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5 Minutes to Better Sleep – Setting up the Ideal Sleep Environment

sleep-environment
Adult Sleep

5 Minutes to Better Sleep – Setting up the Ideal Sleep Environment

Today we are talking about how to set up the ideal sleep environment.
Environment

The importance of a calm, peaceful, cool, dark sleeping environment cannot be overstated.

You should look at your bedroom as a sleep sanctuary. And remember as the brain takes its queues from your actions there are really only 2 things that should take place in your bed. That is sex and sleep.

Remove all the distractions from your sanctuary. I know that this may be hard to hear but this may include TVs, pets, electronic devices, work-related furniture, and clutter. Your brain goes into problem-solving mode while you sleep, and you don’t want it tasking you with all the unfolded laundry thrown about the room.

You want to make the association that your bedroom is a place for rest and sleep.

The temperature needs to be right. As nighttime approaches, our body temperature naturally drops, signaling that it’s time to slow down and get some rest. By keeping your bedroom cooler, you’re reinforcing your body’s natural instinct to sleep. If the room is too hot, it could potentially block that signal and cause it to take longer for you to fall asleep. Also, a cooler room stimulates the production of melatonin.

But how cool?? Ideally, the room should be between 60 and 68 degrees F. Unless you have an infant. If that is the case you should keep it between 68 and 72 degrees F. You can learn more about dressing your infant for sleep in our session dedicated just that.

Get it as dark as you can. Get blackout curtains, remove night lights, cover-up little sources of light that may be emitted from fire alarms or baby monitors. Remember your brain computes light as a request to get up and get going. You could even go with a sleep mask if that was comfortable for you.

Another important step is to address noise levels. You want your sleep haven to be calm and serene. Many people find that white noise is a great way to drown out the noise that may otherwise wake you or a young child. But there is also evidence to suggest that pink noise maybe even better in inducing sleep than white. You may be a little shocked to learn that white noise isn’t the only type. Just like light there is an entire range with pink, brown, black.. They are defined by the intensity and distribution of energy. We could probably do a whole session just on this topic.

When we talk about the environment we also need to address air quality. Things like air fresheners, pet dander, ventilation, candles can all affect our air quality.

To improve the air quality you can work to identify and eliminate toxic materials from the bedroom as well as the house.

Make sure you are providing fresh air. This can be accomplished with your home ventilation making sure the air filters are changed regularly and are pulling out allergens from the air. You can use house plants to help filter the air and provide fresh oxygen. I’ll dig into the best plants for sleep in another episode.

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