Is your bedroom your happy place? If not, let's work on making that happen because sleep is absolutely vital for your health.
Your bedroom should be a tranquil getaway from the stresses of your day.
Some benefits of a good night's sleep are improved memory and stamina, decreased cravings, stress reduction, reduced inflammation and longevity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, lack of a good night's sleep can cause depression, weight gain, irritability, poor concentration, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Here are my tips to make your bedroom a tranquil escape to ensure restful sleep:
- Ban electronics from the bedroom.
This includes TVs, tablets, and phones. The light from these devices disrupts your body's ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which your body instinctively produces when it's night time. If your body doesn't produce enough melatonin, it can't distinguish between day and night, resulting in tossing and turning.
- Keep your bedroom dark.
Invest in curtains and keep your them closed at night. Curtains are a great way to insulate your bedroom from light and noise. Light from cars, streetlights or the moon can keep you from falling asleep. If you don't have blackout curtains, invest in an eye mask. This keeps the room extremely dark, preparing your body and mind for shut-eye.
- Invest in a good quality mattress.
One of the main culprits of poor sleep is body pain. Some people don't realize their mattress may be too hard or too soft. Aim for something with sufficient support and be sure to invest in pillows that offer neck support.4. Invest in good quality bedding.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
If your body overheats, you can break out in a sweat. This can disrupt your sleep and that of your partner. Aim to keep your bedroom between 65-68ºF or 18.5ºC and think of your bedroom as a cave; cool, dark, and quiet!
If you are not a fan of air conditioning, invest in a ceiling fan to circulate the air, or buy a cheap oscillating fan.
Bedding that is soft and comfortable to sleep with is essential. A light sheet in the summer to keep you cool. In the winter time invest in a good duvet and bedlinen to keep you warm.
- Wear loose fitting, comfy pyjamas.
If your pyjamas are too heavy or tight fitting, that could cause discomfort, preventing your body from entering a truly relaxed state. Try wearing an old cotton T-shirt. It's light, airy and isn't constricting.
Pyjamas made of natural fibers are also better for sleeping in, cotton, linen or bamboo are all great choices for sleepwear.
- Get a plant for your bedroom.
Unless you're allergic, having a plant or flowers at your bedside will release oxygen, refreshing the air. They also release water, increasing humidity for improved breathing and purify air by removing toxins.
- Declutter the space.
Eliminating clutter from the bedroom helps to reduce stress, promoting relaxation. Some items I do suggest you keep in the bedroom are your favorited books; a great way to fall asleep is reading a good book. Scented candles are wonderful for relaxation, the flickering light can be mesmerising, and the scent adds a luxurious fragrance.
- Shut down an hour before bed.
Not only should you shut down your electronics and the evening news, but your mind as well. This may include a nightly ritual such as a warm bath, hot towel scrub, or reading a book.
When all else fails, meditate. Meditation doesn't have to be a big event. You can meditate right in bed. Try this: lie flat on your back, close your eyes and relax every part of your body. Relax your face, your jaw, your teeth, your neck, your shoulders and so on. Breathe in through your nostrils for a count of four and breathe out through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat several times until you fall asleep.