In part 1 and part 2 of this 3 part series on how to improve the quality of sleep, you learned about all the steps you can take during the day and right before bed to set yourself up for a successful night of sleep. If you haven’t read it yet make sure you do. In this final article, you will learn about how to establish the best environment for healthy sleep.
How to establish the best environment for healthy sleep:
Now let’s take a look at your actual bedroom. Creating an environment that supports proper sleep is crucial to set yourself up for success.
Sleep in a dark place. Invest in blackout curtains and make sure there are no lights in the room that can disrupt your sleep. To make the waking up experience more pleasant you can invest in a light alarm clock. If you are in a place where you have no control over the curtain situation get a sleep eye mask.
Especially while you are trying to fall asleep, noise can really disrupt a healthy sleeping pattern. Turn off your cell phone or put it on silent or best, leave it outside of the room. If you are using it as your alarm, get an alarm clock. If you are very sensitive to noise get earplugs, it works wonders. An alternative is a white noise machine or an air filter that makes white noise. If you have roommates or live with a partner that doesn’t go to bed at the same time as you, talk to them about the importance of sleep (or send them this article) and ask them to be considerate.
Research has shown that a temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) is optimal for sleep. Your body temperature drops at night as part of your circadian rhythm and sleeping in a room that is too hot can interfere with your sleep. This may be highly individual, so tune in with your body and find out what the right temperature is for you.
If the comfort of your mattress or pillow is an issue, invest in a really comfortable one if you can. I recommend the avocado green mattress, not only for comfort but also because it is non-toxic and sustainable. The same applies to sheets and other bedding, whatever feels pleasant to you will benefit your sleep.
Keeping your bedroom tidy and clean makes for a relaxing environment. Clutter, especially in your bedroom, can cause stress, which is not helpful for your sleep. This study showed that people with more clutter sleep worse than people with less clutter. A messy bedroom is also harder to keep clean and dustfree. Especially if you have allergies, it is important to keep your bedroom clean. An air filter can be an additional helpful tool.
If you can, use your bedroom for sleep and sex only. It can be helpful if your brain starts associating the bedroom with sleep, especially if you are having trouble falling asleep. For the same reason, it is advised to not stay in bed for a long time if you are having insomnia. To avoid associating the bed with stress it is better to leave the bedroom and engage in a soothing activity like reading (without getting blue light exposure) until you are ready to go back to sleep.
In this 3 part series, you learned about a lot of important steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep. If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the information remember the following. Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of doing something. Stressing about getting it right is counterproductive. These steps are here to help you take charge of your own health. I recommend implementing them one step at a time. Some steps may or may not apply to you, we are all different and find ourselves in different situations. If none of these tips help talk to a healthcare professional to get to the bottom of possible underlying issues.