Did you know that the where we sleep dramatically affects how we sleep? If you have ever asked yourself—how can I sleep better?—one great way is to take a look at your bedroom. Is it warm and inviting, or messy and cramped? Do you have to watch TV before going to sleep? In fact, do you use any electronic devices that have as screen before bed? Many studies have shown that these screens activate the brain in a way that makes it difficult for us to get to sleep.
How are you sheets? Are they fresh? How about your mattress? I mention all these as I am often asked “how can I sleep better?” Before going the sleep medications route, take a look at these revealing results from a recent poll of 1,500 adults conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (as summarized by Dr. Breus):
The results of this survey confirm what I and other sleep experts have been saying for years: the condition of your bedroom really matters, for the quality of your sleep as well as your intimate life and your health. Here are my tips for keeping your bedroom in good shape—or shaping it up, if it’s been neglected:
- Invest in your sleep equipment. A good mattress and quality pillows are important investments in your sleep and health. Replace your pillows every year, and invest in a new mattress at least every 7 years—or whenever your body tells you it’s time.
- Go cool and dark. Your bedroom climate is important. Most of us sleep better in a cool room. And we all benefit from darkness for sleep. Try an electronic curfew about an hour before bed. Disengage from email, phone, and texting. -there’s plenty of research that shows how disruptive these devices are for sleep. Better yet, keep them out of the bedroom altogether. If you fall asleep to the TV, use your TV timer so it turns off after you have fallen asleep.
- Fresh sheets are an easy indulgence. Keep fresh sheets on your bed, wash them often, and invest in an extra set so you can change them frequently. As this survey indicates, fresh sheets are a big draw—they can entice you to bed earlier and help you sleep better once you’re there.
- Pamper. Give yourself a sleep vacation at home! Those sleep-spa getaways are increasingly popular, but you don’t have to leave home to reap the benefits of some sleep-focused down time. Unplug from your regular responsibilities—and your PDA. Sign up for a yoga class or a local spa visit. Follow up these relaxing activities with an afternoon nap and a quiet evening before bed. And think about adding some of these “indulgences” into your regular routine! ~ read more here
It is very clear that a clean bedroom and an inviting bed make a huge difference in getting a good night’s sleep. One last note: those that said they made their beds every day reported much better sleep than those who did not. Now that is not a very big price to pay to get better sleep.