Sleep is important to you. You know that it makes you function better and that you feel so much better when you sleep well. But sometimes it still eludes you. Maybe you can’t fall asleep, or you wake up and stare at the ceiling for a while every night. While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee that you will sleep better, there are things you can do to make your environment more conducive to sleep. Interested? Here are some suggestions.
Mattress and Bedding
The mattress, pillows, and more that you sleep on can go far toward promoting better rest. They may seem unimportant, but they are actually the first place you should go to make changes when you’re trying to sleep better.
First of all, make sure that your spine is in neutral alignment. This means that it isn’t twisted, turned, or torqued in any awkward direction while you’re asleep. You may need to have a friend or partner take some photos of you on your mattress to determine whether it’s working for you. Choose a mattress based on your sleeping position, because back, side, and stomach sleepers all have different needs when it comes to their spines.
Similarly, you’ll want a pillow that keeps your neck in neutral alignment. It should also feel comfortable to you, so you want to lie down and rest on it. You may have to try several pillows before you find the one that works best for you. Many manufacturers give you a trial period so you can make sure that a pillow works for you.
Your bedding can be whatever you want it to be, but it should feel comfortable and promote cooling at night. Many people prefer cotton, though some like knit or flannel sheets better. You’ll want blankets that keep you warm but don’t make you hot. Some people prefer several layers, so they can make changes as the temperature changes overnight.
Feng shui is a designing philosophy that comes from ancient China. It prioritizes the way energy flows through a room, arranging furniture and more for the best possible flow. While it hasn’t been proven to help, many people find that designing according to its principles creates relaxing spaces.
Start by removing clutter from your bedroom. Devise storage solutions that keep your clutter out of sight. You can often put it under the bed or inside your closet, rather than somewhere where you have to see it all the time.
Think, too, about symmetry. Try to align things on a center line, and try to have two nightstands, two lamps, two dressers, etc. All of this can create a sense of balance in the room that feels peaceful to many people.
Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to sleep. Light regulates our circadian rhythms, which tell our bodies when to wake up and when to go to sleep. Thus, you will sleep better in a room that is completely dark.
If your bedroom has a lot of natural light, try to regulate it with blackout curtains. These don’t have to be big, ugly contraptions. Any more, they make blackout curtains that look like regular curtains and, in addition, keep out extra light.
You’ll also want to make sure that the lights in your room are soft. Some people even go as far as to install a dimmer switch, so they can turn the lights way down at night. This helps promote relaxation and keeps the brain from thinking that it needs to stay awake.
Different people need the bedroom at different temperatures to sleep, but most people find that a temperature between 60 and 65 degrees is best. This allows the body to cool, and it also allows you to use blankets and covers, even in the summer.
Blackout curtains block heat as well as light, so they can help keep your room cooler. If you don’t have A/C or you don’t want to run it all night, fans can help keep you cooler.
Scents and Smells
Many people find that certain scents help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. These can vary slightly from person to person, though there are a few that seem to appeal to many.
Lavender essential oil is one smell that seems to promote good rest. Many find it relaxing, and it’s easy to diffuse it. You should be able to smell the scent without it being overwhelming. Chamomile and mint are other scents that people often use to help them relax and rest.
It’s also important to avoid bad smells in your bedroom. The easiest way to do this is to open your window. Unless you live in a city or a particularly smelly area, this should let any bad odors out and bring fresh air in. You can also use an air filter if you prefer to keep your window shut or you find that it lets in too much light or noise to make sleep easy.
Color is powerful when it comes to changing your mindset and managing your emotions. Brands often focus a lot of time and energy on making sure the colors on their packaging appeal to their target audience. You can do something similar by thinking carefully about the colors you use in your bedroom.
Light colors, like pastels, are the most peaceful and calming. Neutral colors have a similar effect. These colors make use feel like we are out in nature, which is definitely relaxing.
In addition, dark colors can make a room feel smaller and cozier. If you have a big room, these can help it feel more comfortable. Rather than feeling like you are sleeping in a giant cavern, you can feel like you are in a cozy cabin.
Your brain hears and processes sounds at night, even if you don’t wake up. This can mean that noises wake you up, but it also means that you can use sound to help you sleep.
Block unwanted noise by closing your windows, running a fan, or wearing earplugs. While some earplugs are safe for regular use, others are not. Make sure that you are using earplugs that fit your ears well and that don’t cause pain or discomfort during the night.
You can also use white or pink noise to help you sleep. White noise is a steady sound, kind of like that produced by a fan or a humidifier. Pink noise is often tied to natural sounds, like babbling brooks, thunderstorms, or wind through the trees. You can buy machines that play both types of noise or even run it through an app on your smartphone. It may take time trial and error to find the noise that helps you sleep the best, but your improved rest is worth it!
Now that you know what a good sleep environment is like, assess your sleeping space. Does it seem like a good place to sleep, or are there changes you can make? Most people find at least one or two things they can do to make their bedroom a better place to sleep. Start implementing these changes today and keep track of your sleep to see how much it improves.