We’ve all been there: there’s a light outside that’s beaming through a slight gap between your curtains and you can’t fall asleep because of it. Or on a hot, summer night, despite how many times you toss and turn, you just can’t get comfortable. The thing is, where you sleep can have a major impact on your sleep quality, and creating a sleep-friendly bedroom can make a world of difference.
Here are 5 simple ways to optimize your bedroom to promote restful sleep.
1. Embrace the darkness
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the darker your room is, the harder it is to see and be visually distracted when you’re trying to sleep. Not only that, but your body has a sleep-wake cycle – and when the lights are dim, your body naturally starts producing melatonin, your sleep hormone to signal your body it’s time for zZz’s.
To minimize light in your room, consider getting blackout curtains or blinds to block out external light – or try sleeping with a sleep mask. Also, avoid using your phone in bed – the bright screen can emit blue light, which can inhibit melatonin production and affect sleep.
2. Shhhhhh. Make your bedroom quiet
This one’s obvious, but loud or sudden noises can make it challenging to fall asleep. But even relatively low-level sounds like outside traffic or electronic devices can keep your mind active. And it can disrupt different stages of sleep by triggering micro-arousals, meaning short periods of wakefulness that disrupt your sleep cycle, making you feel groggy or unrested when you wake up. To mitigate the negative effects of noise, try using a sound machine or even a fan that masks out the external background noise with a soothing ambient sound for better sleep.
3. Ahhhh. Make your bed comfy
When you’re comfortable, it signals to your body and mind that it’s time to unwind and prepare for rest. Transform your bed into a sleep haven with breathable sheets, fluffed pillows and a mattress that provides support. If your mattress is dated – or too firm or soft for your liking, it’s worth investing in a new one. Over time, mattresses can lose their resilience and become less supportive. Not only can this make it harder to fall asleep at night, but you’re also more likely to wake up with aches and pains in the morning.
4. Go analogue
If you like to scroll through your social feeds at night and check emails first thing in the morning, you’re far from alone. But while it’s a habit many of us are guilty of, it’s also one that can damage sleep. Not only does the blue light affect your melatonin production, but engaging with screens right before bed can mentally stimulate your brain, making it harder to unwind and relax. Plus, all the notifications, alerts and texts can interrupt your sleep – even if it’s for a brief moment. Instead, aim to stay off your phone at least an hour before bed, and if you can, keep your phone in a different room too.
5. Keep it cool
Ever notice how a cool room has a calming effect? Your body has an intricate temperature regulating system that plays a vital role in your sleep-wake cycle. In the evening, your body temp drops, cueing your body to get ready for sleep. So setting your room to a slightly cooler temp, encourages that natural dip to relax your muscles and induce drowsiness. Whereas, if you’re too warm, you might be sweating while tossing and turning throughout the night. Try setting your room to a comfortably cool temp that’s right for you and use bedding that’s breathable to allow better airflow and heat dissipation.
Gabby is a Nutritionist with a master’s degree in strategic communications. She loves using her nutrition-fluency with storytelling to encourage positive change. Before Persona, she worked at a mental health clinic helping clients manage stress, anxiety and other mental health issues through diet.
Gabby is just one of the many experts at Persona who are here to accelerate your wellness journey. If you have questions about nutrition or your personalized program, reach out now or book a free appointment with Gabby or another of our amazing nutritionists.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.