Sleep deprivation is a very serious issue. According to the American Sleep Association, at least 35% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep within a 24-hour period. When you're deprived of sleep, it's almost impossible to function at optimal levels. If you want to be more present in your life, know that sleep is the answer. Too often, people rely on energy drinks, caffeine and other stimulants to stay awake. Truthfully, it's a lot healthier to take a holistic approach to the issue. Start with your bedroom and your relationship to rest. Consider how comfortable you are with your current bedroom situation. If it's not ideal, consider the following ways you can make a shift and change your sleeping habits.
1. Add a fan or turn down the temperature
If the temperature is cooler in your bedroom, it makes it a lot easier to snuggle up underneath the covers. If you've ever tried to fall asleep in the heat, you'll know that it's a very uncomfortable experience. If you have a ceiling fan that you can turn on, that's always a great way to add a bit of coolness to the room. Furthermore, head over to the thermostat two hours before bedtime. Turn it down a few degrees. As the house gets cooler, it'll feel natural to get cozy and warm. Before long, you'll be drifting off to sleep. Turn the temperature down a few degrees throughout the year. You don't have to wait until it's hot outside to implement this tip. It's okay to do this in the wintertime as well. Just make sure you're not waking up with a cold in the morning. Your body naturally cools down at nighttime as well. So, the combination of cooler body temperature and warm covers is enough for anyone to sleep peacefully through the night.
2. Make the room pitch black at night
For many people, a street light sends in enough light to keep them awake. If you're really sensitive to light, it's an excellent idea to hang blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are pretty amazing because they'll completely mask anything that's happening outside. When you use these curtains, you won't be able to tell if it's the middle of the day or the middle of the night. During the summer months, the sun stays in the sky a lot longer. With the sun setting later, this can easily impact a person's schedule because of all the natural daylight. When you come home, just pull the curtains in your bedroom. Once you spend an hour or two in your bedroom, you won't be able to tell that the sun is still setting. If you'd like to use them all over the house, this will be even better for helping you to make a transition to bedtime. In the morning, remember to open up the curtains again. Natural sunlight and Vitamin D are good for you. Plus, you don't want to sink into a depression because of the lack of light.
3. Eliminate the use of electronics in the bedroom
Nowadays, people carry their smartphones everywhere. Even when it's time to take a shower, some people bring their phones in so that they can enjoy music. The addiction to smart technology is a little alarming. This is especially true when you consider the negative impact it can have on a person's ability to sleep deeply and peacefully. Most digital devices emit blue light. The blue light is so powerful that it can trigger your brain's ability to stay awake. This is a terrible thing when you're trying to get to sleep. Instead of doing the mindless scroll on your smartphone, pick up a book before bed. Put your smartphone on the charger across the room. In fact, you might even decide that it's best to leave it in another room. If you use your smartphone as your alarm clock, you can still place it across the room before you go to sleep. When it's time to wake up, you'll have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm clock. This is one of the most challenging habits to break, but get rid of the phones at bedtime.
4. Incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy
There's something really relaxing and therapeutic about essential oils and aromatherapy. If you've ever been to a spa, you understand the power of aromas and relaxation. Purchase an essential oil diffuser and a few essential oils for your bedroom. There are specific oils that work well for relaxation. Consider purchasing oils like lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil and ylang-ylang essential oil. You can use them in a diffuser to create a special blend for bedtime. When you start to develop a routine that includes these oils, you can create a trigger for your brain's ability to understand that it's time to wind down for bed. If you're not attracted to the idea of using a diffuser each night, add some essential oils to a small piece of cloth. Put the cloth on your pillow each night. As you smell the fresh scents of the essential oils, it's a great way to relax and unwind. Another option involves dropping a few essential oils in the tub to take a relaxing bath each night.
If your bedroom is cluttered, this is just an extension of how your brain feels when you walk in the room. Even if it's just one closet that needs decluttering, get it done. This can make a major difference in how you feel when you enter the room. You want your bedroom to serve as a safe haven for sleep. If you have clutter everywhere, it's difficult to know where to focus your attention. In order to get rid of the clutter, you're going to have to be disciplined. Resist the urge to hold on to too many sentimental items that aren't in use. Take a look at all of the clothes in your drawers and closets. If you're not wearing them within six months, it's time to give them away or throw them away. As you work on decluttering your bedroom, you'll find that it looks lighter and easier on the eyes.
