Sleep quality is one of the greatest overall influencers of health and wellness. Yet, the CDC reports that one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep for optimal health. This statistic is significant as sleep deprivation can lead to decreased cognition and focus, poor metabolic and hormonal regulation, and the development of chronic diseases.
The first step in getting better sleep is creating a comfortable, sleep-supportive environment in your bedroom. Here are some practical tips for creating the ideal sleep environment.
Install Light-Blocking Curtains
The human body was designed to go to bed when the sunsets and rise when the sun comes up. This evolutionary feature is the essence of our circadian rhythms and the reason why jetlag hits so hard. Even if you can fall asleep in the middle of the day with the sun shining brightly, external light sources can negatively impact your sleep quality.
Consider installing light-blocking curtains to minimize external light from streetlights, cars passing by, light pollution, and the sun. This strategy is also effective for helping kids get to sleep during the summer. You can find a variety of designs and styles on VisionBedding to suit your unique decor preferences.
Invest in a High-Quality Mattress
If you haven’t upgraded your mattress in the last eight years, you’re overdue for a replacement. Choosing a high-quality mattress that supports your body type and preferred sleeping position can transform your sleep quality.
Ideally, large-bodied people and back or stomach sleepers will opt for a firm mattress. Small-bodied people and side sleepers should choose something softer for optimal joint support and cushioning. If you sleep with a partner who has a different sleeping style or body type, consider a medium-firm mattress with a memory foam topper as a compromise.
Use Supportive Pillows
Even the best mattress on the market won’t address all the nuances and discomforts individuals experience. To fill the gaps, invest in supportive pillows. Side sleepers can place a pillow between their knees for better hip support and alignment, while back sleepers can place one under their knees for better spinal alignment.
A few extra pillows are also great for supporting arms and shoulders if you experience numbness or pain throughout the night. These tips are great for athletes and those who are all too familiar with the downsides of aging.
Incorporate Noise-Canceling Elements
Noise responsiveness is another evolutionary feature that most humans possess. While there are those who sleep through fire alarms and hurricanes, others wake up at the smallest disturbance. Unfortunately, you might not remember waking up to a loud crack from your house settling or someone revving their engine outside. However, these noises can cause disruption and limit your capacity for deep, restorative sleep.
A noise-canceling element, like a fan or white noise machine, can help block surprising noises and create consistency in your environment. There are also several affordable apps with different types of white noise, like a crackling fire or ocean waves.
Monitor the Temperature
Recent studies have shown that bodies at rest experience a natural temperature decrease. As such, decreasing the temperature in your bedroom can promote better rest. The ideal sleep temperature is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider programming your HVAC system or thermostat to decrease during the evening. Using a fan for white noise can also help in this area.
If you’re someone who gets overheated throughout the night, look into getting a cooling mattress or bedding. Using natural materials will also help with breathability and airflow.
Create an Inconvenient Charging Station
Finally, set up an inconvenient charging station for your devices. This storage area should be across the room and out of reach, so you aren’t tempted to stay up late scrolling. This inconvenience will also make it harder to hit snooze, which further disrupts sleep patterns.
With these simple tips, you’ll create a sleep-supportive bedroom.