Are you the kind of person who lies awake for hours at night wishing that sleep would come? If the answer is yes, it may be time for you to reassess your sleep environment. The place where we sleep can have a significant impact on sleep quality and quantity.
It may seem inconsequential but you should never underestimate the importance of the environment where you sleep. More often than not, the place Canadians sleep most is the bedroom. When it comes to this room of your home, it should be a sanctuary for restful and restorative sleep.
There are many external factors that influence our bedrooms. For this reason, it’s important that a sleep environment promotes and improves sleep quality.
Now, we’re not talking about how the room is decorated or what direction the bed is facing. We’re talking about variables such as:
By becoming more attuned to the external factors in your sleep environment, you can discover what puts you at ease, while also eliminating variables that distract you. There’s nothing stopping you from setting yourself up for your best possible sleep.
Here are some tips that you can put into practice to improve and maximize your bedroom environment to promote better sleep quality.
To get a better night of rest, you need to get rid of clutter. That means removing your laptop and saying goodbye to the gym equipment that sits tucked away in the corner of the room.
Our bedroom should be associated with one thing only - sleep. But this isn’t for aesthetics only. When we start introducing other activities such as work or even exercise into our sleep environment, it conditions our brains to keep our minds more active when it’s time to rest.
Have you ever spent a day working in your bedroom and then felt anxious all night long? That’s because your brain no longer associates the room as just an environment for rest. It now also sees it as a space for productivity and oftentimes, stress.
Electronics and digital devices should never be allowed in your sleep environment. That means cell phones, laptops, TVs and even e-readers. All of these devices emit sleep-disrupting light known as blue light.
The reason that blue light affects our ability to sleep is that it tricks our body into slowing down its production of melatonin - the hormone we need for sleep regulation. The more sources of blue light that we have in our bedroom, the harder it is to fall asleep.
Natural light regulates our circadian rhythm. So, we need darkness at night to create an optimal sleep environment.
Artificial light from either a lamp or our cell phones has the same ability as natural daylight to keep us awake and alert. To improve sleep quality, a dark bedroom is best. Try light-blocking shades or blinds to prevent natural sunlight from waking you in the early morning.
Installing dimmer switches on lighting can gradually prepare your body for sleep as the evening goes on. If you really need a source of light during the night, use dim nightlights. This will help you move about your house without stimulating your brain too much.
Research shows that our sense of smell also impacts sleep quality. We can modify the scents in our sleep environment by using aromatherapy oils and diffusers to get a better night of rest.
When creating a sleep-friendly environment, expose yourself to calming and relaxing scents, such as lavender or vanilla to help you unwind at night. Chamomile is another scent that is known for its relaxing properties.
Making adjustments to your sleeping environment can help you see an improvement in your quality of sleep. The tips we mentioned above will help you to effectively relax your body and mind every night.Still not sleeping well even after you’ve improved your sleep environment? Speak with a doctor to rule out whether you have a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you continue to have restless nights, it is important that you consult with a physician.
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