Preparing Your Room for a Good Night’s Sleep
Being unable to fall asleep at night can cause anyone to feel a little anxious. The pressure to doze off leads to checking the time over and over again, and you begin to count down the few hours of precious sleep you have left.
Eventually you may drift to sleep only to be woken up much too soon by the same clock that mocked you hours earlier. But why can’t you sleep?
The reasons can be personal, they can be medical, or they may even just be random. The reasons don’t matter, because sleeplessness is frustrating regardless of the root cause. One solution that may help, however, is preparing your room for a good night’s sleep.
Even if your sleeplessness is caused by an injury, stress/anxiety or an underlying medical condition, other external distractions could make sleeping even more difficult. Your bedroom should be a sleep oasis, a dreamy comfort zone of relaxation.
Your bedroom is your ticket to a nightly sleep vacation, so make a reservation now by creating your perfect dream getaway.
Not sure about preparing your room for a good night’s sleep? Here’s an easy checklist to creating a sleep paradise.
1. Check the Thermostat
The temperature of your bedroom could be making you uncomfortable and that discomfort could impair your ability to fall asleep. Your room shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. So what is the ideal room temperature for sleeping? According to Sleep.org (The National Sleep Foundation), you can achieve perfect sleep comfort when the temp is “between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.” However, most researchers agree that the ideal temperature for sleep lies between 60 and 70 degrees. This gives a few more degrees for women, who tend to have more problems coping with cold.
If you live in a really hot climate, however, setting the A/C that low could lead to an astronomical energy bill…even if you lower it only at night. You can use a ceiling fan or a portable room fan to help lower the temperature and circulate the cool air.
2. Drown out the Distracting Noise
Do you live near the street or highway and hear cars zooming past your home? Maybe your home is nestled next to train tracks or near an airport. While many people become used to background noise after a while, it may still continue to disrupt your sleep.
No matter what noise keeps you up, you can mask it with other more soothing sounds. You can download soothing music and even nature sounds (like rain, the ocean or a babbling brook). Home goods stores also sell ‘noise machines’ that play white noise that could help lull you to sleep.
You may just opt to turn on a portable or ceiling fan. The soft noise of a fan could be enough to keep you from focusing on the other noise.
Some people sleep easier when the room is quiet, though. So you could try noise cancelling earphones to erase those unwanted distractions. Opt for wireless earphones as Sleep Advisor notes that you could get tangled in cords during the night.
3. Get Covered and Comfortable
When your thermostat or room temperature is lowered, you may need more blankets. While keeping the room too warm is a sleep distraction, not having enough blankets could lead to you waking up with a chill.
Make sure your bed linens keep you comfortable and warm…but not too warm. Stay away from any fabric that could make you feel itchy or uncomfortable. Always choose seasonally appropriate bed linens—warm summer months aren’t the best time for a heavy 700-fill down comforter! They are perfect however for cold winters!
What about an electric blanket for winter? Should you use one?
For those who get chilly, an electric blanket could be a great solution. Just be sure to adjust the temperature so you don’t get overheated. Also, if you sleep on a foam mattress, you’ll need to keep the temperature on the blanket lower because very high temperatures could damage the mattress.
4. De-clutter the Room
A messy room could make you feel not so de-stressed, especially if you have stuff strewn on your bed, like too many throw pillows. Keep the bedroom neat and tidy, remove any distractions and create an ambiance of relaxation.
When space is an issue, the bedroom may also serve as a work space and office. However, if your bedroom does double duty, always make sure your computer is turned off so you aren’t jostled awake up by any tech noises or a bright screen coming to life in the middle of the night.
5. The Scent of Sleep
Certain scents can help us calm down and relax. You may wish to add a few drops of essential oils to your pillow to help lull you to dream land. A few oils that can be used for relaxation, according to The Sleep Doctor, include lavender, vanilla, rose and sandalwood.
Not every scent may make your night. To find the perfect fragrance for you, visit a store that sells essential oils and let your nose guide the way.
6. Dress for Sleep
Yes, that negligee might look pretty, sexy and seductive. Wear it when you need it. However, is it the most comfortable garment for a good night of sleep? Probably not so much.
Comfort is different for everyone. Maybe you sleep in your birthday suit, a pair of boxers, a sleep shirt or full-blown jammies (with your favorite pattern!). What you wear is up to you, but your choice should not be too constrictive or too hot or cold. Your bedroom attire should move with you at night.
7. Check the Mattress
Your mattress is important to how well you sleep. An old mattress or boxspring won’t offer the ideal support for your body. If you haven’t swapped them out for at least a decade, your sleep might be suffering.
How else can you tell that your mattress might be causing those sleepless nights? You may find it difficult to feel comfortable on your bed or you might wake up feeling like you didn’t sleep soundly. Your mattress also could have busted springs, sagging foam or may have just lost its plush feel. And don’t forget that box springs often start to wear out before the mattress does.
Your bedroom should be a sleep haven. Every night we retreat to our bed for an eight-hour vacation from stress, worry and the craziness of the day. Good sleep helps us feel better in the morning. A bad night, though, could leave us zonked, unmotivated and nodding off at our desks.
While there isn’t always one easy quick-sleep solution that works for everyone, preparing the bedroom for a good night’s sleep could aid your quest in conquering those zzzz’s. Make sure your room temperature is perfect for you, cover up those distracting noises, keep your body blanketed and cocooned, clean away the clutter and maybe even drop some sweet scents onto the pillow! What you wear to bed and the mattress you fall onto at night also could keep you awake. So dress comfortable and replace a mattress that has lived longer than a decade. Sweet dreams!
Infographic: Preparing Your Room For a Good Sleep
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