Getting a great nights sleep could be as simple as changing the environment you sleep in.
If you’re suffering from insomnia but find yourself sleeping better in new places such as hotel rooms, your sleep environment could be to blame. Thankfully your sleep environment can easily be improved with just a few simple changes.
In this article you’ll find 5 changes you can make to improve your sleep environment to get a better nights sleep.
1. Sleep in a comfortable bed
Your bed can be the deciding factor between getting a great night’s sleep and getting no sleep at all. In terms of personal well-being, it’s one of the most important items in your house.
The key item on your bed is your mattress. There’s many different types available, including:
- Open coil – The most common. A standard no frills spring mattress.
- Pocket sprung – Responds to weight independently so the bed doesn’t sink on the heaviest side. Good if there’s a size difference between you and your sleeping partner.
- Memory Foam – Moulds around your body to provide complete support. Good if you suffer from pain or discomfort in bed.
- Latex Foam – Popular in many European countries. Similar to memory foam except the foam doesn’t mould around your body.
There’s also a large variety of pillows, all with different shapes, tensions and materials. Everyone has their favourites so the best thing is to go to a bed store and try them out.
If you’ve got a rubbish mattress but don’t want to buy a new one, consider getting a mattress topper. Or alternatively you could cover your mattress with an extra duvet. This is what I did back in my student days and it softened out the mattress just enough so I couldn’t feel the lumps any more.
Spending a bit of money to make your bed that extra bit more comfortable is definitely worth it, considering that it is probably the most used piece of furniture in your house. The amount of time saved from lying awake in bed unable to sleep and the mental clarity you’ll get from a great night’s sleep will undoubtedly pay for itself.
2. Keep your bedroom dark at night
The amount of light around you is one of the clues your body clock uses to work out the time. In particular, when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep.
Darkness acts a natural way to tell your body that it’s time to sleep. When you’re in darkness, your body releases a hormone called melatonin that relaxes your body helping you drift off to sleep. Light however suppresses melatonin. So the darker your room, the easier it’ll be for your body to fall asleep.
Even in the middle of the night, it’s all too easy for your room to be lit up by street lighting or even a full moon. So consider investing in some good curtains or indoor blinds that don’t let any light in. Alternatively you can line your existing curtains with a special material . It’s a cheap but effective way to get a better nights sleep.
3. Add noise to taste
Everyone reacts differently to recurring noises such as snoring or heavy breathing. Some people can sleep right through them, while others can’t stand them.
But most people find a constant noise such as rainfall incredibly relaxing. With this in mind, consider blocking those annoying recurring sounds with a nice relaxing constant sound.
I use a website called Simply Noise that generates white, pink or brown noise. All you need to do is download one of their sound files, put it on CD or MP3 player and listen to it as you fall asleep and your partner snores away. Or if you’ve got a laptop, you can just go to the website, play the sound through your speakers and put the laptop in your bedroom.
This method also gives your brain the opportunity to associate the sound with sleep. So just playing the sound helps you relax and fall asleep.
Of course, if that fails you can always go down the traditional route and use ear plugs. I’ve tried quite a few but yet to find ones that weren’t uncomfortable to sleep with so I only use them when I have to.
But even if you don’t have a problem with noise, adding a fan or another source of noise to the environment can help you drift off into a nice, relaxing sleep.
4. Use your bedroom / bed only for sleeping
When you think of your bedroom and everything in it, what do you think of? Do you think of work, entertainment, work or sleeping?
Ideally, your bedroom should be a place to sleep and nothing else. Anything entertaining or work related such as TVs, computers and games consoles shouldn’t be in your bedroom if you can help it. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated bedroom. I’m in my bedroom right now as I write this article because my bedroom is also my office.
But even if your bedroom is used for other things, ensure your bed is used only for sleeping. So don’t use it as a chair, table or anything else. It must be kept special.
By using your bedroom or bed only for sleeping your brain will begin to naturally associate your bedroom with sleep. As it does this, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep each night.
5. Create a relaxing atmosphere
Here’s a few ideas to get that perfect relaxing atmosphere for your bedroom:
- Fill it with nice, cosy cushions and pillows.
- Add the smell of lavender to help you drift off to sleep.
- Keep it crystal clean and worry free.
- Color it relaxing blues and purples.
- Play soft calming music before you go to bed.
Be creative and have fun. Dedicate your bedroom to being the place of ultimate relaxation.
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There’s nothing better than lying down in a nice comfy bed in a calming, soothing atmosphere at the end of a busy day. A good sleep environment is the perfect way to relax your body and sooth your mind, allowing you to easily and effortlessly drift off to sleep.