot, it can disrupt your body’s cooling and make you feel really uncomfortable. I find that sleeping naked has helped me stay cool and comfortable, making for a better sleep overall. But…maybe a cold shower before sleep is right for you!