Thanks this month to SleepHelp.org for contributing this guest blog. Especially with the long, hot summer nights, many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep so check out the tips below!
Sleep is essential to health and functioning well in daily life. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep at night.
If you sleep less than seven hours per day, you’re at an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. Sleeping more may seem challenging, but lifestyle changes such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and turning off or removing screens from your bedroom can help you improve your sleep.
Insulate Against Sounds
A quiet bedroom is a peaceful one. If you regularly hear sounds that bother your sleep at night, it’s important that you take steps to quiet your bedroom so you can get some rest.
Noise at night can be jarring, waking you up or making it difficult to fall asleep. Even if you’re able to sleep through it, noise can disrupt the quality of your sleep, keeping you from falling into the deep sleep you need to get enough rest.
Insulating your walls is a highly effective solution for noise reduction. If you’re working on renovations and have the opportunity to add higher rated insulation to your walls, it’s a good idea to do so.
Another option is to use white noise. Consider running a fan at night for white noise, or use a white noise machine that can block out other sounds in favor of more peaceful ones.
Use Blackout Curtains
Our bodies rely on circadian rhythms to know when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up. These rhythms use environmental, social, and behavioral cues, and one of the most powerful cues is light.
When it’s light outside, your body gets the cue that it’s daytime and time to be awake. When it’s dark, it’s time to sleep. But artificial light, such as street lamps or headlights, can interfere with these signals.
It’s a good idea to use blackout curtains at night, which can block out any light coming in from outside your windows. Additionally, you should avoid using bright lights in your home at night, and stop using screens at least one hour before bed.
Care for Houseplants
The air quality in your bedroom matters. The better the air quality, the easier you can breathe and rest at night. Air purifying devices can be helpful, but they may not be necessary if you simply care for common houseplants.
Houseplants including Gerbera daisies, English ivy, Marginata, peace lilies, mother in law’s tongue, Warnecke, bamboo palms, mass cane, and Janet Craig have been shown to be effective at removing harmful chemicals from indoor air. They can effectively remove formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene from the air in your bedroom and throughout your home. Breathing easier helps you to sleep better. Lower carbon dioxide levels (from plants that convert carbon dioxide to breathable oxygen) make it easier to sleep soundly.
Choose the Right Mattress and Bedding
The bed you sleep on is important to your comfort. It’s essential that you choose a mattress that meets your needs for support, firmness, and heat regulation. If you’re waking up hot or in pain, it’s possible your bed is causing a problem, and you should consider whether your current mattress is meeting your needs.
Consider your bedding as well. It’s best to sleep on natural materials, such as cotton or bamboo, as they tend to breathe better and retain less heat at night than synthetic materials. Make sure the pillow you sleep on is the proper height for your preferred sleeping positions.
Sleep at a Comfortable Temperature
The ideal temperature for sleep is between 16 to 19 degrees Celsius. A cool bedroom helps your body doze off at night.
If your bedroom is much cooler or warmer than the ideal temperature, you could suffer from a poor quality of sleep. You may feel restless, and the quality of your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may be lessened.
Set your thermostat lower at night so your home will be cooler. Make sure your bedding sleeps cool, such as a mattress that offers airflow and low heat retention. And consider using a fan at night to promote airflow.