The room in which we sleep can greatly affect the quality of our rest. When creating a good sleeping environment, think about your senses: touch, sight, smell and hearing.
To keep your bedroom cool at night time, try to avoid the build-up of heat. Keeping the blinds or curtains closed can help, as can using a fan or air conditioning. Wear light and breathable pajamas and keep a glass of water by your bedside.
Sheets and bedding
The textures your body feels when in bed can also affect your sleep. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to mattresses and pillows; pick one that feels comfortable for you. Different materials trap heat differently so it may be helpful to choose breathable cotton bed sheets to prevent you from getting too hot.
Light or the absence of it can play important roles in our sleep cycle, letting our bodies know when it is time to rest, or wake up. Light in the bedroom can significantly affect the quality of sleep. Artificial light from lamps, electronics or street lamps outside can send wake-up messages to the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep or to even stay asleep. Find the sources of light in your bedroom and try to block them to make the room completely dark.
Your brain continues to process noises while you sleep, which can cause you to wake up, move or shift between stages of sleep. Creating a quiet environment is key to a healthy night’s rest. Sleeping with the television on is a common reason for interrupted sleep. TV sounds constantly change in tone and volume and can be disruptive to your sleep.
There is evidence to suggest that smell can affect your sleep. Lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, making you feel more relaxed and ready for sleep. Lavender won’t cure insomnia, but using essential oils, briefly lighting candles or placing potpourri sachets in your room could be used as part of your bedtime routine. Keeping your bedroom feeling and smelling clean will make you feel comfortable as you prepare to go to bed.
If you share a bedroom
Sharing a room with someone can be challenging, especially if you have very different schedules and routines. Ear plugs may be a good investment, in addition to a sleep mask. These items can provide a dark and more peaceful environment for sleeping when you are not alone.
To learn more about how to improve your sleep, including pertinent information about sleep, food, caffeine, and avoiding nicotine, read: Lifestyle Changes That Will Improve Your Sleep.