Is Your Bedroom Giving You Insomnia?
Everything seems better after a good night of sleep. A full seven to nine hours of restorative rest not only keeps you feeling refreshed and alert; it is important to your overall health. According to SymptomFind.com, a chronic lack of sleep can contribute to:
- Weight Gain
- Increase in Stress
- Increased Risk For High Blood Pressure
- Weakened Immune System
- Sleep Paralysis
- Increased Irritability
- Poor Quality of Life
- Impaired Memory and Brain Function
- Decreased Alertness
- Increased Risk of a Car Accident
There is a “bed” in bedroom for a reason. As the center for your nighttime slumber, your bedroom plays a critical role in providing the best night of sleep possible. You spend nearly a third of your life sleeping, so take steps to make your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible. The factors most important in improving your bedroom sleeping conditions are temperature, sound, light and your bed.
The Best Temperature for Sleeping
The ideal range for nighttime bedroom temperature is between 55 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. While the perfect sleeping temperature varies from person to person, in general, temperatures on the cooler side of the range are most conducive to a good night of rest.
Before going to bed, lower your home’s thermostat five to ten degrees below your daytime setting. If your living arrangements permit, open a window for a cool breeze of fresh air while you sleep. During the summer, if the nighttime temperatures remain high, a bedside fan or central air conditioning will keep things cool.
Pajamas can keep you warm and comfortable, but also may lock in heat, causing you to sweat and overheat. Many sleep researchers recommend sleeping naked and using blankets to provide warmth. Adjust your bedding to the season, adding a down comforter in the winter, and switching to light cotton blankets in the summer. See The Complete Guide To Bedding.
Don’t Let Sound Keep You Awake
While any unusual noise will disrupt your sleep, sound levels that are consistent from night to night can become a part of your regular sleep habits, leaving you lying awake in their absence. That’s why city dwellers can become so used to the sound of traffic, they have a hard time sleeping on vacation in a quiet location, while someone from the country will toss and turn all night listening to the sirens and horns in the city.
Cut out unnecessary sound in your bedroom. Earplugs are an excellent way to muffle noise from a snoring partner, outside traffic, the television set in your neighbor’s apartment, or any other disruption. A white noise machine is another option. These devices produce regular, monotonous sounds that mask room noise. In a pinch, a fan can work as a sound device.
Keep it Dark for a Good Night’s Sleep
The darker the room, the better your sleep. Nightlights are best left in the bathroom or hallway, not next to your bed. Exposure to daylight and darkness regulates your sleep cycle, so be sure to get enough natural light during the day to trigger the release of sleep hormones such as melatonin once things go dark at night.
Keep all lights off in your bedroom while sleeping, and invest in blackout drapes if outside light is a problem. An eye mask is another way to block the light, especially useful if you work a nightshift and need to sleep during the day.
Keep the television, computer or any other light-producing electronic device off for at least an hour before bedtime. The light from their screens can stimulate wakefulness, leaving you tossing and turning later on. See Types Of Curtains And Their Uses.
Invest in a Comfortable Mattress
If you are sleeping on a lumpy, worn mattress, it’s time to shop for a replacement. Your mattress is very important to your sleep quality. What makes a mattress perfect for one sleeper is different for someone else, but in general, a good mattress should offer firm enough support for your body type, enough space for you and your partner, and a comfortable top that cushions without being hot or confining.
You need to try out mattresses to determine what is most comfortable for you. Don’t let embarrassment stop you from testing out the samples in the mattress store for at least 10-15 minutes each. It takes that long to settle in and feel the bed’s support.
Once you bring your new mattress home, make the bed with quality sheets that feel good against your skin. Whether you prefer cotton, flannel, jersey or silk is a matter of preference, but select sheets that are soft and appropriate for your climate. Your quilt, blanket or comforter should be heavy enough to provide comforting weight without being smothering. Pillows should support your neck in a neutral position, without stressing your upper body. See Mattress Shopping Guide.
The main function of your bedroom is to provide a good night’s sleep. Don’t let easily corrected factors impair this crucial part of your life. Once your lights go out at night, your bedroom should welcome you into a deep, restorative sleep that allows you to enjoy your day feeling your best.