Common environmental disturbances like allergies, air quality, light, and bedroom cleanliness are sleep robbers that affect millions of Americans each night. Creating the perfect bedroom may require some tinkering so here are some tips to help you start designing a better sleep environment.
Nasal allergies (which are worse at night) affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children, so be sure to do your laundry.1 Not only are fresh sheets relaxing but bedding that’s washed once a week can also greatly reduce allergens. The bedroom should also be a pet-free zone, since pets can drag dander, fur, and pollen into your bed, potentially triggering nighttime allergies.
Bedroom temperature and stuffiness can be quick to disrupt your sleep. Experiment with your room temperature to find out what your optimal setting is for better sleep. The perfect temperature for sleeping is somewhere between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, a snake plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. For a slight oxygen boost while you sleep, get one for your bedroom.
More than half of the American population report having trouble sleeping because their rooms aren’t dark enough. To better prep your eyes for sleep, use light dimmers. Avoiding bright lights in the bathroom and bedroom can create a calming environment to help you fall and stay asleep. Try to eliminate artificial light (i.e., the power buttons of electronics or alarm clocks) by covering or blocking them so your room is completely dark while you sleep.
More than two-thirds of Americans say a clean, comfortable bedroom is important for good sleep.2 Make your bedroom an oasis of relaxation by removing unnecessary objects such as knickknacks, children’s toys, and decorative pillows.3 Paint your bedroom with soothing colors, like grays, neutrals, and especially blue can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Warm colors also work because they can create a feeling of coziness.
Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive.4 It should last nine to 10 years; to extend the life of your mattress, flip it four times a year (end-over-end and side-over-side).5 When lying down, your pillow should position your head in line with your shoulders and spine in the same way as when you’re standing upright.6 Replace your pillows every two years or if they start to look lumpy or shapeless.4