9 Ways to Make Your Bedroom More Sleep-Friendly
Brought to you by: Health Experts
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or are you constantly waking up feeling sluggish? It might seem absurd to you, but your bedroom might be one of the reasons why you’re not getting a good night’s sleep.
Turn your bedroom into a cave.
Imagine sleeping in a cave. Try to design your bedroom to mimic this setting at night. Like a cave, your bedroom should be cool, silent, and dark.
If you live in a noisy environment, always make sure your windows are closed. You may even want to consider investing in a good pair of earplugs or a white noise generator. It’s also important to block out as much light as possible at night. Even if it’s dark when you go to bed, the early morning sun streaming in through the blinds can cause early morning wakeups.
A bigger bed for better sleep.
Share a bed? If you wake up in the middle of the night, your sleeping partner may be at fault. The average, healthy sleeper moves around 15-30 times during the night. These nighttime movements also increase as we get older. If your bed is too small or if your mattress is very sensitive to movement, you may be woken in the night by these disturbances.
If you’re in the market for a new bed, choose the biggest size that will fit your budget and your bedroom. Also, look into new mattresses that are designed to minimize the transfer of movement to your partner. Make sure both sleepers make the mattress shopping trip together so that you can get an idea of potential disturbances from anyone tossing and turning next to you.
Make the bed a sleep-only zone.
Our brains make associations based on what’s happening around us. That’s one of the reasons we can focus in environments where we regularly work. We’re conditioned to feel sleepier or more awake in certain environments. When we do work or watch TV in bed, our brains begin to associate the bedroom with these activities. Without knowing it, you might be unintentionally conditioning yourself to feel more anxious when you see your sheets because of late nights spent finishing reports for work or paying bills in bed. Reserve your bed for sleeping to reduce stress and sleep well!
Upgrade your mattress.
When was the last time you bought a new mattress? Experts advise that you should replace your mattress at least every 10 years. Although it can be pricey, your mattress is one of your most important investments.
Shop for the best value and not the lowest price! You spend about a third of your life sleeping, and your mattress can improve the quality of your sleep. An unsupportive mattress can cause muscle stiffness, back pain, and neck pain. A mattress that is too firm can cause your limbs to fall asleep before you do!
It’s also a good rule of thumb not to trust descriptions written by the mattress company or the salesperson. The best way to choose a mattress is to try it out. Spend time lying down on different mattresses before you make your decision. Finally, make sure your mattress rests on a solid foundation. Old box springs can cause your new mattress to wear out faster.
Support a heavy head.
Did you know that your head weighs more than 10 pounds? The right pillow for you will provide the essential support you need for your neck and spine. This can help you avoid pain both at night and the following day. A supportive pillow will maintain the slightly forward curve of your neck when you are lying down on your back. However, if your pillow is too high, the increased curvature of your neck can cause troubled breathing or snoring, which can hinder sleep. If your pillow is too soft and low, you may experience neck pain from the strain. Supportive pillows should also mold somewhat to the shape of your head to avoid unwanted pressure.
If you’re shopping for a pillow upgrade, try them out in the store in order to determine which one is most comfortable for you. When you are trying out a new pillow, make sure to test it in the position that you normally sleep in.
Limit your pet’s access to your bed.
Although it might be comforting (and warm) to allow your dog or cat to sleep on your bed, it may hinder your sleep. Just like humans, pets move in their sleep. Your dog can inadvertently wake you up. Pets can also have the habit of intentionally waking us up when they are ready to start their days. It is unlikely that you and your pets will have the same sleep needs and he/she may decide that it is time to greet the day before your body is ready to wake up. Sleeping separately can improve the quality and duration of sleep for both of you!
Ban cell phones from bed.
Disconnecting from your phone early can help you wind down, de-stress, and avoid distractions from sleep. Make sure your phone is turned off at night if it’s in your bedroom. The light or vibrations from an incoming call or message can wake you up, even if your phone is on silent.
Messages can start conversations that take away from your sleep time or prevent you from relaxing your mind before sleep. If possible, try disconnecting from technology for at least an hour before bed to avoid the stress from anxiety – arousing conversations, messages, or emails.
Lower the thermostat.
Your internal body temperature drops as you fall asleep. You can help your body prepare for sleep by slightly lowering the external temperature. The temperature that works best for you can range between 65 and 72 degrees. If you find yourself feeling a little bit too chilly with the lower temperature, try wearing socks to bed. Your feet can be one of the first parts of your body to get cold, so keeping your feet warm will help you feel more comfortable.
Move your clock.
Ever lie awake watching the minutes tick by, knowing you’re losing more and more sleep? This can be a very stressful experience! Instead of torturing yourself, try turning your clock around or positioning it where you can’t see it. When we can’t sleep, looking at the clock increases our stress levels, making it even more difficult to relax and fall asleep. Also, light from a clock can be part of the problem. Knowing the time and how much sleep you lost won’t help you when you are trying to fall back asleep!