Sleep is something you don’t think about until you’re suffering from a lack of it. At that point, you’re struggling to stay awake during normal waking hours and your productivity is poor too. Sleep deprivation can also become the reason why you’ll have memory issues, mood changes, weakened immunity, and become more susceptible to diabetes. Enough days like this and you may end up suffering because of it, and no one wants that.
The good news is that setting yourself up for success through a healthy sleep environment is key to sleeping well. What’s in your bedroom and how you use what’s there can make or break your ability to fall and stay asleep at night. Regardless of how tired you are, if your bedroom doesn’t create a healthy sleeping environment, don’t expect that you can get some shuteye.
In this article, we provide suggestions on why a good sleeping environment is so vital and how to create one that can improve your sleep. Contrary to popular belief, creating a healthy sleeping environment isn’t taxing or expensive. In fact, making small changes to your bedroom will already go a long way for you to get at least eight hours of sleep every single night.
Poor Sleep Environments Work Against You
When the bedroom isn’t set up to be conducive to getting a restful night of sleep, then it will seriously impact your life. You won’t notice it at first, but the next day you’ll feel a little tired and will feel the effects by the late afternoon when the usual bounce in your step is missing.
However, give it a couple of days of poor sleep and the fatigue, lack of focus and forgetfulness will begin to be evident. It’ll be difficult to be patient with other people and you may get annoyed more easily too.
Moreover, it’ll be challenging for you to fall asleep if your bedroom doesn’t embody a healthy sleeping environment. A bedroom that’s too humid, for example, will prevent you from sleeping soundly because you’ll likely see yourself sweating or fanning yourself too much. A bedroom that’s too cold, on the other hand, can also cause sleep deprivation as this kind of environment will cause you to shiver.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve the situation and ensure that none of these happen.
A Safe Place to Rest is Important
The first thing that you must get right is obvious but often overlooked – the bed.
When it’s too hard, you wake up several times through the night and may rise in the morning with a bad back too. An overly firm mattress that provides too much support does your back a disservice. If you find that you can never get comfortable because of the hardness of the mattress, then that’s your first clue that softer might be a good choice.
Replace your current mattress for something your body will love. It’ll be so much easier to sleep through the night that way.
The market is bombarded with countless mattresses today, so it’s best if you know how to narrow down your options. If this is your first time buying one, make sure that you consider your sleeping position first since different mattresses support different parts of your body. If you often sleep on your back, for example, make sure that the mattress you’re going to buy provides proper spine alignment by supporting your hips and shoulders.
Be Careful About Your Activities Before Bedtime
Doing strenuous things shortly before going to bed isn’t helpful. Therefore, avoid exercising in the last hour before going to bed. It also means if you’re doing some indoor gardening or watching an intense drama on TV, then that’s too active both physically and mentally in the last hour.
When in your bedroom, avoid bringing your smartphone into the room other than using it as an alarm clock. Catching up with emails or watching YouTube clips isn’t beneficial to getting off to sleep reliably. Having gadgets in your bedroom will only tempt you to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning, which can become the reason why you won’t be sleeping at all. Give your mind the chance to let the day’s events dissipate, so you can wind down gradually.
All of your gadgets–TVs, laptops, and smartphones–should be placed outside of your bedroom. If you have to respond to emails at home, make sure that you’re doing it outside of your bedroom hours before your sleeping schedule.
Embrace Darkness in the Bedroom
When there’s a hallway light bleeding into the room or streetlights shining through the curtains or blinds, it will interfere with your natural sleep pattern. Even a ticking clock on the wall may create an unnecessary distraction.
For your brain to switch off its fight or flight mechanism, it’s best to blanket the bedroom in darkness. This reduces the inputs to let your brain relax properly.
If you don’t feel comfortable this way, get a dim light to plug into a power outlet in the hallway to provide just enough light. That shouldn’t interfere with creating a good sleeping environment.
When you get your sleeping environment right, it naturally creates a sense of calm. The lack of sensory inputs gives the brain permission to rest. Getting off to sleep and sleeping through the night becomes much easier with the right environment. If you’ve been suffering from a lack of rest, you mustn’t let it continue because you’ll feel the effects quickly. Then your decision-making ability will begin to suffer, making it harder to find useful solutions.