We all know how important sleep is to our overall health. On a day-to-day basis, getting enough sleep can help with your mood, ability to focus and the strength of your immune system. However, chronic lack of sleep can have significantly more dangerous consequences—it can put you at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and cognitive problems.
Despite your best efforts to get to bed early, sometimes sleep just doesn’t come easily. Rather than struggling through your day bleary-eyed and exhausted, try these six bedroom hacks to create a peaceful sleep oasis.
Don’t let your bedroom become overly cluttered with furniture, clothes or other items unnecessary to a restful night. A messy room could lead to additional stress and fitful sleep, while a clean, streamlined bedroom promotes calm and will better allow you to wind down from your day.
It may sound like an obvious tip, but keeping your room as dark as possible really does help for a more relaxed night’s sleep. This extends to blinking electronics or streetlights visible through your bedroom blinds. Consider investing in “blackout” curtains or wearing a sleep mask to make your sleep environment as dark as possible.
According to a 2014 study from the National Institutes of Health, the optimal sleeping temperature is 66 degrees with light clothing and minimal blankets. A cooler sleep environment actually helps your body get rid of excess blood glucose and prompts your body to transform stored fat and sugars into energy. So, not only will you sleep better, but your glucose metabolism will thank you.
Scrolling through social media on your smartphone, reading an e-book or falling asleep with the television on can also lead to less restful sleep and may even cause your body to produce less melatonin. If you need to wind down before bed, try reading the old-fashioned way—with an actual book.
Experts say it’s best to avoid listening to music or the television when you fall asleep. In fact, the quieter you can make your bedroom, the better. If you live near a busy city street or an airport, don’t hesitate to buy earplugs to drown out any unwanted noise—especially since unwanted noise can have bigger consequences than just causing you to lose some sleep.
Going to bed at roughly the same time every night helps to train your body for when it’s time to sleep. Try creating a bedtime routine that will help you relax and transition from wake mode to sleep mode quickly and easily. This might involve a few minutes of yoga stretches followed by 10 minutes of reading in bed. Whatever you decide, just find a routine you can stick with.
You’ll be amazed at the difference in how your body feels after just a few weeks of committing yourself to better sleep.
Want more tips? Download our free guide to a better night’s sleep.