Modern living is wreaking havoc on our sleep habits and it is having a profound effect on our health. We are all familiar with the many mental, emotional, and health benefits that a good night’s sleep can provide. Sleep is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system and metabolism, as well as playing a critical role in memory, learning, and other vital functions.
While studies have shown that we need less sleep than was previously thought, even the optimum 6.5 to 7.5 hours can be a challenge to get. Recently the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an alarming 1 in 3 adults don’t get sufficient sleep each night.
There are a plenty of physical habits that are recommended for promoting better sleep, but is your bedroom working for or against your night’s rest? The furniture you choose, the way arrange it, and your color scheme has a surprisingly big influence on your sleep habits. If you are on the insomniac side of that 1 in 3 equation, try some of these suggestions. You may find yourself on your way to peaceful slumberland.
A Bed to Dream In
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is the first and most important step in creating a sleep-enhancing environment. Is your mattress still supporting your body well and comfortably? Have furrows developed over the years, keeping you wakeful? The average mattress should be replaced every seven to 10 years. When choosing a mattress, make sure that your bed is roomy enough to accommodate your bodily movements if you are a restless sleeper who shifts positions during the night.
Bed placement and style contribute to your sense of ease and comfort. Your bed should be easy to get into and out of. Many people feel more comfortable when the bed faces the door. A headboard often increases a sense of stability and well-being.
Consider also your pillows. The size, shape, and number of your pillows can have a significant effect on the comfort and quality of your sleep.
Bright Lights, Wide Awake Nights
Bright lights stimulate your brain and keep you alert and wakeful. To promote sleep, make liberal use of smaller lamps and dimmer switches. In the hour before your planned bedtime, turn off the overhead and switch to smaller lamps. This signals to your body that the time for sleeping has arrived.
Absolutely avoid all blue spectrum lights like those emitted by electronic devices. Make the bedroom a tv, computer, and smartphone free zone.
Think About Textiles
Choose thick opaque fabric for your window draperies. If you are particularly bothered by light pollution, consider blackout curtains or blinds to ensure a well-darkened room.
Thick rugs and carpeting muffle sound. An upholstered wall in the bedroom reduces outside noise and is inherently relaxing. It also provides a comforting surface to lean on when in bed.
Your bed linens are also a factor in the quality of your sleep. Natural fiber sheets made from cotton or linen are more breathable, keeping you cooler at night.
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Color Me Sleepy
The color you choose to decorate your bedroom can be a surprising influence on your nightly rest. Muted blue shades are particularly calming, but all cool shades soothe your nervous system. They are associated with a relaxed heart rate, lower blood pressure, and slower respiration, all of which help the body shift into sleep-mode. However, color will always be a highly personal choice. If you hate the idea of cool shades in the bedroom, choose the color that best fills you with a sense of serenity.
Keeping it Clean and Symmetrical
Symmetry is inherently beautiful to the human eye and arranging your bed area symmetrically quiets the mind in preparation for bedtime. On the other hand, a roomful of clutter is stressful and will keep you psychologically on edge. Your bedroom should have enough organizational spaces to keep all of your things nicely in place. A cluttered bedside table contributes to mental restlessness, reminding you of things that need to be done. Keeping your bedside tables clear of piled up items settles the mind.
Aloe Vera plants promote sleep when they emit oxygen during the night. Snake plants also emit oxygen and clear the air of toxins. Lavender and jasmine plants emit a beautiful fragrance that relieves anxiety and slows down your heart rate. English ivy plants reduce the mold levels, which can help asthma sufferers improve their sleep.