It’s a well known fact that adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a night for the sake of their health and well being. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tips for quality sleep out there to help you snooze. But how do you create the optimum sleeping conditions for you? Read on for our guide to creating the ultimate environment to help you get enough shut-eye every night.
Consider drifting off to some white noise
You may be surprised to discover that your brain registers sound even while you sleep. Any little sounds that are picked up by your brain at night can interfere with your sleep, leaving you tired and groggy the next day. The ideal noise situation for quality sleep is to be exposed to a consistent sound throughout the course of the night.
This is where white noise can be a lifesaver for many of us. It is a constant ambient noise that drowns out any external sounds that may have otherwise disrupted your sleep. Studies have shown that white noise from a fan or any sound device can help many people achieve an undisturbed night’s sleep.
Make sure your mattress is up to scratch
There is no ideal mattress for everyone. What provides you with the utmost comfort might keep someone else up all night. It’s all about finding the right mattress and most comfortable furnishing for you to doze off on.
So how do you know if it’s time to get yourself a new mattress? Well, do you find yourself waking up on most mornings with aches and pains? If you’re feeling slightly sore upon rising, it may be time to consider getting yourself a mattress that suits your body better.
If you’ve had your mattress for years, keep in mind that the National Sleep Foundation advises checking your mattress for signs of deterioration every eight years. Getting adequate physical support is essential for a night of good quality sleep.
Keep that temperature down
Research has been conducted to show that a cooler bedroom can result in better quality sleep. Your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, and the pattern is linked to your sleep cycle. Ideally, your temperature should dip closer to bedtime and continue cooling down until dawn.
It may feel cozier if your bedroom is warm, but it may be interfering with your natural temperature pattern and keeping you up.
There isn’t a single temperature that is right for everyone, though experts have advised that around 65 degrees is ideal for sleep. It may be worth trying a few different temperatures between 60 and 72 degrees over a few nights to see which works for you.
A warning for those of you who may have poor circulation though... keep those feet warm by slipping on some socks before bed! Cold feet are notorious for keeping people up all night.
Darken your room
Many studies have proved that lighting can have a significant impact on how well you sleep. For the brain, light implies that it’s time to be up and about. Dimming the lights will produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in your brain. Try and get in the habit of turning those lights low around an hour before your bedtime. If you’re getting too much natural light flooding into your room before it’s time to wake up, invest in a good eye mask to prevent the light from disrupting your sleep.
Blue light is the worst offender when it comes to suppressing melatonin release in our brains. You’d be surprised to find that even simply looking at a digital clock before sleeping can have a negative effect on your sleep quality. If you have to use your phone, make sure it’s on night mode. Try and turn your room into a no blue light zone just before bed.
Sleep in a clean room on clean sheets
Yet another reason to try and keep your bedroom clean and tidy! Not only is a neat bedroom known to reduce stress levels, it can also have a positive impact on the quality of your sleep. Being surrounded by clutter can create anxiety in our minds, even if we don’t realize it at the time. These anxious feelings can subsequently affect the quality of our sleep.
Washing your bed sheets regularly is equally as important as keeping your room clean for better sleep. According to research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 70% of respondents agreed that they get a better night’s sleep on sheets which smell fresh (i.e. freshly washed sheets.) A good night’s sleep could be just one laundry load away!
Sarah Cummings is a writer based in California. She loves interior design, good wine and great company. When she’s not working on her latest DIY project at home, she can be found at her local farmers’ market or going to music festivals (where she always manages to sleep, thanks to the sweet invention of earplugs and eye masks!) Sarah says she used to suffer from insomnia throughout her teens and since then, has become fascinated by all things sleep-related. Her research that started as a hobby became a “how-to guide” for better sleep...and she wants to help others get a sounder sleep with her knowledge!
Main Photo Credit: VGstockstudio/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit & Third Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: Dima Sidelnikov/shutterstock.com