A better sleep environment can make rest a lot easier and allow you to recharge faster. Here are some tips to create a better sleep environment.
Get Rid of the TV
Sure, it is relaxing to sit back in bed and watch every one of your favorite shows. But, research reveals that the TV robs us of sleep.
The television’s motion and sound keep your mind awake and the light from it stops your internal body clock from regulating sleep. For babies and children, TV before bed is associated with many sleep issues including anxiety and not wanting to go to bed at all.
Put the family’s television in the living room or somewhere it is not going to affect sleep. Let the TV go off for about a half an hour to one hour before you wish to sleep. Choose activities that are not as stimulating. Do some yoga stretches, read or take a bath.
Eliminate Any Other Distracting Electronics
TV is not the only thing that will keep you from sleeping during the night. Your smartphone, tablet or other devices with LED lights are also to blame.
A recent study showed that LED blue light emissions prevented melatonin from working normally even more than white lights do. It also revealed that the glow from computers also has a similar effect.
Besides being stimulated by the lights, doing work or looking at emails before going to bed can increase your stress. The Internet will keep your mind busy longer and checking your social media accounts can cause you to feel negative feelings.
Create a ban on electronics an hour before bed. This gives you time to wind down. Leave your devices far from reach when you are in bed and leave phones on silent mode. There are many Do Not Disturb apps for Androids and iOS which will block out unimportant messages as you sleep. They will let in emergency messages, however.
Use Comfortable Bedding
Only use cotton, wool, bamboo, linen or silk fabrics to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable all night. Polyester and satin can make you feel hot and uncomfortable.
Choose bedding fabrics that feel soft against your skin. You do not need to buy the highest thread count to do this. If you have to deal with cold winters and hot summers, make sure you have different bedding for each season.
For those with dust and mold allergies choose an allergen-resistant mattress and pillow cover set. Wash bedding regularly to keep allergies down.
Spaces with clutter can be a big sleep distraction. You may feel too stressed to sleep. Spend a few minutes a day tidying up and decluttering. Putting everything in its place and having a place for everything is important.
Put bills, office papers, schoolwork and so forth in an office or wherever it will be out of the way in the bedroom. Put dirty clothes in a closed hamper and always keep dishes in your kitchen and trash in the appropriate receptacle.
Make use of a nightstand or a basket to hold odds and ends. Do what you can to keep spaces neat while still having essentials in reach. Use dressers or shelves to keep large items out of the way.
Buy Comfortable Mattresses
Mattresses are a big part of the sleep solution. Resources like the Better Sleep Council and Consumer Reports suggest replacing a mattress about every seven years or when they become uncomfortable.
Most people keep a bed for about a decade. If your mattress is showing pockets of impressions or it causes painful pressure points, consider replacing it. A study shows that just changing out your old mattress will improve your back pain and reduce stress.
Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up and observe your mattress for obvious signs of wear. If you have aches or pains and you notice there are deep impressions of over an inch, you should consider getting a new mattress. Remember that as people age, gain or lose weight or have health issues, their comfort needs change. Even if a mattress is in good shape, it should still be replaced in these instances. If you’re interested, this one from Brooklyn bedding gets good reviews.
Only Use Good Quality Pillows
Pillows are as important to comfort as are mattresses, but they need to be replaced more often than mattresses. If you use poly-fill or down-alternative pillows, replace them once a year or every other year. Foam, down, buckwheat and latex pillows can last longer with proper care.
If your pillow becomes too flat or does not offer ample cushioning or comfort, it can cause neck, back or shoulder pain to become worse. If your mattress is in good condition but you have neck or back issues, your pillow may be to blame.
According to Web MD, back sleepers should look for thin pillows with neck support. Side sleepers, they say, should choose a firm pillow that supports the distance between the shoulder and the ear.
Stomach sleepers should use a thin pillow or none at all. Pillows must also be washed regularly so that bacteria and allergy growth are kept to a minimum.