Sleep Blissfully With These Four Simple Room Changes
You want to sleep better tonight? What if I told you that how your room is set up determines how restorative your sleep will be?
If you want great sleep, your bedroom should be peaceful, pitch-black dark, cooler, quiet and simple. In this post, I share four room changes you can make to promote a good night’s rest!
Create a Serene Oasis to Sleep In
The surroundings in which we lived in and where we sleep affect our inner state. If your room is overwhelmed by clutter, then your mind will most likely be stressed and scattered.
If there are objects in your bedroom that does not pertain to sleeping, sex, getting dressed, or reading, then relocate them as soon as possible. Dedicate a day to go through your bedroom corner to corner and start purging what does not belong there.
If you live in a studio apartment where you are limited with space, invest in a barrier such as a folded divider to physically and mentally separate the bed from the rest of the room.
In addition to a comfy room, consider investing in a comfortable and toxic free bed. Unfortunately, mattresses are packed with noxious chemicals, including an assortment of petrochemicals, synthetic latex made with styrene and flame retardant chemicals. These chemical mix releases volatile organic compounds, or VOCs that are linked to a plethora of health issues like cancer and respiratory irritation.
When shopping for organic, non-toxic mattresses look for materials like organic wool, organic cotton, and 100% natural latex. The best mattresses are backed by certifications, so look for GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
The good certification involves one certified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This certification doesn’t require any organic materials but it does set limits for VOC emissions and prohibits the use of flame retardants and dyes.
To check out the best mattresses, click on the links below:
Avocado Green Mattress (prices range from $959 to $1,699)
Zen Haven by Saatva (prices range from $1,299 to $2,499)
Naturepedic EOS Series (prices range from $1,799 to $4,799)
You may want to look into buying organic bed sheets and pillow cases too! Look for 100% certified organic cotton fabrics to dress your bed. Your bed should be lush and stylish but most importantly, free of unhealthy pesticides, chemicals, and harmful flame retardants.
Keep It Cool
How do you sleep at nights? Do you find comfort that induces sleep in a really cold room? If yes, it is no wonder! It turns out we sleep really deeply when the sleeping environment is in the range of 60 to 67 Fahrenheit (16 to 19 degrees Celsius for all my international friends).
This all goes back to our evolution. The natural environment is much cooler at nights and that change in temperature was most likely one of the signs to make us sleepier at nocturnal hours.
Try programming your thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) at nights or you can sleep with the windows open (trusting that you have a safety lock). This way, you can decrease the energy expenditure and get fresh air, which is a better greener option than indoor air.
In addition, go commando and sleep naked. Besides the obvious benefits, sleeping in the nude allows your body to regulate temperature most efficiently.
Did you sleep through the fireworks this recent Independence Day? If you are like me, probably not! Not rocket science, it is a fact that disrupted noise leads to a disrupted rhythm of a consistent restful sleep. If your bedroom is not quiet at nights, consider investing in earplugs or a white noise machine so you can get your zzzs in.
We have evolved seeing the radiant sunlight during the day and only the moonlight at night. Light signals us to feel awake and the dark makes us sleepy. This has been the foundation of our sleep-wake cycle or the circadian rhythm.
These days, we have built our modern world spending hours in windowless cubicles and nights surrounded by the bright light emanating from all cell phones and ambient light pollution. It’s no wonder we spend our days yawning around the office and suffering from sleepless nights.
To get yourself back on the circadian rhythm, you need to sleep in pitch-black darkness. If you live in the country, you probably have a better shot at sleeping in total darkness. City people most likely do not have a chance of sleeping in the dark due to the streetlamp lights and electronics like the cell phone or digital alarm clock.
I live in a suburban town in South Florida and though I am not surrounded by lights like my beloved hometown of New York, I am inundated with the streetlamp lights shining from the window.
What can you do to go from light to dark?
Look around your room at night with the lights turned off. Do you have anything glowing in the background like a laptop PC or a digital clock? Remove the items or cover the light with some orange tape.
I love my Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock that I received as a Christmas present from my sister last year. I can adjust the brightness of the digital time display plus I love waking up to a simulated sunrise every morning. It sure beats hearing a blaring nuclear alarm (insert side eye).
Next, I would consider investing and installing blackout shades. You can find these at any major home retailer stores. They are quick, affordable and easy to install. Now, If you’re not into home installation projects, you can always opt for a good eye mask.
Finally, leave out the phone! I’m not kidding. Charge your phone somewhere else other than the bedroom. When we keep our phone in the bedroom, it is the last thing we stare at before we go to bed. It is bad enough that the blue light emanating from the screen signals us to stay wide awake and it’s the first thing we reach for in the morning to wake up.
Consider the intention in reaching for that phone- we set the tone for a day of obligations and stress. If you use the phone as an alarm clock, make the move to buy good old-fashioned alarm clock instead. Get some restorative rest tonight, you deserve it!
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