A good night’s sleep can make a big difference in your day. The easiest way to get a good night’s sleep is to make sure you’re sleeping in a healthy sleep environment. If you want to dramatically improve the quality of your sleep, it actually doesn’t cost a lot of money or require a lot of time – there are some simple and easy things that you can do to recreate your bedroom into a sleep haven. A well-designed sleep environment needs to serve two functions: it should help you get to sleep, and help you stay asleep. Here are some easy starting points for transforming your bedroom.
The first step in making your bedroom a healthy sleeping space is to change your use of the bedroom. If you cut out activities that don’t need to be done in the bed, you can start to associate the bedroom with sleep. Take the television, bedroom reading, and computer scrolling outside. After a few weeks of doing this, your brain will start to associate getting into bed with going to sleep.
The next change is to reduce light. The hypothalamus – the part of your brain that controls your internal clock – has very sensitive reactions to light. As light dims, it slows your heart rate, drops your blood pressure, and reduces your body’s core temperature. These changes are so tiny you won’t consciously notice them, but it does jumpstart your body into the process of getting ready for sleep. Try to block outside light from getting in, and make use of nightlights if you have to go to the bathroom. This includes turning off electronics that having glowing power buttons or alarm clocks with exceptionally bright screens.
It’s also important to keep the sleeping environment cool. Experts say that keeping your bedroom between 60-67 degrees is ideal for sleep. Does that sound like an icebox to you? The experts said that you should bundle up under the covers to stay warm and that it helps you sleep longer and better. Reducing noise is another key tip – sleeping with the TV on or music playing can actually be disruptive, even if you don’t wake up fully. Add a running fan or other source of continuous and consistent white noise to ease the shock of “peak noises” like a slamming door or passing train.