How Your Bedroom Can Influence Sleep
By Sara Butler
To be healthy and at your very best, you need a good night’s sleep. For many people, good sleep is easier said than done. Many factors can influence your sleep, such as how stressed you are, how much caffeine you’ve had, and even what time you worked out. But one of the biggest influences on your sleep is where you do it.
Your bedroom has a major influence on your sleep -- and the onus isn’t all on your mattress either. The stuff in your room, and even the temperature, have a big impact on sleep and can complement the benefit of your perfect mattress. Even if you’re unconscious, the things surrounding you in your room do make a difference.
If you are experiencing poor sleep, then it’s time to examine your habits and your home. Making a few simple changes can deliver big rewards when it comes to the quality of your sleep at night.
What Happens When You Sleep?
Before understanding what is affecting your sleep, you first have to understand what is going on when you’re visiting the Land of Nod. Remember, your body is made to sleep. It is ruled by a natural circadian rhythm that dictates when you sleep and wake.
You spend a lot of your time sleeping -- about one-third of your entire life! To say it’s important is an understatement, but why is it so important? When you’re asleep, your body uses that time to rest and regenerate. To heal. Your brain flushes out waste and files new information away in memory. The cells of your body repair themselves and release important hormones to rejuvenate and restore energy. Also, the nerve cells in your brain reorganize and communicate with one another, something that helps your brain to function.
Sleep also has an impact on immunity, proper function of insulin, weight management, heart health, and emotional wellness. If these processes can’t take place because of poor sleep, then it will have an impact on your overall health and wellness.
How Your Bedroom Can Influence Sleep
There are standard things every bedroom has. A bed, such as Brooklyn Bedding’s Plank mattress, and an alarm clock of some type are pretty standard. In today’s world, a variety of other things may also be present in your room that make falling asleep more difficult -- and you may not even be aware of it.
If you find yourself tossing and turning at night and just generally feeling like your sleep quality is poor, then you may want to take a closer look at some of these items in your bedroom.
Electronics - Electronics such as your television, phone, and tablet emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime and interferes with the release of natural hormones that prepare your body for sleep. On top of that, electronics are stimulating, which is why it’s a good idea to turn them off at least an hour before bed.
The mattress - Mattresses aren’t the most exciting thing in the world, but they are vitally important to the quality of your sleep and your health. The key is to find the proper type of mattress for you, ensuring that it isn’t past its prime. On average, a mattress has a lifespan of about 10 years. If yours is past this or a bit tired from use, then it’s time to look into a new one.
Room temperature - Your body temperature plummets to prepare you for sleep, which is why keeping your room cold at night is important to fall asleep without issues. A room that is too hot will make it difficult to fall asleep, so aim for the mid-60s for your sleep temperature at night and snuggle up under those blankets.
Clutter - You may not think that the unfolded pile of laundry that has taken up residence in your room isn’t a big deal, but the truth is that it can have an impact on a good night’s sleep. One of the most important things about sleep hygiene is to have a room you are comfortable sleeping in. Large messes in your room can lead to anxiety and disruption of your sleep.
What Makes a Good Night’s Sleep?
There’s no real mystery to sleeping well, only a few things to be aware of to make going to sleep and staying that way a lot easier.
It’s a good idea to refrain from any big meals right before bed. Large meals can cause indigestion after laying down, plus your body is diverting energy to digestion rather than falling asleep, so it’ll make for an easier time if you simply don’t eat anything too large in the couple of hours before you plan to hit the hay.
You may also want to avoid alcohol before bed. Although the concept of a nightcap is common, the hard truth is that drinking alcohol before you plan to go to sleep disrupts your sleep and reduces the time your brain spends in REM sleep, one of the most important parts of the sleep cycle. Leave the alcohol at Happy Hour.
Small Changes that Make a Big Difference
To improve your sleep, you may want to think about a few important changes to your sleep environment and sleep habits, such as the following.
Using relaxation techniques - If you find you have trouble going to sleep at night, then try some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or gentle stretching to help get you in the right frame of mind. You might even try some apps that are now available, such as Calm.
Refraining from drinks or foods close to bedtime - As discussed, you’ll simply be more comfortable and it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep is a time for rest, and if you’ve got a bunch of things gurgling around inside, it’s not the best environment for achieving the calm that you need to relax.
Time it right - You should do your best to go to bed at the same time every day. As well, you should wake up at the same time, too. It can be tempting to sleep in, but sticking to a schedule will help you feel better in the long term, and it will give your body a schedule so that it knows when to wake, and when to sleep and heal.
Sleep is not a mystery. You need it to be healthy. You need it like you need food. And there are ways to make sure you get it. Follow these tips and think about your sleep hygiene -- you may be surprised how much better you sleep at night.
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