If you’ve ever struggled to explain your insomnia, have you considered that your sleep environment could be the one thing that is keeping you up at night? Of course sometimes we will wake up to the sound of the dripping faucet or barking dogs in the neighborhood that disturb our slumber, but there are other culprits that are just as disruptive. These environmental sleeping factors unknowingly keep us up and causing us to toss and turn at night. Because we all know how you feel during the day greatly effects how you will sleep later on, it’s time to nip insomnia in the bud and take control of creating a sleep haven for yourself by creating the perfect sleep environment. Check out these tips for making your bedroom more sleep friendly.
How To Create A Good Sleep Environment
According to sleep scientists, most people sleep best in slightly cool rooms (around 65° F or 18° C). Bed sharers need to compromise, because if one partner has problems sleeping, it will impact you both at some point during the night. If one prefers heat or cold, meet in the middle and adjust with pajama layers and blankets. And don’t let your focus on temperature in your sleep environment omit to humidity during the spring and summer seasons. Both heaters and fans have the tendency to dry out the air and your throat as well while you sleep. Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom during these problematic months.
Prioritize A Comfortable Mattress
If you are willing to invest money in creating the perfect sleep environment, your mattress should be a top priority. The bed is the heart of the sleep sanctuary and should allow you to get the best comfort you can afford. Experts suggest replacing it every seven years and don’t shy away from top-quality names and brands. The investment of sleeping in a luxuriously comfortable bed every night for up to seven years is well worth the money. There is a variety of different types of mattresses to choose from whether it’s soft or firm. Stay away from water beds; they may be fun, but they are not the best type of mattress for your body to lay on all night long.
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
Since much of our sleeping patterns depend on light and darkness, use this to your advantage. If your bedroom is not dark enough, consider black-out curtains or heavy drapes to keep out light from the street. You can also search for “night” curtains which are heavier and darker than “day curtains.“ And for bedtime, consider installing dimmer switches so you ease up on the lighting in your room as you prepare for slumber. Another alternative is to invest in an eye mask; especially if you live with someone who needs to get up much earlier than you and needs to turn on lights to see in the early morning as they get ready for the day.
Scent Is Too Often Overlooked
While every home has its own unique aroma and you’re likely quite used to yours, there’s still a possibility that odors are impacting you differently at night. You should definitely occasionally air out your bedroom to allow fresh air inside. Also, if you can remember any changes in detergent or fabric softener that coincided with the onset of your insomnia, try switching and gauge the impact on your sleep. Lavender is a scent proven to promote relaxation and sleep, but you might also have your own preferences for relaxing scents that can be explored in your bedroom with detergents, incense, fragrant sprays, etc.
The Sounds Of Sleeplessness
Keep your noisy electronic gadgets out of the bedroom! Too many people make the mistake of bombarding their sleep environment with computers, smart phones, televisions, and many other devices. Not only do these devices invite stressful emotions and interruptions into your bedroom, but they also create, often quite disturbing even though not entirely audible, noise of various frequencies.
And if you find yourself often disturbed by noise from traffic or neighbors, consider playing recordings of soothing sounds or white noise to preemptively block out these sleep disrupters. You should be able to rind a CD with relaxing sounds at a nearby store and online. Another option of you have a smartphone or tablet is to download a sleep app to listen to peaceful sounds at night. These apps also come with timers so you can fall asleep or wake up to it.
The Shared Fate Of Bed Partners
If you share your bed with a sufferer from a common sleep disorder, it’s likely that your restful nights are also fewer and farther between. In general, it’s advisable to try to create a sleeping arrangement that is comfortable for both of you. Start by communicating about it, running through a good sleep check-list, and prioritizing sound and restful sleep.
Photo: Sara Lando