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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for great health. But the hubbub of modern life can it hard to unwind at the end of the day. The answer? Create your very own sleep sanctuary, right at home!
When creating a sleep-friendly bedroom, you’ll want to think about factors such as light, noise, temperature, and even layout and decor. A busy, cluttered, bright, warm, and noisy bedroom do not make for ideal sleeping conditions.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of environment many of us have unintentionally created, thanks to technology and city-living in small apartments.
For better sleep, try to de-clutter and maintain a tidy bedroom. This might mean figuring out how to make more efficient use of your closet space and/or packing up old clothes to take to the thrift store. If you have open shelving, consider storing items in neat, neutrally coloured boxes or baskets.
A bedroom festooned with unruly possessions can be a distraction at bedtime. In contrast, a tidy bedroom has a calming effect and may help you fall asleep more easily.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the clutter, it’s time to take a deeper look at your bedroom environment. Bright red walls and funky coloured furniture may be great for a playroom, but they certainly do you no favours when trying to get to sleep.
Opt for neutral, pale colours for bedroom walls, floors, and sheets to help your mind and body feel calm at the end of the day.
Now to address light pollution. If you live right in the heart of the city, and are surrounded by artificial light, it may be time to invest in some blackout blinds. Keeping light levels low means your body increases production of melatonin, the neurohormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.
There’s also noise pollution to consider when creating a sleep sanctuary. If you live on a quiet street or somewhere with little neighbourhood noise, consider yourself lucky. But, if you live at a busy intersection, consider installing soundproofing or using a white noise generator.
Even a simple room fan can help provide a predictable, constant hum that masks disruptive unpredictable city noise pollution.
A room fan can also help with air circulation and temperature control, which is vital for good sleep. Ideally, you want to keep your bedroom temperature a couple of degrees lower than the rest of your house. This slight drop in temperature encourages feelings of sleepiness, which will help you drift off faster.
Finally, if you didn’t ditch the technology when you de-cluttered, now’s the time. For a good night’s sleep you should treat your bed simply as a place to sleep, not to watch TV, check your phone, or answer emails.
Even reading in bed can be too stimulating for some people, so consider keeping all non-sleep activities outside the bedroom and only slipping between the sheets when you’re really ready to rest.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re experiencing trouble sleeping on a regular basis, consult with your physician to determine whether any underlying medical issues or sleep disorders could be contributing to your sleep problems.
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