If there’s one room in your house that could improve your health most, it’s your bedroom. Think about it, you spend at least 1/3 of your life sleeping. (At least you should be spending that much time asleep.) Which means you spend a lot of time there. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary.
Couldn’t you use better sleep? Follow these steps and find yourself getting that really good quality sleep.
Give yourself peace of mind
It’s time to take a good hard look at your bedroom. The only functions it should be performing are for sleep. This is the perfect time to declutter and reclaim your space. If you have a TV or computer in room, you should also ask yourself if you really need it in the bedroom. If you know that the bedroom is really only for sleep and nothing else, your body will know that too and naturally get sleepier at bedtime.
Have a walk through and move out anything that isn’t essential to sleep. Only leave your bed, blankets, pillows and essential furniture. Clean your space well and bring back the items that you love and make your space feel beautiful and clean. The less stuff you have around you, the more your mind can let go.
Say it with me “This is my sanctuary.” Own it! If it’s not absolutely necessary and doesn’t give you that “This is my sanctuary” vibe, it doesn’t belong in the bedroom.
Take a look at lighting
Once you’ve got your room minimized and decluttered its now time to turn off the lights. (You may have to wait until nighttime for this one.) Take a good look for any light source and find a way to eliminate it. Can you remove the source completely? If not, find a way to darken it.
Light affects the bodies ability to produce Melatonin. Melatonin is the bodies hormone that induces sleep. Its easily disrupted by light. Even the glow of the numbers on your alarm clock can mess it up. You can cover up the numbers with thick paper taped to the top and just lift it up to check the time, but still have total darkness. Go around and tape any tiny electrical lights with dark tape.
If you have light coming in through the window, consider light darkening curtains. These ones are really well reviewed and come in so many pretty colors.
If you must have a night light, make sure to use a red light bulb. Its the only color that doesn’t interrupt sleep. Salt lamps (I think this one is so cool!) and even salt lamp night lights are good for mellow lighting that doesn’t disrupt the night time hormone process.
Block out the noise beyond your room
According to the World Health Organization, noise disturbances during sleep can cause long-term health problems, including cardiovascular disease. There’s a couple of different solutions to help with noise pollution.
There are plenty of apps on the market for your phone and tablet that offer background noise and white noise options. Many are even free.
We use an AeraMax air purifier that we bought when I was pregnant with my first one. I wanted the room we slept in to be as clean as possible for my new little guy. This is one of those MUST have products for me. The air always smells cleaner in the bedroom and it just feels fresher. Its super quiet, unless you put it on the highest setting which creates white noise. When this is on most of the other household noises are drowned out. This is honestly the only way we get some sleep with two under two sleeping in our room.
Or use an actual white noise machine. This is the one we have. I like it and it works well. It’s my go-to portable machine when we have to sleep outside the house, but it doesn’t drown out the noise as well as the air purifier. If I had to pick one, I’d go with the purifier every time.
Establish a bedtime scent
You can trigger sleepiness by having a good bedtime routine. Use essential oils to create your own “bedtime scent” and help trigger your brain to shut down for sleep. You’ve probably heard about the amazing things that essential oils can do for you. Maybe you’re even using them. If not, now’s a great time to start.
According to this study women experienced significant improvement in sleep after inhaling lavender.
The study demonstrated that lavender inhalation may have a persistent short-term effect on HRV with an increase in parasympathetic modulation. Women receiving aromatherapy experienced a significant improvement in sleep quality after intervention.”
The study went on to say that there doesn’t appear to be any long-term benefits once you stop using it, but it definitely shows lavender helps while you are using it.
Frankincense helps boost the immune system, relieves stress and promotes sleep. It’s a perfect night time combo with lavender. Plus it smells divine. Get a good quality diffuser (This is the main one I use. I love it because it actually diffuses the particles into the air as a very fine mist. Allowing your body to get the full effect of the oils. It’s definitely an investment, but I also have used one like this and it works nicely too.)
(I love Plant Therapy Essential Oils. They are great quality, without being pricey. Plus Free Shipping & Free Returns if you don’t like the product.)
Take a breath of fresh air
Houseplants are your friend in a healthy home. Get a snake plant or two and put them in your bedroom. They look beautiful and are your new secret weapon for amazing air quality. According to the NASA clean air study they filter out benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. The snake plant also converts Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen at night, making it the perfect bedroom plant.
(The snake plant can be toxic to dogs and cats though if eaten, so keep it up and away from pets.)
Mind the Thermostat
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimum sleeping temperature is around 65 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for my family, but we tend to run hot. It’s important that you’re comfortable, so if that means a bit higher, or a bit lower that’s ok too. You’re not going to get good sleep if you’re awake shivering (or sweating) all night.
Your blanket matters
Most couples share a blanket, but you’ll probably sleep better with your own. Your partner may be waking you up more than you realize. You’re less likely to be affected by your partner with individual blankets.
Objectively, we found that sleep bout time increased, as well as a decrease in movements of the participants, during weighted blanket use. Subjectively, the participants liked sleeping with the blanket, found it easier to settle down to sleep and had an improved sleep, where they felt more refreshed in the morning.”
I think as long as you find one you really enjoy snuggling up in than that’s the important part. If it happens to look great and gives you that sanctuary feeling, even better!
Add in other calming activities before bed
Try cozing up with a cup of sleepy time herbal tea, or use this bedtime herbal tea recipe and make your own blend. Grab a good bedtime book too, or a calming activity such as a puzzle or knitting. (Avoid screens if you can, now is a great time to break out an actual book. Reason being, the blue light from screens can actually disrupt sleep as well.)