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We all know the importance of sleep, but when you add in small children who want to take over your bed, a snoring husband, and a million tasks running through your mind, a restful and rejuvenating sleep seems like a fantasy. But, creating bedtime habits for better sleep can at least help get your nights off to a good start.
There are many distractions in our daily lives which find themselves infringing on our bedrooms and affecting the quality of the sleep that we get. These can range from modern technology to general mess and clutter in the bedroom. The impact that external sources can have on your quality of sleep directly correlates with how much you make them a part of your bedtime routine.
Below you will find some of the best bedroom and bedtime tips to help you get off to sleep quicker and easier than your husband on a weeknight. Most of them can be implemented with ease, and once you have turned your bedroom into a better sleep inducing space (sans children and husband if you wish), you will wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner.
Take Out The Technology
Technology is such a huge part of our lives, it almost seems crazy to remove it from our rooms. Everywhere you look you will find televisions, phones, laptops, tablets, and radios. While these may keep you entertained during your waking hours, at night they will do nothing but distract you when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. How many times have you laid in bed watching TV or playing on your phone for hours on end? More than a few most likely.
Why Take Out The Technology?
Here’s the thing. When you have all of these distractions in the bedroom you turn it into a place of entertainment rather than one of sleep. You can do away with all of the technology, except if you use a white noise machine, which is useful for playing sleep inducing music, such as gentle nature music designed for restful sleep.
What to Do Instead Of Watching TV?
Get into the habit of light reading in bed to help you drop off to sleep. Reading is fantastic at helping bring on tiredness, mainly due to the use of the eyes and brain. It also helps distract your mind from any stress or concerns you may be going through and effectively allows you to shut off.
As soon as you become accustomed to a tech-free room, you will realize just how easy it is to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you use a device to read, opt for a Kindle that is designed to mimic a book by using specialised lighting different to that used on an iPad or phone.
Opt For Natural Light And Remove The Alarm Clock
Natural light helps stimulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Using curtains which allow the morning light to stream in will result in a fresh and gentle awakening (despite how much I love blockout curtains). As the light outside goes through the many different wavelengths, the closed eyes detect these and gently begin to wake you from your sleep.
Move Your Bed
It is a good idea to position your bed in a location next to, or opposite the window. In the evening you can use candlelight instead of fluorescent lighting to help induce a sleepy feeling (be sure to blow out the candles before you go to sleep!!). Ensure that any candles are contained within a mason jar and kept away from any flammable objects or materials.
If you don’t want to use candles, select a pearlescent light bulb, which offers a soft glow.
Throw Out Your Traditional Alarm Clock
When it comes to a good night’s sleep, remove the startling alarm from the room. These do nothing to help with restful sleep and their loud and abrupt sound will cause you to wake up too quickly.
There are certain alarms which have been designed to wake you gently by starting off quiet and gentle. Then, every few minutes the intensity increases until you wake up without feeling groggy and tired.
If you can get away without using an alarm at all, your body will naturally wake you at around the same time every morning once you get into a routine. But if you absolutely must use an alarm (I understand) then choose a tone that is gentle and not startling.
Keep Your Bedroom Tidy And Clutter-Free
Keeping your bedroom clean and tidy will go a long way in helping you create a calming and sleep-conducive atmosphere. Keep your bedside tables and shelves as clear and clutter-free as possible. The same goes for any dressers, drawers, window sills, and desks.
If possible, keep these dust free too (I live in the country, I know how difficult this is) but keeping dust away from a place of sleep is much better for your breathing.
Put Clutter Out of Sight
Put clothing in a laundry basket if dirty, or put them away in a drawer or cupboard if clean. Keep them off the floor and bed. Put any rubbish in a waste paper bin and keep your bed made. It is a great idea to fluff your pillows every day to help them remain soft and comfortable.
Keep The Bed And Floor Clean
Lastly, vacuum or sweep the floor and keep a small window open to allow in fresh air. There is evidence that a clean, tidy, and clutter-free bedroom allows for a clear mind. It also encourages a feeling of calmness and makes it a much more comfortable place fall asleep in. If you have an ensuite or a walk in wardrobe, close the doors to these to keep the space separate from your bedroom.
Finishing Touches To Help Encourage Sleep
These final few finishing touches will bring more of a serene and Zen-like feel to the bedroom and help create the perfect calming ambience to complement your sleep routines. Of course, these are all optional additions, but ones which you will find help you to fall asleep quicker and deeper for a better sleep than ever before.
Bring In The Outdoors
There are a few things you can add to a room to help with better sleep at night. The first one is to add a live plant or two to the bedroom. At night, plants absorb carbon dioxide and pump out lots of oxygen, which leads to a better night’s sleep. Plus the greenery adds calm and looks good too.
Wash Your Bedding Regularly
Washing your bedding and pillowcases with a lavender or rose based laundry detergent and softener also helps encourage sleep.
Air drying your bedding gives it a cleaner just-washed feel to it and will have you dropping off to sleep in no time at all.
Avoid overly fragrant, harsh chemicals that you breathe in when sleeping and choose eco-friendly products to wash your laundry in when you can.
Fragrance Influences Mood
Scent and fragrance can impact our moods quite a lot, and bringing in calming fragrances, such as lavender, jasmine, and sandalwood can help relax you and get you into a better state of sleepiness.
A great way to bring fragrance into your room is with a diffuser, which will delicately add fragrance to the air without it becoming overpowering. Be sure to choose natural essential oils over artificial fragrances. I love the smell of lemon and eucalyptus in my room at night.
Water Is Calming
The final recommendation is to either add a rain machine to your bedroom or perhaps get a small decorative water feature. The sound of water is one which is known to be soothing to the mind, especially when it comes to the sound of rainfall. If you want to encourage sleep, simply turn on the rain machine or water feature and before you know it, you’re asleep.
Some essential oil diffusers will give off a lovely sound too, which is a great option for those who don’t necessarily want a water feature in their bedroom.
Why Make The Bedroom A Place To Sleep Only?
The home is filled with many different rooms where we entertain ourselves. The bedroom is supposed to be the one place where we can relax and rest properly, without the distractions of everyday life. If possible, you should use your bedroom for sleep and intimate time only, therefore, creating a strong association between the bedroom and the body.
If you are finding that you are struggling to get quality or restful sleep at night, then perhaps following the above tips and advice will help you turn it all around and create your own little sanctuary of relaxation.