We are bombarded with colour, light and noise day after day, and let’s face it, it’s exhausting. We all love crawling into bed at the end of a long day, but for some of us this isn’t where the disruption of our busy life ends with phones and laptops within arms reach. Our bedroom needs to be a safe sanctuary away from the rest of the world where we can rest and restore our body and mind.
Let’s explore how your bedroom (and bedroom habits) may be hindering your sleep!
Clear the clutter:
How your bedroom looks and feels affects your mood and your health. Having a tidy room diminishes the chances of getting sick as mould, germs, bacteria and viruses that can compromise your health cannot thrive in a clean environment.
Tidying your room also brings with it some mental health benefits. Tidying your living space comes with a sense of accomplishment, boosting those feel good endorphins!
When your room is clutter free you are more likely to feel less stressed and less distracted, putting you in the right mind frame for sleep. Try our 10 quick tips for a cleaner sleep environment.
Mellow yellow? Calming blue? Which hue is more likely to send you to sleep (in the best way). It turns out people whose rooms are painted blue tend to sleep longer than those who don’t have a blue bedroom.
If a colour scheme is overly vibrant and energetic you may find yourself in a heightened state that isn’t conducive to settling down to sleep. While a sedate and calming set of colours can have the benefit of sending you well on the way to the land of nod by simply being in its presence.
The reason is all about how messages are sent from your eyes. We all have specialized receptors in the retina of your eyes-called ganglion cells-which are most sensitive to blue. These cells are responsible for relaying information to the part of your brain that controls your body’s 24-hour rhythm, which affects everything from performance, to how you feel physically during the day.
Blue is also associated with feelings of calm which, when picked up by your ganglion cells and relayed to your brain, helps reduce blood pressure and heart rate, all of which contribute to getting a solid night’s sleep.
Come to the darkside:
The ideal sleep environment is dark, quiet and cool. Avoid harsh lights before bedtime.
If possible you should try to keep lights in the bedroom low to prepare the body for sleep and “wind down” time. Try installing a dimmer switch or low-wattage incandescent lamps at your bedside.
Natural light (sunlight) or manufactured light (phones, street lights etc) are all equally as disturbing when trying to sleep. It is also important to make sure the room is as dark as possible once the lights go out as even the smallest sources of light can disturb some people. Install blackout curtains or blinds to keep the light out.
Toss the tech:
Your device is keeping you awake. Make sure to steer clear of technology up to two hours before bed (including TV). Your body sets its internal clock according to the natural rhythms of the day and night, with darkness triggering the release of the hormone melatonin that triggers your body’s need for sleep.
A two-hour exposure to light from electronic displays suppresses melatonin by about 22% (melatonin is the chemical in your body that promotes sleep). If you are struggling with giving up the technology, try reading our 5 alternatives to using technology before bed
Keep it down!
Noise is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to sleep. Sounds and disruption during the first and last two hours of sleep as well as unfamiliar noise has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.
And it doesn’t have to be loud to keep you awake, the sound of a ticking clock can be enough. If you’re disturbed by noise you can’t control — rain, traffic or the neighbours — shut it out with foam ear plugs and/or some form of ‘white noise’ such as a fan that creates a neutral sound.