Do you often feel drowsy throughout the day? Do you wake up feeling groggy and weak? Do you have trouble focusing, or quickly get anxious or irritated? These are all signs that you’re not getting enough sleep. According to the CDC, 30% of adults are regularly sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation can contribute to depression, weight gain, and major health issues like heart disease and cancer.
Getting the right amount of sleep isn’t just about how many hours you put in. It’s also about the quality of sleep that you get. Many of us are sleep deprived because we push ourselves too hard, and don’t dedicate the time we need to sleep. However, for many others, the reason that we don’t sleep well is insomnia. One in three adults experiences insomnia at some point, and 10% of Americans suffer from chronic and recurring insomnia.
Did you know that besides diet and exercise, the best way to treat insomnia is to adjust your sleeping environment? That means that you can start with designing your room to be a sleep sanctuary.
Keep It Dark and Cool
The Sleep Foundation actually points out a very specific temperature for optimal sleep: 65 degrees. This number is backed by science, but it seems that different people have different preferences. The main idea is that when you’re sleeping, your bedroom should be at least a few degrees cooler than the temperature you’re used to during the day.
Light is one of the biggest disruptors of sleep, even when we’ve already fallen asleep. Did you know that even with our eyes closed, our bodies sense light and react to it? Use blinds or curtains that will block out light effectively, especially if you have cars and street lights surrounding your house that will alleviate the darkness of the night.
It feels natural to have our laptops, tablets, phones, and even televisions inside of our bedroom. However, this can lead to lower quality of sleep for a few reasons. First of all, these distractions will keep you from relaxing and focusing on sleep. If your phone keeps lighting up with notifications, it’s nearly impossible to sink into sleep. Another reason electronics interrupt sleep is that the blue light emitted by screens (and in some case, even the electric signals, hums, beeps, and standby lights) disrupts our natural circadian rhythms and confuses our brains so that we’re not sure when it’s actually time to sleep.
Give Your Bed Priority
Although many of us also have drawers, desks, and tables in our rooms, the most important element of a bedroom is, of course, a bed. In fact, if you’re having trouble sleeping, it might be time to minimize other items, or choose them carefully so that they’ll support your bed instead of detract from it. For example, a workstation in your bedroom detracts from its main purpose. Remove all clutter and distraction so that your mind can just relax and focus on sleep when you enter your room. Clean, modern design can give you a light, simple feeling in your room.
Careful placement of your bed can encourage sleep, especially if you adhere to basic feng shui principles. First of all, place your headboard against a wall in order to give you a psychological sense of stability. Make sure that you can easily see both your door and your windows from your headboard, which gives a feeling of control and security.