Of the four cornerstones for health and wellness, sleep (and quality sleep at that), is one part that we often neglect. From using our smart phones and our computer screens up until we turn off the light (which is often hours after we intended), to keeping our smartphones at our bedside – as well as many blinking LED lights in the bedroom – modern times have had a negative impact on our sleep.
The following are a few great methods for helping you make your bedroom a perfect setting so you can sleep better! And as a bonus tip, always invest in the best mattress since sleeping is such a crucial part.
How To Arrange Your Bedroom For Better Sleep
1. Make It Green
There are specific plants that are known to have positive effects on sleep. I can still vividly recall my grandmothers and my parents’ rooms having both Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum), and Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata), as well as Aloe Vera.
While these plants may sound like an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare, they are some of the best plants to have in your bedroom to boost the amount of fresh oxygen at night, and remove impurities (such as formaldehyde) from the air.
Here are a few other plants that are known to help you sleep better; but check and make sure if any are poisonous if ingested by children or pets you may own:
- Jasmine – perhaps my favorite…amazing and relaxing!
- Lavender – with its oils already known to help reduce stress, why not go straight to the source?
- Valerian – known to help with insomnia.
- Gardenia – beautiful white blossoms, with a sedative effect.
- Gerbera Daisy – similar to Aloe Vera, the Snake Plant, and the Spider plant, this pretty pink flower works overtime at night to release fresh oxygen while you sleep!
- English Ivy Plant – can help reduce allergens in the room’s air, but not a good choice for those with children or pets, as ingestion is known to be toxic.
- Peace Lily – not only does it remove formaldehyde and benzyne in the air, but it also adds humidity, making it perfect for dry environments.
2. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Especially with all of the electronic devices we now use, it’s difficult to have our bedroom light-free and pitch dark. But sleeping in a room with digital clocks and display screens can disrupt our sleep patterns, negatively affecting everything from our sleep patterns and hormones, to our “awake” moods.
Try closing the curtains, or purchasing black-out curtains to help get your room as dark as possible. If you have digital lights, such as a TV, cable box, or other electronics, a simple solution is to put a mini post-it note over the light, to help dim it.
If you’re someone who relies on the sun to help wake you up in the morning, try closing the curtains but not all of the way. This helps get some sunshine in, but keeps the light out at night.
3. Purchase an Old-Fashioned Alarm Clock
You know, like the ones in Back to the Future? Personally, I love the brown flip-down clock, which they now sell with a digital radio. By taking out the LED displays from your bedroom, you’re able to increase the chances that you’ll sleep better – and deeper.
4. Kill Your Smartphone
Now that we have your alarm clock all set up, find a place outside of your bedroom for your phone. This has become petrifying for many, as having a landline for our home or apartment seems to be a thing of the past. If you truly feel the need to keep the phone in your room, find a drawer for it. Make sure it’s closed (with your phone in it) 30 minutes before you want to fall asleep.
No more Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube before bed. Instead, go all “Brady Bunch” and pick up a book or magazine to read before bed instead. This can tie in beautifully to the “What can you accomplish in two years by spending two hours a day”, as you’ll begin working your way towards adding to your skills and abilities. You can geek out on whatever kind of fiction writing you enjoy.
5. Smash all Screens
In fact, don’t just kill your smartphone, but smash all screens! Multiple studies have shown that blue light from the many screens in our life delay or retard the release of the hormone melatonin. This is our “sleepy” hormone, helping us fall asleep. The blue-light emitted by backlit screens has been shown to decrease melatonin production by 91 percent!
Okay, so that was a bit dramatic. You don’t have to smash the screens. But you should at least use an app to decrease the blue-light emitted from the screen. There are a number out there on the market. Or if you want to keep apps to a minimum, you can pick up a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. It doesn’t hurt that many of them may help you feel like Bono.
6. Get a New Mattress or Pillow
One of the things we often don’t think about when we want to sleep better, are our worn-out mattresses, and pillows that have had their fluffy stuff pulverized over time. This can also lead to neck and shoulder pain, believe it or not!
These two relatively simple (although not necessarily cheap) changes can have significantly positive impacts on your sleep. In fact, in just the last three months I’ve made this exact suggestion to three of my athletes, and they’ve each “magically resolved” their sleep issues!
7. Keep It Clean!
Trying to feel calm and relaxed in a messy house – let alone a messy room – can be difficult. While it isn’t easy to keep our bedroom clean and tidy (hey, we were in a rush to change and get to the gym, who has time to put clothes in the hamper?), it does have a positive effect on our mood.
You don’t have to go crazy and go from messy to army-worthy in one night. Start by spending just 5-10 minutes each day organizing your room. Over the course of a few days to two weeks, you’ll be amazed as to how much better you feel!
One last trick to help you sleep better (and that can have a HUGE benefit in other areas of your life) is simply making your bed each morning. It may not seem like much, but it’s a small, two-minute habit that has a trickle-down effect on helping you improve your mood, productivity, and positivity…but we’ll save that for another post!