Lack of sleep is a common issue throughout Australia with up to 45% of adults reporting that they get inadequate sleep at night. Inadequate sleep can include issues that affect the duration of your sleep or the quality. Let’s learn more about the cause of bad sleep:
Why Am I Sleeping Poorly?
Issues falling and staying asleep often come down to diet and overall health. And when people think of ways to rectify their sleep, they normally consider options related to their these factors, like trying out sleep aids and avoiding certain foods before bed.
Of course, these can be effective measures to help improve your sleep, but there is another sleep factor that many people forget about—bedroom setup.
So, before you run out to get that Ambien prescription, try these tips to improve your room setup for optimal sleep quality.
1. Upgrade Your Mattress and Bedding
If you’re not sleeping well, the first thing to consider is the age and condition of your mattress and bedding. Experts recommend that you consider changing your mattress every 5-7 years.
Think about how your body has changed since you purchased your mattress. Are you the same weight? Same build? Your mattress should adjust with you to reflect your changing body and the way in which you sleep. Sleep types are largely dependant on your personal comfort and include sleeping on either side, your back, or your stomach. And, what is comfortable, is largely dependant on your size and body type.
For example, people with larger bodies might find it difficult to sleep on their backs as a result of sleep apnea or acid reflux.
If you used to be smaller, and bought a mattress that was designed to support the spine in a back sleeping position, but have since gained weight – you might want to consider a mattress that is better suited to support side sleeping.
In addition, mattresses can easily become havens for all sorts of gross sediments and debris. Dead skin cells, body fluids, dust mites, and allergens collect in your mattress throughout the years. While this might (understandably) gross you out, the more important takeaway is: all of this extra matter serves to change the composition and comfort level of your mattress.
We know mattresses can be a bit of an investment, but choosing the right mattress and complimentary bedding is an investment worth making—especially if you’re looking to improve your sleep.
2. Use Essential Oils
One of the main reasons people spend money on massages and spa treatments is because they provide a refuge for relaxation. Soothing sounds and calming scents do not have to be reserved for spa day—consider bringing these elements into your bedroom.
Incorporating aromatherapy into your sleep routine is a great way to help you relax and improve your sleep quality.
In fact, a recent study of anxiety patients in Turkey showed significant improvements in sleep quality when using aromatherapy.
So give it a try!
The best essential oils for improving sleep are:
You can infuse the scent of essential oils through your room via an oil diffuser, or you can add a drop or two to your favorite moisturising or massage oil and rub them directly into your skin before bed.
As essential oils can affect medications or certain medical conditions, it’s always best to check with your doctor if you plan on rubbing them into your skin.
3. Decrease Your Home’s Temperature
We understand that through the day you’re working to keep your energy costs low and may opt for the fan or a few open windows instead of the air conditioner. But at night, it’s important to keep the temperature in your room relatively cool to aid sleep.
In fact, experts say the best temperature for sleeping is 18°. And while all of that new bedding will look great on your bed, you don’t want to snuggle up under too many layers as it can increase your body temperature and decrease your sleep quality.
4. Invest in Blackout Curtains
To get the best sleep, you want your room to be as dark as possible. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that:
- Use blackout curtains
- Consider light emitted from electronic clocks, charging cords etc. They can make a pitch black room significantly brighter.
- Avoid using night lights
- Leave your phone and other electronics out of sight.
Research shows that artificial light in its various forms sends “wake up” messages to the brain and effectively ruins your sleep. Counter that by keeping your room dark.
5. Add White Noise
Noise can also disturb your sleep. If your neighbours have loud dogs that bark throughout the night or if you live off of a busy road where traffic runs through the night, your sleep is likely to be affected.
While you can’t stop the traffic, you can overcome these interfering noises by canceling them out with white noise. White noise comes in various forms, and while you can always buy a white noise machine, you can also turn on a fan to give you the same effect.
6. Use Calming Colours
An affinity for bright colours can show off your personality, but when it comes to your bedroom, it’s best to use calming tones.
Consider changing your wall paint, bedding, and other décor to contain simple colour schemes that help you wind down for bed. Calming colour ideas include:
- Soft gray
- Icy blue
- Soft green
7. Keep It Clean
It’s easy to make the bedroom the last place to clean. Afterall, it’s your space and your company rarely sees it.
But, did you know that the clutter in your room is affecting your sleep?
Messiness and disorder leave your mind feeling anxious and make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Furthermore, it’s even harder to fall back to sleep after a bathroom break in which you run into one of the many things occupying your floor.
9. Furniture Placement
Knowing how to place the furniture in your room is important for quality sleep.
First, it’s best to face your bed away from doors and windows if possible. This will help keep out any radiant light, but will also help your brain ease into sleep without thinking about all the things happening on the other sides of those openings.
It’s also important to keep your room décor to a minimum. Only keep things you absolutely need in your room and make sure to place them strategically. For example, if there are things you need as soon as you wake up, like your glasses or a water bottle, consider placing them on a night stand within reaching distance of your bed.
Also, it’s important to keep activities not related to sleeping separate from your bed. Try to establish different areas in your room for different activities—a reading corner, a couch, a computer desk. Not mixing these items with your bed will help condition your brain into associating your bed for only sleeping. Likewise, only resort to your bed when it comes time to nod off.