How to change up the bedroom to improve sleep quality

On average we spend one third of our life sleeping, and the space where we sleep is essential to our sleep quality. After all if you wake up well rested and refreshed it will set a positive tone to the rest of your day. Therefore we at My Good Planet have some helpful ideas of how to turn your bedroom into a great sleep haven.

Most of us have a few things we like to do before we head to bed in hopes that these rituals will help us sleep better. Some might rest their eyes from TV and other devices an hour before sleep, some might meditate or take a hot bath while drinking a calming tea, and as important these rituals are, your sleep environment is equally important. The bedroom is actually the most important room in your house, and your bed is probably one of the most important pieces of furniture. Dr. Michael J. Breus or The Sleep Doctor notes that:

“Sleep is a performance activity if you have the right equipment you will do it better. Natural talent gets you only so far, and then it’s about the gear.”

Go on, enter your bedroom and scan it from one corner to the other. What are some of the first things that come to your mind? Does your bedroom make you feel calm and grounded or worried and anxious? If it is the latter, we hope that some of the ideas below will help you change it and create a bit more tranquil atmosphere in your bedroom.

De-clutter

It doesn’t cost anything and is something that you can probably do today before you head to bed. Get rid of the piles of dirty laundry, the ‘books you want to read’ pile beside your bed and find a space for every object lying around in your bedroom. So your bedroom looks nice and clean, organised space won’t create distractions and will help you to drift into a better sleep.

Cool It Down

Better less than more; keep the temperature down in your bedroom, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 15 – 19 degrees Celsius. Dr. Michael Decker says that “As we sleep, our body acclimates to the room temperature. […] If we lower our body temperature a little bit in a cooler room, we tend to sleep better.” Hence a bath or a hot shower before the bed can be a pretty good idea, as our bodies move from being into a really hot space to a cooler bedroom, our body temperature slightly drops and we enjoy a better sleep.

In addition, bedding plays an important role for keeping you cool during the night as well. Choose natural fibres as they have higher breathability than mixes or synthetics, linen is one of the best fabrics to help to keep you cool and happy during your sleep.

Invite the Darkness in

You probably have noticed that it is a lot easier to sleep longer during winter months, as there is less daylight and more darkness. Residing in the hypothalamus is our bodies’ internal clock that receives light signals through our eye’s optic nerves. When it detects light the melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake state, release is delayed and instead it releases cortisol and keeps your body temperature raised to keep you awake. Try and keep your bedroom dimly lit before you go to bed, our minds rest better in complete darkness, hence it might be time to invest into a better curtains or black-out blinds. However, if it is not possible at a time, sleep mask might be as good of a solution, once again, try and opt out for natural fabrics like cotton or linen for your sleep mask.

Ban Technology

Put a veto on any electrical devices in your bedroom. You might say that you use your phone just for an alarm clock, if you are not sleeping well it might be a time to invest into an old school alarm clock that only has one function – to wake you up in the morning. Checking e-mails or scrolling down your Facebook timeline will keep your brain active and can induce stress. In addition the glow from your device’s screen works against your sleep. Give your mind a possibility to wind down and rest and leave your devices out of your bedroom, so you would not feel tempted to check them ‘just in case someone sent a message’. Make your bedroom technology free zone for less stress and more rest.

Mattress and Pillows

One of the biggest investments you can put into your bedroom is a good mattress. If your mattress shows deep impressions and causes aches it might be time to invest in a new mattress. It is recommended to change your mattress every 5 to 7 years, and the most important thing to look for when getting a new one is comfort. A good mattress will give you a full support to your body while you sleep.

Similarly your pillow should support your neck and head, so if you wake up with neck pain it might be time to look for a new pillow. One of the most natural and supportive pillows are buckwheat pillows, these pillows can last up to 10 years with proper care. If some of hulls get out of your pillow, simply replace them with new ones. In addition, buckwheat pillows smell great and block out annoying noises that might keep you awake, and they are hypo-allergic and dust mite resistant. If you suffer from migraine, you might really want to invest into buckwheat pillows, as they offer an immediate relief, especially if you have a neck pain, as buckwheat pillows straighten out your spine. Buckwheat pillows are natural, smell great and definitely improve your sleep quality.

Plants for Tranquillity and Air Quality

When everything above is done and you want to add some finishing touches to your bedroom to truly carry out the message of calmness and tranquillity, it might be time to add some plants with benefits. Plants like jasmine and valerian work as sedatives and relaxants, the smell they emit will carry you to the world of sweet dreams. Furthermore, plants like snake plant and spider plant improve the air quality in your bedroom and helps to sustain oxygen levels in the room to promote better sleep. If you suffer from allergies you might want to put peace lily beside your bed as it helps to relieve allergy symptoms and increases humidity in the room. If you need a plant that is easy to care for and has several healing properties and can be used in more than one way, then go for aloe vera plant. Aloe vera will keep the air in your bedroom free from toxins and keep your skin nice and clean.

Wishing you sweet dreams!

 

Baiba Šustere

Baiba Šustere is a staff writer and wellness expert for My Good Planet. Specialising in mindfulness, health and wellbeing, Baiba's work has inspired and touched many of our readers over the course of her time with us. Her time studying to become a Yoga teacher in India gave her a unique perspective on life; one which she generously shares with us regularly.

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