One of the most important things for you to do to help ward off insomnia and get better sleep is to control your sleep environment. Here are 4 simple tips you can employ to create your own personal sleeping mecca.
Tip #1: Adjust Temperature
The ideal temperature for sleeping is much different than that for the rest of the day. While during the day, temperature preferences tend to vary between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, optimal sleep occurs at roughly 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, with much colder or warmer temperatures leading to sleep troubles. (*1)
If you have a thermostat that allows you to schedule different temperatures throughout the day, have it automatically set to be cooler at night than during the day. If your room is hot and you don’t have central air, consider installing a window AC unit, or at a minimum, a ceiling fan above your bed.
Tip #2: Control Light
Our bodies are extremely sensitive to light. Few of us live in a location where there is no ambient light outside during the night, making it important to regulate the light inside of your bedroom when you are sleeping.
You can purchase blackout curtains or blinds, or simply wear a sleep mask while you sleep. It is best to have a nightlight that is motion censored, so you do not have to turn on a light if you wake up in the middle of the night. You may even want to consider minimizing light from other sources, including bright alarm clocks, and replacing them with ones that do not emit light.
Tip #3: Use White Noise or Relaxing Music
If you are a light sleeper, you know how disruptive random noises throughout the night can be. This could be a loud car outside of your window, or your spouse snoring right next to you. Rather than deal with these difficulties as they arise, you can preemptively have background noise going to reduce the likelihood that you will be snapped out of sleep.
White noise machines are a great option, as is light classical music or other relaxing music without lyrics. There even exist sleep headphones that are padded and comfortable to wear when sleeping, which can be extremely helpful if the source of the noise you struggle with is sharing the bed with you.
Tip #4: Do Not Share Your Bed
Who doesn’t love to cuddle with their dogs, cats, or kids? No matter how much you love them, if they disrupt your sleep at night, it is best for everyone for them to have their own sleeping spaces.
This doesn’t mean that you need to remove your pets from the bedroom. In a recent study, it was found that those who slept with a dog in their room, but not in their bed, maintained good sleep quality. (*2) However, those whose dogs slept in their beds experienced slightly lower quality sleep than those with no dog in the bed.
With kids, this can vary from one situation to another; however, it is generally advised to encourage your children to sleep in their own rooms to help promote both your and their long-term sleep quality.
Putting effort into setting up an ideal sleep environment is important for anyone who wants to get a good night’s rest. When your room is set up in such a way as to support sleep, you are on your way to getting the sleep that you need to perform at your best.