Get a better night sleep with barely any effort (or money).
Sleep. We all want it, we all need it, we all aren’t getting enough of it.
Whether because of our busy schedules, 24-hour connectivity or just our biology, lack of sleep is a big problem for a lot of adults.
People who are having trouble getting that coveted shut eye often resort to extreme measures, including taking a cocktail of medications or vitamins, drastically changing their routine and buying a new mattress – all of which can add up to a lot of money and time – and might not even work.
The good news is, research is starting to suggest one of the biggest contributing factors to how much sleep we get is our environment. And getting yours right can be as simple and inexpensive as making these easy tweaks to your bedroom…
1. Keep your bedroom for sleeping and relaxing
How many of us watch TV, answer work emails or study in bed? I’m guilty of all three, but performing stimulating or stressful activities in your bedroom can make your brain associate it with stress, making it harder to relax and fall asleep at the end of the day. So you should aim to keep your room as relaxing as possible, making it a haven for sleeping (and sex). Removing electronics and leaving your work at the bedroom door could help you relax quicker and sleep better once you go to bed.
2. Make your bed every day
Turns out our mothers were right, and we should definitely make our beds in the morning. The National Sleep Foundation found people who made their bed were 19 times more likely to get a good sleep every night. This could be because there is a link between feeling good about where you sleep and sleeping through the night, so pulling back the covers and snuggling into a nicely made bed every night could be the key to sleep success. Keeping fresh sheets on the bed can also help reduce allergies (if you need more help with your allergies, check these tips out) and even improve the symptoms of depression.
3. Lower the temperature
The National Sleep Foundation says the ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When trying to sleep, your body decreases its core temperature, so sleeping in a cooler room can help you fall asleep quicker. You should try to find the best blanket-to-temperature ratio, until it feels just perfect. Wearing socks to bed can also help, and if you sleep with someone who has a different body temperature to you, having separate blankets is always a good idea.
4. Get rid of light (until morning)
Your bedroom should be a dark cave when you’re trying to sleep. The darker the room, the better you will sleep. Try buying black-out curtains to keep light out, lamps should have a soft, yellow light so they aren’t too bright and won’t keep you awake, and make sure you have an alarm clock with no or very dim lights. An extra tip; don’t use your phone as an alarm. The blue light keeps you awake, and the temptation to check the time on your phone will be too great if you wake up through the night. When you wake up, open the blinds straight away so the sun can kickstart your circadian rhythm.
6. Clean and declutter your room
For the same reason that you should keep stressful activities out of the bedroom, you should avoid clutter and mess in your room as much as you can. Having a clean space can make it easier to fall asleep at night by promoting an uncluttered mind. If you’re someone who tends to hold on to everything so that every inch of your room is filled with bits and pieces, try doing a massive clean out. It could make a huge difference to how you sleep.
Everyone knows that lavender is a powerful aroma to help with relaxing, anxiety and agitation. The scent of lavender slows down the nervous system and relaxes the body and mind. Other relaxing smells include vanilla, jasmine, rose and peppermint. While these scents have been shown to impact sleep and increase relaxation, almost any smell that you enjoy would work. So buy some scented candles (make sure you blow them out before lying down), or put some drops of essential oil in a spray bottle with water and lightly spritz your pillow before going to bed.
7. White and pink noise
Noise and sleep don’t seem like they go together at all, but it all depends on the kind of noise. If you get the right kind, it can help you fall – and stay – asleep. White noise combines all sound frequencies to make a steady background noise that can drown out other undesirable sounds keeping you awake (like traffic or a snoring partner). Pink noise is sound at a constant frequency, like falling rain, the wind, or the ocean. Both types of noise slow and regulate brain waves, so you drift off easier and wake up feeling more rested. Fans make white noise, you can buy a white noise machine, or download a free app for white or pink noise to really reap the benefits.
Images via tumblr.com and giphy.com.
Comment: What are some of your tips for a perfect bedroom?