Today's lesson is all about your bedroom, which I want you to start thinking of as your Sleep Sanctuary. One of the most important things to do to ensure a good sleeping habitat is to make your room a Sleep Sanctuary. You want your bedroom to be the most calming, relaxing place in the house. We’ve talked about conditioning your brain and body to associate sleep with objects and experiences like being in your bed or other pre-bedtime rituals. The goal here is to make it so when you enter your bedroom at night, and you almost begin to feel sleepy before you even get to bed. There are many ways to do this.
Firstly, make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillow. If sleeping on the floor is more comfortable than in your bed, it's time to upgrade your mattress. In the next lesson, I will be going into more detail about your bed’s comfort, specifically. So stay tuned for that.
The next three factors to consider are temperature, airflow, and noise control. I mentioned them all at once because one machine can handle all three: a fan. People usually sleep better when the room is a bit cooler than what is comfortable in the waking hours. A fan can push the temperature down just enough to achieve this. Stagnant air can become musty or stale, making your breathing experience less-than-ideal. It might not hurt you, but you will sleep better if you can breathe easily. A little bit of airflow can achieve this for you. Again, a fan is perfect for this. Then there is noise control. If you need absolute silence to sleep, a fan is not for you. However, most people like a slight hum or background noise they soon don't notice. This is called White Noise. The spinning fan blades create this nicely. Dr. Steve Orma, Clinical Psychologist, specializing in Insomnia, Sleep, & Anxiety, also recommends a fan.
Your room should be dark. Light tells your body to stop making melatonin, the chemical in your body that tells you to sleep. So turn your light off, get blackout curtains if need be, or even a sleep mask.
Get those darn electronics out of the bedroom! If it charges or glows, it shouldn't be in your bedroom. Computers, tablets, TVs, phones; get them out of there. Again, I will go into more detail as to why in a later lesson. But for now, just trust me, their mere presence in your room is hurting your sleep.
Clean your room. A messy room feels chaotic. If your room is neat and orderly, you will feel more at ease, and therefore sleep better. So clean your room.
Finally, aromatherapy can help some people sleep. It has been suggested that lavender has sleep-promoting properties. Try it out, but if the smell is too distracting, get it out of the room.
If you can do all these things, you will have a true Sleep Sanctuary, a place to come and rest your head and get some well-deserved sleep.
As a recap:
- have a comfortable place to sleep
- your room should be cool
- your room needs airflow
- your room should be quiet or at least have some soothing sounds or white noise
- your room should be dark
- turn off your electronic devices or get them out of the room altogether
- the Aesthetics of your room matter
- try aromatherapy...maybe
As promised, the next lesson, entitled Maximizing Your Comfort, will focus on making your bed the most comfortable it can be. Until then, happy Zzz’s...