8 Practical ways to improve your sleep environment

Good sleep is essential – without it, your daily life may suffer so it’s time to make sleep a priority! There are many ways to improve your bedtime routine, such as reading and relaxing before bed and eating sleep-friendly foods, but many people forget one very important aspect: the sleep environment. If you value your sleep health, you need to look at how your bedroom affects it and what you can do to make it better. Here are some tips for maximising your sleep environment today…

You spend a third of your life sleeping, or at least you should. But modern life is robbing us of a peaceful night’s sleep and I’m not happy about it! Many people watch TV, browse the internet and do extra work when they’re in bed, myself included. After getting a poor night’s sleep last night, I’ve realised that things have to change. Ideally, you should use your bedroom for sleep only and anything that distracts you from this needs to go! I’ve already blogged about the perfect night time routine but here are 8 practical things you can do to improve your sleep environment:

CLEAN OUT THE CLUTTER

Your bedroom is not a gym or playroom. To start associating it with sleep, you should eliminate all potential distractions such as the TV, computer, and treadmill. This prevents your brain from associating your room with other non-sleep activities. If you use your bedroom as an office, your mind will be spinning even when you are trying to sleep, so keep that laptop and smartphone in another room.

KEEP THE ROOM DARK

Artificial light imitates natural light and prevents you from falling asleep. To sleep better, you need to switch off all the lights at night and add blackout curtains to eliminate outside light. If you don’t want to leave your phone outside the room because you use it as an alarm you should consider placing it upside down so that the light does not distract you. When you do this, the phone’s light will not wake you up when a text or email comes in while you sleep. Better still, you can put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode so that you won’t be bothered by notifications until the morning. Even better still, buy an alarm clock and banish the phone from the bedroom!

USE AROMATHERAPY

According to research, you can use certain scents to improve your sleep. Aromatherapy will create a calming and relaxing atmosphere that will enable you to sleep peacefully. Moreover, if you make this a part of your nightly routine, your brain will associate it with sleep. The best essential oils for promoting sleep are lavender, frankincense, and vanilla. You can even add these scents to a bath in the evening to start your relaxation before you even reach the bedroom.

MAKE YOUR BED COMFORTABLE

If you always wake up feeling tired or stiff, it is time to replace your pillows or mattress. A good mattress is made to last up to ten years, but you should replace yours if it has lumps, rips, and sags. If you are always waking up to fluff your pillows, you should consider buying new ones. Because you will spend a third of your life in bed, investing in a good mattress is worth it. The mattress that you choose depends on your taste; you can choose bouncy or firm mattresses depending on your likes. I chose a memory foam mattress when I moved into my new home and it’s been fantastic because you can’t feel the movement of another person in the bed, so I’m no longer disturbed by hubby rolling over.

KEEP IT QUIET

Another thief of sleep is noise. Whether it is originating from your bedroom or across the street, noise can prevent you from getting some quality sleep. If you windows are letting in noise, it may be time to get new glazing. I know it’s not a particularly thrifty option, but it’ll make a huge difference in blocking out unwanted noise at any time of day. For a budget version, layering blackout blinds and thick curtains may help to sound-proof a little. If you can still hear noises that you can’t control, you should consider using a sound machine that produces soothing and mellow sounds while you sleep.

KEEP YOUR ROOM COOL

As you sleep, your body temperature begins to drop to prepare for sleep. Keeping your room cool will aid this process and help you to fall asleep faster. You should consider sleeping in cotton PJs to cool your body faster and increase your chances of falling asleep quickly. You should also reduce humidity levels in your bedroom to make it more comfortable overnight.

PAINT YOUR BEDROOM

Amazingly enough, the colour of your bedroom can affect the quality of your sleep. Green, blue, and yellow hues can help you to fall asleep faster because they are associated with relaxation. On the other hand, red, purple, and brown ruin your quality of sleep. Interesting, isn’t it? I’ve gone for pure white in my bedroom to create a distraction-free environment that aids sleep.

DITCH THE ELECTRONICS

I’ve left the most obvious point of all until last – you shouldn’t have a tablet, laptop, or phone in the bedroom to avoid distractions. Most of these gadgets emit blue light, which steals your sleep by imitating daylight. So, put them away and don’t use them in bed! Also, make sure that you change the position of your alarm clock to avoid looking at the time throughout the night. Looking at the clock constantly will cause you to lose sleep and can lead to anxiety and insomnia. Turning the alarm clock away from you will stop you from worrying.

So, even though there are plenty of things in your home that can rob you of sleep, I hope that these tips have given you some ideas for ways that you can improve your sleep environment. Making sleep a priority and practising a good bedtime routine will help you to sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed. Let me know in the comments below what you like to do to get a good night’s sleep.



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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