11 Tips for Creating a Healthier Sleep Environment
Did you know that your environment can affect the quality of your sleep? Things like noise or light, an uncomfortable bed, the temperature in the room and movement from bed partners (including pets) can all negatively affect your sleep. The good news is that there are steps you can take to create a healthy sleep environment and build healthy sleep habits.
1.Maintain a clean, inviting bedroom. Messy rooms may make you feel depressed or anxious, which can lead to insomnia. Adding some calming decorations, soft lighting or new pillows can make your room feel more cozy and comfortable.
2. Keep your bedroom temperature at a comfortable level. If it’s too hot or cold, it can disrupt how deeply you sleep. Use a fan, cooling blanket, take a shower 2-3 hours before bed and sleep in cotton pajamas to help regulate your body temperature. In the winter, try using a thicker comforter or an extra blanket to keep warm.
3. Reduce the amount of light in your bedroom at night. Too much light at night can affect when your body naturally feels sleepy and can make it harder to fall asleep. This includes blue light from TVs, laptops, tablets and phones. Keep your lighting dim and soft and sleep with the lights off. Avoid using electronic devices in your bedroom as much as possible, and make sure you turn off any devices like TVs or computers before you try to fall asleep.
4. Expose yourself to bright light or sunlight in the morning and throughout the day. Not getting
enough light during these times can delay when you feel sleepy at night. If you can’t get outside, use a light therapy box in the darker winter months.
5. If you have allergies, reduce allergens in the room to help improve your sleep quality. Try washing or changing your sheets and pillowcases every week, replacing your mattress every 5 years and cleaning carpets regularly, if you have them. Consider purchasing an air purifier for your bedroom to keep allergens low.
6. Keep your pets out of the bed or bedroom if they disrupt your sleep. Pets can contribute to allergies, and their movement can wake you up or affect how deeply you sleep. Give them their own bed where they can sleep separately from you.
7. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Try to avoid sleeping in a chair, on a couch or on the floor, so that your sleep isn’t disrupted. Use bedding such as cotton sheets, which feel cool against your skin. You don’t have to buy a new mattress—a mattress topper or a new pillow can go a long way in making your bed more comfortable.
8. Wear comfortable sleepwear. Put on different clothes to sleep in or don’t wear any to encourage a routine that is different from your daytime activities.
9. Talk to the people who share your bed. If your bed partner is making it hard to get a good night’s sleep, have a conversation to try and identify the issue. There may be a simple solution, such as turning on a fan or buying a new pillow that will help both of you sleep better.
10. Keep your bedroom quiet and minimize noise. If you can hear a lot of sounds outside your room, try using earplugs, a fan or white noise to drown them out.
11. Make sure you feel safe. If you feel anxious about your surroundings, this can affect how deeply you sleep. Invest in a security system or make sure you have a phone near your bed to call for help if you need to.