6. Use complementary colors
Complementary colors are always nice to incorporate within your decor. Consider colors that are complementary and conducive to relaxation. This means that you'll probably want to stay away from too many pops of color or extremely bright colors. If anything, it's a wise idea to consider muted versions of your favorite colors. If you stick with neutrals and earth tones, this can help you in your quest to fall asleep easier. Take a look at hotel decor and spa decor. When you enter a spa, the goal is to help you relax. The same is true for a hotel. Take a look at the different color options within spas and hotels to draw inspiration. This isn't to say that you can't have a beautifully ornate rug or a bright colored throw pillow. It's just that the majority of the room should lend itself to relaxation. There's nothing relaxing about neon green or hot pink. Knowing this, make sure to paint your walls and purchase bedding in colors that will help you unwind.
7. Add personal touches
You don't want your home to look like you live in a mausoleum. Inject personality and love into the room by adding personal touches. Find a few of your favorite photos of family members and friends. Create a stunning gallery wall of black & white pictures. If you have an artist who creates your favorite paintings, purchase a few to hang in the room. Ally Olson from VisionBedding.com says that a photo collage blanket is a great way to add a unique, personal touch to a room. If you're sharing the room with your spouse, consider creating a custom decal. To create the decal, use the lyrics of your wedding song. You can place the decal above the bed. It'll serve as a reminder of your love. Plus, it'll look beautiful in a color that complements the rest of the decor. If you have a specific poem that means a lot to you, frame it and place it on your nightstand. Next to the poem, add a candle in your favorite scent. These are simple ways to add a personal touch that only you and your spouse can appreciate.
8. Invest in an excellent mattress
If you're not comfortable in your own bed, it's going to be very difficult to be comfortable in your bedroom. Out of all the major purchases you can make, an excellent mattress has to land at the top of your list. One of the reasons why people don't experience good sleep is because they're sleeping on a really old mattress. As mattresses get old and worn in, they provide less support. When you're not getting enough support, this can lead to a lot of backaches, discomfort and pain. When you're used to a bad mattress, this is a danger zone. Because you don't realize the mattress is bad, you don't think about getting a new one. If you're in college, an inexpensive mattress is understandable. However, as you get older, your body needs support. If you're working long hours, you want to make sure you're getting the highest quality of sleep that you possibly can. Opt for the more expensive mattresses as they tend to provide the best quality. Plus, when you invest in a quality mattress, it'll last you a few years. The purchase is worth it.
9. Use a sound machine
A sound machine is effective for those who like white noise while they sleep. For some people, the humming of the ceiling fan is enough to help them fall asleep. However, there are many people who love falling asleep to the sounds of the rainforest or the ocean. Think about the rest you receive during a thunderstorm. There's something about the sound of the rain that makes it easier to drift off to a peaceful sleep. You can create that sound by downloading an app on your smartphone. Yes, you can use a sound machine app and keep your phone across the room. You can also purchase a sound machine. If you keep the sound machine near your bed, make sure it doesn't emit a lot of light. Sound machines are even effective for babies and young children to feel comfortable as they go to sleep.
10. Create relaxing routines
If you can avoid it, it's best to leave your work in the living room or the office. Try not to bring your work laptop into the bedroom. If you're watching a television show, watch it in the living room. Do your best to avoid bringing your television or any other stimulating elements into the bedroom. There's psychology around this. Your brain needs to understand and train itself to know that the bedroom is meant for sleeping and relaxing. Even if you're talking on the phone or playing with your children, do your best to leave these activities for the main areas like the living room, den and playroom. Furthermore, consider creating routines that are conducive to sleep in your bedroom. Dim the lights. Read a physical book that will help you fall asleep. Light a specific candle that emits an aroma at bedtime. Drink a hot cup of chamomile tea. As you develop these rituals that remind you that it's time for bed, your body will continue to fall into the routine. Ultimately, this will make you more comfortable within your bedroom and your sleep routine.
As you work on changing your bedroom, you might find that some habits are harder to break than others. If you love falling asleep with your smartphone in your hand, you might realize you're addicted to it. However, it's better to know and actively change. As you implement these tips, your sleeping habits will change. As a result, your quality of life will improve drastically. Don't underestimate the power of a good night's rest. Your life will be better because of it.