You can try diffusing essential oils such as lavender (which has been shown to support in fostering a tranquil setting as suggested by Anxiety-Gone.com) and there are plenty of research-backed ways that you can redecorate your bedroom to help improve your sleep. Plus, they won’t take a trip to the nearest furniture store.
While a comfortable mattress is important for sleep, the best bedroom focuses less on what you can add, and more on what can be taken away. Here’s a look at what you should do to consistently get in your R&R each night.
#1 Block Out The Light
Most of us aren’t lucky enough to live in the country side, and that means street lamps right outside our windows. In turn, we often can’t get a completely dark room, and that can disrupt your sleeping patterns. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling at night, you might get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer if you block out external light. This includes cars, too!
Blackout curtains can do wonders for helping you sleep, so it’s no wonder why every hotel in the world features them. Grab some for your own bedroom and you’ll definitely be able to relax quicker without the outside world keeping you up.
#2 Let The Light In
If this sounds like a complete contradiction to the first point, just hear out the details. While light at night will keep you awake, light in the morning is essential to telling your body that it’s time to gradually release from sleep and get going.
In other words, you want to block out all light until the sun begins to come up. Then, you want to gradually be exposed to the light so that your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle begins to align with your lifestyle.
Of course, if you don’t wake to get up when the sun does, you can get a “light alarm” instead. These are bedside lamps that work on a timer and gradually brighten the room just like the sun would. People who work night shifts or live on otherwise odd schedules depend on them to keep their circadian rhythm (sleeping patterns) in check.
#3 Avoid Screens
It’s human nature to go to sleep in the dark, so there’s no real surprise that the light from screens (known as “blue light”) is harmful to your sleep. Even worse than a street lamp shining in through your window, the blue light emitted by our devices can do more than just keep you up–it can harm your eyes and d all sorts of things to your wellbeing.
We are only just beginning to research the ill effects of long-term exposure to blue light that come with regular device usage, but we already have a pretty solid understanding of how blue light throws off your body’s sleeping patterns. So, instead of looking at a screen, choose to read or relax in the 1-2 hours leading up to your bedtime.
#4 Turn Down The Temperature
Once you have light under control, the next factor that will impact your sleep quality is temperature. This one also goes back to time past where humans slept outside. As the sun sets, the temperature naturally gets cooler. Our bodies also slow down and cool down internally at night, as we prefer to sleep cool.
Many studies have shown that the ideal room temperature for sleeping is between 64 and 72 degrees. However, just like light, you’ll want to gradually increase it as morning rolls around. If you have a timed thermostat, this should be easy. Getting your room slightly warmer in the morning won’t just make crawling out from under the covers easier, it will also signal to your body that it’s time to warm up and get moving again.
#5 Create a Bedtime Routine
Bedtimes and routines aren’t just for kids. In fact, they are proving to be a very valuable tool for helping busy adults stay on schedule and get more done throughout the day.
Our bodies love routines, so giving yourself one can help you get to sleep faster and sleep better throughout the night. They also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep in even with a busy and hectic lifestyle. The best routine will include an hour or two of “unwind time” where you are in an area that gets progressively darker and cooler, avoiding screens or too much excitement.
Reading a book is a great activity, but you can also try relaxing yoga or just stretching out. You could also journal or work on your weekly schedule, food menu, or other pen-and-paper tasks if you’d like to be productive during this cool down time. After that, climb into bed and try to go to sleep at around the same time each night. Likewise, get up at around the same time each morning and your body will soon be able to wake up feeling energized thanks to the care you’ve put into your sleep routine.
#6 Curl Up With The Right Covers
Tired of tossing and turning or kicking off your covers only to pull them back up again when things get chilly? To promote good sleep, your bedding needs to be breathable, comfortable, and–preferably–weighted.
Weighted blankets are shown to promote the release of serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical that plays a key role in relaxing and going to sleep. The IKEA weighted blanket also can come with any duvets you can find in IKEA (you can buy one for winter and one for summer) and it’s made of pure, 100% cotton so it’s breathable all year-long. That means it hits every mark, and it can certainly help yo breathe easy tonight.
Click here to learn more about how to break the insomnia cycle and here to learn about how to choose your weighted blanket. If you are interested in our weighted blanket reviews here you can find them.