Sleep is an integral part of overall health and it plays an underrecognized role in our weight and appetite. If you’re feeling tired or concerned about getting your cravings under control, then, the solution may have nothing to do with what you eat. Rather, experts recommend taking steps to create a more sleep-friendly bedroom.
Cut The Clutter
Decluttering is all the rage right now, but when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, ditching the clutter is about more than getting rid of useless junk and cleaning up your space. In the bedroom, large amounts of clutter can be overstimulating and make it harder for you to settle down at night. Additionally, clutter and mess can increase stress or cause you to stay up fussing over mess, reading a book, or sorting your jewelry when you should be sleeping.
Test The Temperature
Temperature plays an important role in how well we sleep, which is why most people profess distinct preferences about the temperature of the room, how many blankets they need, and whether they can sleep with socks on. And while preferences vary, naturally, we sleep better in slightly cooler environments, and our bodies tend to cool slightly as we fall asleep. Temperatures below 65 degrees, however, can be disruptive.
If you’re trying to get your bedroom to the right temperature for sleep, there are several steps you can take. First, check your windows. Old windows can take a toll on your home’s insulation, driving up your energy bills and causing your home to be too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. You can manage such insulation problems by replacing your windows, as well as by installing heavy curtains in your bedroom to control heat exchange with the outside.
Keep It Quiet
As is the case with temperature, our bodies are also very sensitive to noise – though the degree to which one is bothered by noise when sleeping varies. If you’re particularly sensitive or live in a noisy environment, then, it’s important that you turn your bedroom into a quiet retreat from the world. Luckily, many of the changes you can make to control your bedroom’s temperature will also impact noise. Better insulated windows and heavy curtains will block out sound. In many cases, though, this isn’t enough. If noise is still waking you up, try installing a white noise machine or running a fan. This creates a neutral soundscape that can prevent other sounds from breaking through.
While you can fuss with all these fine details, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable in your bedroom, so invest in a mattress and bedding that you enjoy. That means replacing your mattress as it ages – most last about 10 years – and don’t let flat pillows leave you aching. If you’re uncomfortable, it’s going to take you longer to fall asleep and you’ll be more likely to wake throughout the night. That’s not going to help you wake up feeling rested and will cause you to build up sleep debt over time.
Your bedroom is a sacred space and it should be committed to its sole purpose: rest. Don’t work in bed or lounge around in your bedroom during the day. As you improve your space for better sleep, this emphasis on good sleep hygiene will support your efforts and help you settle in quickly and easily when the day is done.