10 Things To Keep Out Of The Bedroom For Better Sleep
Let’s be honest, when it comes to the ideal sleep environment, most of us break a few rules every single night. Building the optimum sleep sanctuary is a personal project, and what works for one person may not work for another. But if you want some great tips for getting the best night’s sleep possible, we’ve come up with 10 things you need to keep out of the bedroom!
Take a read, and try to implement a few of the points yourself. See what works for you, and let us know if you have any other sleep-inducing tips!
1. Cell Phones
If you are really trying to make your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible, then banning the buzzing and blue-light of your cell phone could be the answer. Aside from the obvious distractions of social media scrolling and unwanted late night messages, sleeping near your cell phone can actually be harmful to your health, too. The frequency emitted from your phone has been listed as a possible carcinogenic, and the blue light from the screen can engage our brains and disrupt the production of melatonin, resulting in a poor sleep pattern. Some may argue that having your mobile device in the bedroom is a necessity (think alarm clocks, sleep-related apps, and emergency calls), however, the bottom line is that electronics in the bedroom are just not conducive to sleep!
2. Distracting Sounds
Ticking clocks, dripping taps, the sounds of traffic or wildlife outside your window… they all stop us from reaching our deepest sleep and distract us when we’re trying to unwind. To get the best rest possible, most of us need silence, so investing in a decent pair of earplugs could be a great idea for you! If earplugs aren’t an ideal option, then a white noise machine could be a great alternative. White noise works by masking any other background sounds and keeping your mind focused on sleep, rather than flitting from sound to sound.
A study carried out in 2015 proved that participants who slept naked, or just in their underwear, regulated their body temperature to the ideal comfort zone quicker than those who wore pajamas. It’s also well documented that when your body naturally falls into a deep sleep, your core body temperature drops quite rapidly. By mimicking this temperature change before bed, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s time to unwind. Sleeping naked will keep your core body temperature low, and allow you to get super snuggly in your cozy comforters, too! Win-win!
4. Work or Study Materials
Work belongs in the office – not in the bedroom! Although at times taking your work home is unavoidable, try and keep it out of the bedroom if you can. Working from home inevitably involves using a laptop and phone (see point #1!) and you want to avoid associating work-related thoughts and feelings with your place of relaxation. One of the most common reasons for tossing and turning at night is thinking about work… so if you’re surrounded by papers, documents, and other work-related materials, this will be even harder to shake from your thoughts. If you must work from your bedroom, sit at a desk rather than on your bed, and schedule a set timeframe in which you will work. After that time, switch off, pack away, and re-invent your bedroom as your sleep sanctuary rather than your office.
5. Bad Quality Pillows & Mattress
If there’s one thing to guarantee a bad night’s sleep, it’s having bad pillows or an uncomfortable mattress. Finding your optimal comfort zone is imperative to sleeping well, so if you’re waking up with a bad neck or achy back, maybe it’s time to invest in a new bed! Harvard’s Medical School recommends replacing your mattress every ten years, and your pillow once a year. Your pillow should also suit your sleeping style and support your neck and back in the right places.
6. Your Pets
As much as your pets are part of the family, and a night-time snuggle sounds like a great idea, having your pets in your bedroom can hinder your chances of a good night’s sleep more than you think! If you’re serious about creating the ideal sleeping environment, unfortunately, it doesn’t involve the dog (or cat)! Not only do pets carry pollen, fur and sometimes fleas onto your bed, they can also jump over you, keep you awake for attention, and induce allergies – all of which can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Similar to cell phones, having a TV in your room is just CRYING OUT as another distraction from sleep. The blue light emitted from your TV has also been proven to halt the sleep-inducing hormones to be released in your brain, and keeps you more alert and active when you should be winding down. There is also the obvious temptation to ‘just watch one more episode’… and the next thing you know it’s 3 am and you’re still wide awake! Keep the TVs for the living room or social spaces, not for where you sleep!
8. Food & Drink
Keep the kitchen for eating and the bedroom for sleeping (mostly!). Eating and drinking on your bed are not only unhygienic, but it can actually disrupt your sleep cycle and make your brain associate your bed with things other than rest. While breakfast in bed is a great surprise on special occasions, make sure it doesn’t become a regular occurrence. If you do end up eating in your bed, make sure you don’t leave dirty dishes or crumbs behind, as this will taint your sleep environment even more – making it difficult to unwind.
9. Clutter & Mess
Your nightstand and the space around your bed can have quite a big impact on how well you sleep. As the saying goes, ‘tidy home, tidy mind’, and it’s not wrong! Having a cluttered or messy sleep space will cause anxiety and sleeplessness as your brain will be up thinking about what needs to be put away, thrown out or cleaned. It’s normal to have the usual nightstand culprits; alarm clock, book, glass of water, or a sleep mask – but if you’re the kind of person whose desk is covered in receipts, garbage, pens, odd magazines and some dirty coffee cups, then try to keep on top of a cleaner sleep space to help put your mind at ease.
10. Noisy Bedmates!
This is for those of you who share a bed with a snorer! While they lie back and enjoy a peaceful night of rest, you’re left frustrated and resentful that their loud snores are keeping you awake… sound familiar? Before you debate whether you’re incompatible as partners, it might be worth considering separate bedrooms, or at the very least, separate bedtimes. If you ensure you fall asleep first, then their nocturnal noises are less likely to keep you up at night.
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