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6 Ways You Can Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep Sanctuary

6 Ways You Can Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep Sanctuary

Fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer with these tips.

A good night's sleep can help you feel energized, lower your risk of obesity, improve concentration and so much more. And you probably know that winding down before bed, avoiding caffeine and taking a warm bath can contribute to better ZZZs, but your bedroom setup is also extremely important for a good night's rest.

From decor to temperature, here’s how to set your bedroom up for success—more specifically, the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.

Choose relaxing colors
Did you know that your bedroom decor can have a major impact on your sleep hygiene? Yes, your comforter, paint colors and curtains can all help—or hurt—your shut-eye.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says cool-tone colors like grays and blues may help you feel more relaxed, which is exactly the mindset you want to be in as you wind down each night. On the other hand, brighter, warmer shades may actually interfere with your sleep—and even increase your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature (all things that can disrupt your sleep), says the NSF.

Changing your paint color is quite a feat, but it’s not the only way you can add a sense of calm to your bedroom. Try changing out your comforter, sheets, pillows, artwork or blankets to muted shades of blues or grays.

Add lavender
Although the studies are limited, there is some indication that certain scents can impact your sleep.

In one small study of 20 people, inhalation of lavender oil lowered participant’s heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature. And in another study, infants were given a bath with or without lavender oils. Mothers whose babies bathed in the oils were more relaxed and showed more affection towards their newborns during bath time than those who didn’t have the oils. The infants also cried less and slept better when their bath involved lavender oils.

While lavender is certaintly not a cure-all for sleep problems like insomnia, it doesn’t hurt to add oils, candles, diffusers or sachets in your room.

Adjust the temperature
Being too hot or too cold can definitely cause you to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

If your room is cool enough, it will be easier to fall asleep, since your body temperature naturally decreases so you can snooze. Try setting your thermostat somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A cooler room will also help you stay asleep—specifically in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, or the stage of sleep that involves dreaming.

Make sure your bedroom is dark
It’s also recommended that you keep your bedroom free of bright lights, televisions, computers, tablets or cell phones. Exposure to light while you’re trying to sleep stimulates your brain, interfering with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and even increasing your body temperature, both of which can keep you awake.

While you should have some exposure to sunlight throughout the day, keep your bedroom on the darker side for sleeping. Make sure all of your lights are turned off, that you use curtains (even blackout curtains if you can) or eye masks. If you need a night light, invest in a low illumination light. Try to avoid watching television, playing electronic games or using your phone 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

Change out your linens and mattresses regularly
It’s no surprise that a comfortable setup is going to help you sleep better, and that includes your bedding.

When it comes to your mattress, choose one that is supportive and feels good—you shouldn’t wake up with aches or pain. While there’s no set rule for when to change out your mattress, most last around eight years. If there are worn spots—or your position moves when your partner moves—it may be time to replace it.

As far as pillows go, they can be soft or firm (it’s a personal preference), and you should replace them when they get lumpy, which is probably going to be around one to two years. It’s important to choose something that feels comfortable to you.

Invest in a white noise machine
Noise can also affect your sleep in a negative way. When you hear sounds, your brain tries to process them, which can cause problems when you’re trying to fall asleep. An unexpected noisy location can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

While noise affects everyone differently—some are more sensitive to it than others—it’s still important to create a quiet environment for a good night’s sleep.

If you notice you’re having trouble with the noise in your room or home, try white noise machines or apps on your phone. White noise machines provide a constant sound, like running water or buzzing, that can block out disturbing outdoor sounds like traffic sirens. You can also achieve the same type of sound with an air purifier or fan.

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Tracking your ZZZs using Sharecare, a free app for iOS and Android, can help you become aware of your sleep habits. Sharecare can automatically track your sleep or you can input the hours you sleep manually. Using this information, you can establish a slumber schedule and environment that works for you.