Make Sleep a Priority - Start with Your Bedroom

By Sandy Schroeder

Getting enough sleep can be an elusive goal in a busy world. If you are struggling to get the 7 or 8 hours a night that you need, redoing your bedroom and implementing new rules could help. Here are a few ways to pull it together.

Clean the Air – Plants such as Aloe Vera or a ficus rubbertree help to clean the air. Dehumidifiers will remove moisture. If you have allergies, use an air filter. I have found it also provides a soothing “white noise."

Get the Mattress Right – Studies have shown firm to semi-firm mattresses are the best choices if you are having back pain. Some mattress shops will let you do a home trial. Or you could try other mattresses in a hotel or at a friend’s house to find the right firmness for you. Add feather-filled pillows to provide the softness needed to avoid a stiff neck and pick a comforter that’s right for you.

Light Control – According to the National Sleep Foundation, light shapes our natural sleep cycle. When the eye spots lmorning light, it signals the brain to generate hormones, like cortisol, to wake the body up. When it gets dark, the brain signals the body to make sleep hormones, like melatonin, to create sleepiness. Make the light cycle work for you. Place your bed to get the morning light and keep the room dim and dark at night.

Color Softly and Make It Yours – Choose low-key colors and color match paint, fabrics and carpet. Add art, small treasures, and family pictures, to make it your special place.

Subtract Chaos – Do whatever it takes to eliminate clutter. Move any unused items out of the room. Use closets and storage units to file everything away, and pick furniture that fits the room. Create a comforting space.

Move Electronics Out – This is the toughest request for most people. Electronics have a way of gravitating to the bedroom. But having a TV in the bedroom encourages late night hours. Bringing in a cell or laptop guarantees emails, texts, calls or work sessions that keep the brain up. Research also shows exposure to blue light from electronics reduces the production of melatonin. Stash everything outside and substitute a warm bath, calm book or milk-based snack.

Create a Gateway - Rule out caffeine in late afternoon and evening.  Skip electronics, alcohol and tobacco right before bedtime. Add comfortable sleep clothes and simple meditations.

With new rules and a room upgrade, you could create a sleep prescription for a restful night. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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