Quality sleep is an important aspect of our overall health and wellbeing. It can decrease our risk of some chronic health issues, reduce stress, and improve our overall mood, cognitive function and general wellbeing.
The environment you create to sleep in can have a big impact on the quality and duration of your sleep. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you create a space that will help you get a good night’s rest.
Block out blinds
Invest in block out blinds or heavier curtaining for your bedroom. A dark space helps our bodies produce melatonin which is essential for improving the quality of sleep.
Use soft lighting in your bedroom – try a small lamp instead of using a full ceiling light to create a calm and relaxed environment.
2. Ditch the screens
The blue light emitted from our phones and other devices with screens suppress the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and trick our brains into thinking it is still day time. Try to put your devices away at least one hour before you go to bed so your brain can starting producing that all-important melatonin before you go to sleep.
3. Reduce noise
Do you live in a busy area with trains, planes or cars keeping you up? Does your partner have a different sleeping pattern to you? Do you live in an apartment building or somewhere where noises are outside of your control? Try using ear plugs or a white noise machine to reduce the impact of those excess noises. Also think about putting a rug or carpet in your bedroom which may help to absorb sounds.
4. Create a relaxing environment through colour
The colours in our environment can have an impact on our mood and behaviour. The best colours for creating a calm and relaxing space are blue, green, white, beige and light pink. You don’t need to go all out and re-paint your bedroom, but think about where you can incorporate these colours – throw blankets, cushions, a rug, furniture pieces, plants, art work, doona covers, and curtains can all be updated relatively easily and have a big impact on the overall space.
5. Have a bedtime ‘routine’
There is a reason this works for children! Having a bedtime routine helps your body to recognise the signs that you are getting ready for sleep and starts to wind down when you start your routine. Try to follow the same pattern every night and include things that help you relax such as having a warm shower, relaxing with a cup of tea or reading a book for a short time.
6. De-clutter your space
Clutter creates stress
This isn’t a feeling you want when you’re trying to go to sleep. Even if you can fall asleep easily, waking up in a messy environment can increase your stress levels – even without you realising. A de-cluttered space invokes a calm mind and energy which will help reduce your stress levels.
Make your bed every morning
This helps to start your day by achieving a small goal, but also helps to create a peaceful environment – your bedroom looks nice and tidy so you are already calm before you get into bed.
7. Avoid using your bedroom as a multi-purpose space
Especially during the pandemic, we needed to be creative with multiple people working from one space. If you do use your bedroom as an office or workout space, try to pack this away as much as possible so your bedroom becomes solely a ‘sleep space’ again when you go to bed. Better yet, put up a curtain or create a desk space inside a cupboard so that it can be closed away until the next day. This helps to keep your bedroom a calm space. The same goes for any other activities you might use your bedroom for, including exercise or crafts.
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