Are you the person who always ends up staying up late? You spend too much time watching shows or you’re on your phone in bed? Even when you turn the lights off, you can’t help but toss and turn, so you sleep in on the weekends, wasting your precious free time and every weekday morning, you get to work without the energy needed to be enthusiastic and productive. Sounds familiar?
If your bedroom isn’t a place of rest, it can have a negative impact on your life and studies have shown that a good night’s sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. So what should you do?
Look at your bedroom. Is it set up to induce sleep or inhibit it? By making several small, but important changes, you can make your bedroom a place of comfort and calm where you can get a great night’s sleep.
10 Tips to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
#1. Turn your alarm clock face away from you
One of the simplest and easiest things you can do is flip your alarm clock around. First of all, most alarm clocks emit a small amount of light, which can confuse your brain from knowing that it’s time to sleep. Alarm clocks provide a handy distraction for restless sleepers, enabling them to focus on the minutes and hours dragging by, this sends signals to the brain, telling it to stay active and prevents sleep.
#2. Put some calming scents, like lavender, on your pillow
How often do you go to bed in a relaxed state of mind? Most of us don’t have the time to truly unwind before we go to our rooms in search of sleep. One way to transition from anxious, agitated or active thoughts is to fill your room with a calming smell. Lavender especially has been shown to slow down your nervous system which in turn relaxes your mind and body.
#3. Make sure the temperature in your bedroom is low
Cooler temperatures help you get to sleep faster, any drop in temperature will lower your metabolism and makes you feel sleepy.
#4. Keep screens out of your bedroom
As tempting as it might seem to curl up in bed with your laptop and watch your favourite TV show or movie, it’s not going to make falling sleep any easier. Screens like a TV, computer, or phone produce blue light that throws off your circadian rhythm and suppresses your melatonin which makes you drowsy.
#5. Avoid working nights if you can
Of course, there is the “Night Shift” for your smartphone, but that might not be the best idea either, in fact, it sends the wrong signals to the brain. Sleep experts agree that you should limit non-sleep activities, like reading emails or playing games in the bedroom, because your brain needs to maintain it as a place to rest.
#6. Silence your phone!
If you use your phone as an alarm, then make sure that you put it on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ Brains have a hard time shutting off when calls, texts, or notifications keep on coming in.
#7. Find a comfortable, supportive mattress
Having the right mattress is an important part of the equation and it has more factors than you might realise.
- You need to make sure that your bed is supportive, nothing will keep you up like a chronic backache because your bed is too soft or firm for your body. So, make sure you have a mattress that prevents lower back pain. MatterMattress have a range of options that can help reduce back-pain so it’s well worth checking them out.
- Your mattress’ fabric can keep you up by being too warm, some materials transmit heat and making it harder to feel comfortable and ready for sleep.
- Your mattress could be making you sick every night. You could be allergic to dust mites that make you cough, sneeze and wheeze.
#8. Make sure your pillows are clean and comfy
Just like your mattress, pillows can become a haven for all kinds of nasty things including dust mites, fungi, dirt and oils which can worsen your allergies, so make sure to clean your pillowcases often.
When it comes to choosing the right pillow, try it out for support – and don’t be slow to buy a new one when it’s old. Without the right support for your neck and head, sleep is going to be rough. And so is the morning after.
Pillow selection can get overwhelming at times and with so many options available in the market, it gets a little hard to pick one that works best for you. So make sure to do your research online before buying a pillow. Pillow Insider is a great place to get started; there’s also an interactive pillow finder tool that will make recommendations based on your sleeping position and preferred firmness level. You can also explore relevant forums and see what people are recommending based on their personal experience.
#9. Clean and organise your bedroom
A cluttered room often leads to a cluttered mind because there are distracting your brain from the task at hand, falling asleep.
You can also try setting up your room so that your bed is further away from the door. This way, you can still see who is coming in, but you don’t focus on the activity of the door. According to some, this calms the amygdala, the part of the brain that makes “fight or flight” decisions.
#10. Keep stress-free outlets nearby
One of the biggest things that keep us up isn’t in our bedrooms, it’s ourselves. We go to bed with stress and can’t let it give way to sleep.
Try keeping a calming picture somewhere you can look at from bed. You could also try keeping a journal nearby so you can write down any concerns that are keeping you up, or tasks that you might have forgotten to do. By putting these to paper, you can rest assured that you’ve left a note for yourself for the following morning, and you can go to bed having cleared your mind.