Often neglected, sleep is vital to our overall health and well-being. Having a good night’s sleep allows us to be well rested for the day ahead and it also gives our bodies the time it needs to repair. Having adequate sleep can also prevent various illnesses and prevent excess weight gain.
We’ve put together a few handy tips so you can sleep peacefully throughout the night.
As well as a comfortable mattress, room décor and accessories can all come together to help create a warm and inviting bedroom you’ll want to escape to. Having house plants can help to keep the air in your room fresh and clean. Having neutral colours on the walls and around your room can create a calming space. Adding a rug and an array of cushions can create a warm and cosy feel to the room. There are various other accessories and features you can add to your room to create the type of space you want that will help you to relax and unwind.
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Electronics are notorious for stealing your sleep at night as well as anything that emits a bright white light. Without getting too deep into the science of it all, essentially exposure to such lighting in any form before and during sleep will send a signal through your eye’s optical nerves to a part of your brain which controls your internal clock. When light is detected, it suppresses or delays melatonin release, which is responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Due to this, cortisol is released instead which keeps your body temperature raised to initiate wakefulness.
This is why darkness is really important for sleep as it regulates your sleep clock. As much as you're tempted to scroll through your social media feed or read that email that has just come through or you want to fit in one last episode of your favourite show before bed, try banning all electronics at least an hour before you sleep so your body has enough time to wind down. Keep the electronics such as your phone or tablet out of reach and keep them on silent or do not disturb mode.
If you have light coming in from your window from street lighting for example, try getting some black-out curtains to prevent this. For those who need some form of lighting in their room, try to use soft, warm lighting where possible. An eco-friendly option could be to use candles or even motion sensored night lights if you're worried about falling over in the middle of the night. In situations where blocking all light isn’t possible, you can use a comfortable sleep mask to cover your eyes.
Time to wind down
Take the time to wind down before you go to bed as this can help you fall asleep faster. Make sure not to eat big meals before you sleep and try eating foods that will aid your sleep or even by drinking a glass of warm milk or a cup of herbal tea. As mentioned before, reduce your screen time or avoid using any electronics an hour before bed so your mind doesn’t stay stimulated and awake. You could also read a book or take a warm bath to help you relax and drift away.
Ever feel too hot or too cold to sleep? Temperature can affect your sleep quality. The optimal temperature to get a good night’s sleep is between 15-22 degrees Celsius. If the heat is getting to you, there are different ways for you to cool down your room. Having your air conditioning on full blast all night isn’t always ideal and can also be a bit noisy. Try a greener, more eco-friendlier way to cool down by opening your windows a few hours before going to bed or through the night or install a ceiling fan or use an electrical one. You could also use lightweight bedding or a cooling mattress cover to bring down temperatures. For those who find it difficult to warm up, adjust the temperature so the room is just right before you go to bed, otherwise you’ll have a disruptive sleep trying to stay warm through the night. You could also layer up by adding a fleece blanket under your actual blanket to keep you nice and cosy or take a hot water bottle to bed with you. Everyone is different, so try to find the optimal temperature that works for you.
Doesn’t matter how messy or cluttered your room is when you're going to bed, because you’ll be sleeping with your eyes closed right? Wrong. Your brain will register your surroundings and save all the details about what it sees so if you have a cluttered or disorganised bedroom, it is likely that it’ll make you feel less relaxed and lead to a restless sleep.
Cramming things under the bed will do no good either as this will prevent the air circulating from under your mattress. Your mattress absorbs moisture so it is important to keep the area beneath it well ventilated. Cleaning up under your bed will also get rid of any dust bunnies which is a bonus for those suffering with allergies.
Organise your space by making making use of a bedside drawer for odds and ends, a blanket box or closed basket for bedding or clothes that would otherwise be lying around the floor, use your desk for keeping all your paperwork and important documents safe and declutter your cupboard space so you can keep all of your belongings organised.
From noisy neighbours and family members to televisions and loud snorers, there are many sounds that can make it harder for you to fall asleep or that can wake you up during the night. If the noise is out of your control and you find it does affect your rest, using ear plugs or listening to white noise or calming nature sounds can help as they will blur out any other background noise and aid you to doze off.
Arranging your furniture
Did you know that one of the reasons that you wake up with aches and pains in the morning could be because of where your bed is positioned? Having the head of the bed against an exterior wall can cause these problems, especially as these walls tend to be cold. Positioning your bed next to a warm interior wall can help you sleep better.
Clear the space in front of your window if there is anything blocking it as this way you’ll be able to open them up in the mornings. Airing out your room on a regular basis is important as it allows oxygen to enter and humid air to escape. For those who like waking up to natural light, position your bed opposite your window so you can wake up with the sunrise.
Certain fabrics are more comfortable than others when it comes to bedding. Cotton, linen and silk keep you comfortable whilst polyester and synthetics can make you warmer as they trap moisture which sometimes isn’t that pleasant. You don’t need to break the bank to find bedding that suits you. If you live in an area with distinctive summer and winter months, use different bedding such as thicker blankets for winter and thinner ones or silk bedding for summer. Use allergen-proof blankets, mattress or pillow covers to help reduce allergens that steal your sleep and wash and change covers on a regular basis to reduce bacteria.
Your mattress plays an essential part in your sleep. Mattresses should be replaced when they no longer provide any comfort or support and investing in a good mattress will increase its longevity. Pillows are just important as mattresses and should be replaced when necessary. Depending on how you sleep, make sure to have a pillow that supports you properly.
We all have different tolerances so it’s important to listen to your body and work out what works best for you. You may not need to make every change but take away some of the key points that you think may help you to establish a bedroom that prioritises sleep over everything else.