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In order to make your room more conducive to sleep, you may need to make several adjustments. Your room should be kept quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature. Using a white noise machine, a fan, or ear plugs may help you block out any noise and lull you to sleep. Also, placing pillows between or behind your knees may help you sleep more comfortably.
To make your room more conducive to sleep, remove anything that can be distracting, including TV, computers, books, radios, iPods or Kindles. Falling asleep with music or the TV on, or while reading, is poor sleep hygiene and contributes to poor sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is suited for sleep. Wear earplugs if noises while sleeping are bothersome. Some people find that white noise, a machine that produces a humming sound or turning the radio to a station that has gone off the air, helps. Also, get black out shades for the room to make sure it is fully dark. Light is a cue for the body to awaken; darkness signals relaxation and sleep. Those ultra sensitive to light who find it disrupts sleep time should wear a sleep mask. Turn the clock with the face toward the wall so there is no temptation to check the time all night long.
Create a sanctuary in your bedroom; make a reverent space that honors sleep for the sacred healing experience it is. Be rigorous about reserving that space for quiet activities such as reading, for physical intimacy, and most of all, for sweet dreams. Invest in your bedroom by adding peaceful colors, a good mattress, nice sheets, a comfortable pillow: after all, you spend a third of your life there.
Here are my five tips for a restful bedroom:
1. Lose the snooze: Using the snooze button in the early morning hours keeps you from the most calorie burning stage of sleep, REM sleep, which occurs most in the final third of the night. You can also use the trick of setting your alarm to tell you when to go to bed, to stick to your healthy sleep schedule of getting to bed at the same time every night.
2. Enforce an Electronic Curfew: While I would prefer electronics (phones, laptops, iPads etc) to be out of the bedroom altogether, I know it is simply not realistic. So set an electronic curfew for one hour before lights out. This will decrease the electronic exposure you are getting before bed (which has been reported to cause un-refreshing sleep).
- Try setting an alarm on your mobile device, or better yet see if you can set a timer to turn it off!
- What would you do in that last hour? Try my "Power Down Hour" technique; it works wonders:
- 20 minutes of those small things that just need to get done
- 20 minutes of bedtime hygiene
- 20 minutes of meditation, relaxation, or massage
3. Light the path: If you get up in the middle of the night and need to use the restroom, you probably turn on a light, and tell your brain it is morning! This also slows the production of melatonin (the “vampire” hormone that-is produced in darkness) which is the key that starts the engine for sleep. Strategically place a night-light in the bathroom and in the hall on the way. Now you can avoid any excess light or stumbling into a nightstand, and get back to sleep more easily.
4. Have the right performance equipment: Your mattress and pillow make a huge difference. If you are not comfortable you will not relax enough to fall asleep. If you do not have the proper support you will not awaken feeling refreshed (and thinner).
- Consider a new mattress when your body tells you it is time, not when the warranty is up. Never sleep on the same surface longer than 7 years.
- Replace pillows every year, or earlier if your neck is stiff.
5. Provide soothing sounds for sleep: If it is too quiet your hearing will become more acute and everything will keep you awake. Too much noise will also prevent or disrupt sleep. Consider a noise that will drown out any environmental disturbances, without being too loud to prevent sleep.
- Think about a sound machine.
- Consider using a fan.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.