Studies have proven that getting enough sleep promotes the health of our body and mind. In fact, those who don’t sleep enough are more at risk for developing cardiovascular problems, inflammation, cancers or tumors, and are likely to have weak immunity.
Sleep may not come so easily for others, like insomnia sufferers and some older people. But trying to stick to a sleep schedule may help, according to experts. Regularity is all about going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It would also help to avoid eating a heavy meal at dinner and skipping caffeine and alcohol close to your bedtime. Some doctors recommend exercise and other physical activities during the day (but not close to bedtime) so the body will crave sleep at the end of a long, tiring day. Daytime naps are to be avoided as much as possible, especially long ones (more than 30 minutes) and naps that are close to one’s sleeping time.
It will help to set up your bedroom such that sleep may come easily. To make your room more comfortable, there are things you can do with lighting, sound or noise level, the room’s atmosphere, and so on. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest.
Sleep in the dark. If you can’t, then a night light would be alright. Warm red or orange light is better than cool white or blue light. You can also wear a sleep mask if you find it comfortable. Small, directional lights like lamps are fine, but not overhead lighting. As far as curtains go, blackout curtains can help block out not just the light but also some level of noise. An important aspect is the presence of digital screens in the bedroom. Try to avoid keeping your TV, smartphone, tablet, or computer in the room, as well as appliances with digital displays like digital alarm clocks.
Keep the room quiet. One way is to keep entertainment systems like stereos and gaming consoles out of the bedroom. You can also use carpets or rugs for the floor, and set up acoustic panels if you want to block off the noise coming from the room next to yours. Otherwise, there are sleep headphones and earplugs that you can use to cancel out bothersome sounds.
No to a messy bedroom. Clutter doesn’t just affect sleep, it also attracts dust and brings unwanted odors inside the bedroom. Create an atmosphere that is conducive to sleep by keeping food, drinks, plates, cups, and the like out of the room. Bring in some greenery, close the windows and turn on your cooling system at a temperature that is not too cold but not too hot, of course. An air purifier is an excellent addition especially for those who suffer from allergies and other respiratory issues. For added relaxation, it would be nice to use an aromatherapy diffuser for essential oils that promote relaxation and calmness, like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, peppermint, frankincense, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, or jasmine. Make sure to read more about essential oils before starting to use them as they are usually potent and can give unwanted results if not used properly.
Work should be off-limits. This means that all work-related items must be kept out of the bedroom. Make sure the room is ultra-comfortable by using the right mattress and beddings (and the right sleeping clothes, too!). Choose them carefully, with comfort as the prime consideration. There shouldn’t be too many pillows and unnecessary sheets that may crowd the bed. Use cool colors like blue and green for walls and beddings, and avoid warm colors like red or purple. Finally, do away with any ceiling fixtures hanging over the bed, like a chandelier or a ceiling fan.
Avoid emotionally charged conversations before bedtime. That includes arguments or fights, of course. Instead of these, cuddle or hug your loved ones. Pets should also be kept off the bed and placed in their own bed if they must stay in the room with you. A great nighttime activity would be meditation or prayer, or a brief moment for journaling to write down your gratitude list for the day.