A good night’s sleep leaves you feeling refreshed, energized and ready to take on the new day. Sleepless nights, on the other hand, can leave you feeling drained, cranky and less able to cope. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to enhance your ability to have consistently relaxing sleep by creating an ideal bedroom space.
Don’t let the light shine in
The setting sun is an age-old trigger for the mental and biological processes that induce sleep, but all the various forms of indoor and outdoor lighting interfere with that process and deny us the natural winding down stages that make us feel sleepy. Blinds and curtains that are typically chosen to make windows beautiful often don’t screen out enough of the bright light from security lights, street lights and passing cars to make uninterrupted sleep possible. Sleep masks are handy, but they sometimes fall off during the night and they don’t match everyone’s idea of comfort either.
Another option for blocking out the light is a set of blackout curtains or made to measure blackout blinds, which are more effective. By blocking up to 99 percent of the light, blackout curtains or blinds permit our natural circadian rhythm to create drowsiness, induce sleep and maintain peaceful, refreshing sleep through the night.
Designate your bedroom as a sleep zone
Don’t allow distractions to keep you awake. Televisions, video games and computers can all make you feel more alert and less sleepy. Workstations and desks with business and finance-related tasks are likely to make your mind active and have no place in the bedroom. Make your bedroom a comfortable zone of soft pillows and warm blankets that makes you feel immediately relaxed.
While you’re assessing your bedroom, take a look at your pillows. These should provide proper support for your neck and head while you are sleeping. If you are expecting, you’ll want to invest in a body pillow for extra support for your back and pregnant tummy.
Keep it cool, comfortably cool
For optimum sleep, bedrooms should be cool, quiet and dark. If you’ve put up the blackout curtains, you won’t have to worry about the dark, but be sure to check the thermometer. Body temperature naturally goes down when falling asleep so a cool room stimulates that process. Don’t make it too cold or your body will fight to raise temperature and your sleep will be disturbed.
Make your ideal bedroom space quiet
Eliminate nuisance sounds that disturb your sleep. Turn off televisions and stereos and other sources of sound. If you have dripping taps, get them fixed. If sounds from outside persistently interfere with your ability to get sound sleep, you may have to consider ear plugs or a white noise machine (e.g., a humidifier or fan). I started using white noise to help my infants and toddlers sleep better, and often use it myself when I find that noise outside my bedroom is affecting my ability to fall asleep.
Although there’s no guarantee of enjoying a perfect sleep every night, control as many environmental factors as possible to increase the chances of sound sleep and sweet dreams.
How do you ensure you create an ideal bedroom space or ensure you get a good night’s rest?