We all know getting enough sleep is important. If you’re like a lot of sleep-deprived people, you’ve probably gone through the gauntlet of the typical sleep tips: reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption, get exercise, stick to a schedule, etc.
Not to negate the importance of these practices (because they are important for getting better sleep), but a lot of people neglect their sleep environment. Your bedroom should function as your personal sleep station. Although, to get it to work, you need to optimize your sleeping area.
Tips to Set up Your Bedroom for the Most Comfortable Sleep
Some of these tips are easier to implement than others. For example, repainting your entire bedroom just might not be possible if you’re renting. But you can still add helpful colors into your scheme in other ways and use these tips to guide your progress in making your bedroom a better place to sleep.
Invest in Comfort
Your bed should be the place you can sink into after a long day, so pay special attention to this sleep spot. Mattresses last up to about 10 years. If yours is leaving you tossing and turning in the night, and achy in the morning, it might be time to replace it sooner than the 10 year mark.
Likewise, your pillows have a limited lifetime. If they’ve gotten lumpy or flat, you should invest in a new one that’s the perfect fit. There are many different types of pillows to choose from. Pillows made with foam, down, or even bamboo are all designed for comfort.
After your mattress and pillows, take a look at your bedding. Even if your sheets and comforter do their job of keeping you warm, they may not be providing optimal comfort. Treating yourself to a set of Egyptian cotton bed sheets or a heavy down blanket can give you a sleep to look forward to.
Work with Your Body’s Sleep Cues
Our bodies are designed to sleep when it’s dark. To start, it’s a good idea to invest in blackout curtains if your room doesn’t get totally dark otherwise. While that’s an obvious first step, there are other lights (and distractions) you’re probably overlooking.
Our minds and bodies still pick up on light sources we don’t think about, namely the blue light that comes from electronics. Make sure these aren’t an issue by either removing them from your room or covering them with a dark cloth if you must keep them.
Make Your Bedroom a Place for Sleep
These days, a lot of us have problems with our bedroom being more of multipurpose space. Your bedroom should really be reserved for romantic activities or sleep only.
Unfortunately, that may mean you need to do things like take the TV out, put your home office elsewhere, eat in the kitchen or living room. You’ll have to work to change your habits, but it’s worth it.
Consider a Change of Color Scheme
Switching the colors in your bedroom can give you a head start on sleep. If you can, painting the walls of your bedroom a green, blue, or yellow shade has been shown to help with getting better sleep.
If those colors aren’t to your taste, gentle neutral tones are better than something bright like a purple or red. Darker sheets and bedspreads may also help you subconsciously relax and fall asleep faster.
Put a Plug on Distracting Sound
It’s good to have a nice, quiet place to sleep. For most people, total silence isn’t an option especially since most of us need to hear our alarm. A quiet place to sleep is important as well as consistency in our environment. Things like birds, traffic, and other people in the home can be sources of unanticipated noise.
The best thing to do if you find yourself waking up because of these is to create a buffer for yourself. Using a white noise machine, sound soother, or relaxing music can provide consistent sound that allows your mind to block out and ignore other discordant noises.
These tips should help you transform your room from a wakeful multipurpose living area into a room you can enter into feeling ready to sleep. Being mindful to make your bedroom a place for sleep will give you better night’s sleep, and results that will most likely surprise you. So keep it comfortable and calm, and most of all, keep it a place for sleep.
Sebastian Morales is Founder and CEO of Good & Bed. Prior to Starting Good & Bed, Sebastian was an investment banker based in New York City.