Can’t figure out why you’re having a hard time falling asleep every night? The problem may lie within your sleep chamber.
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You had a long day at work and feel like you can hit the sack any moment. Yet, you find yourself lying in bed for ages waiting for sleep to come. And this vicious circle causes you to wake up feeling exhausted day after day. If it isn’t your daily habits that are keeping you awake, it is time to check on your bedroom. These things in your bedroom are likely affecting your slumber. Here’s what you can do about them.
1. Grime and dirt
Considering the amount of time you are on the bed, it’s inevitable that your mattress traps a whole lot of dead skin and perspiration. This provides the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. To avoid sharing your space with these creepy crawlies, change your bed sheets at least once a week to keep your bed clean.
Time to clear up that pile of laundry by your bed. Researchers from St. Lawrence University in the US found that sleeping in a cluttered room triggers feelings of anxiety. This prevents people from having a good night’s rest. And if you’re huge fan of plushies and putting up tons of room decor, try not to go overboard with them. Having an excessive amount of things in your room will make it difficult for you to relax. Hop on the minimalism bandwagon – it keeps your room stylish and helps you sleep better.
It sounds like a great idea to let Fido snuggle up with you in bed. But that may be what’s affecting your sleep. If you’re sleeping on a single bed, it may be a bit of a squeeze to have your dog or cat on the same bed. Not to mention the fact that they may give you the unnecessary wake-up call in the wee hours of the morning. According to a study conducted by Mayo Clinic in the US, people who slept on the same bed as their dogs had a lower sleep efficiency. Instead of sharing a bed with your cuddly pet, give it its own sleeping area by your bed.
4. Worn-out bedding
It is recommended that you change your mattress every seven years and your pillow every two to three years. Don’t wait till your mattress pops a spring before you take action. Your mattress starts to sag in the middle over time, and this may cause you to wake up feeling sore and stiff. Old pillows are also bad news for your neck and back.
Zooming cars or noisy neighbours affect your deep sleep cycle. You may be losing out on beauty sleep even if you don’t remember waking up in the middle of the night. If you live near a busy street with many cars and pedestrians passing by, get ear plugs or listen to calming white noise that tunes out background noise. There are many phone apps that allow you to choose from a catalogue of ambient sounds to drown out disruptive noises.
Consider sleeping without your night light. Light delays melatonin production. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, light suppresses melatonin levels, causing your body’s perception of night time to be skewed. If light seeps in easily through your windows, invest in blackout window shades or thicker curtains to keep the surrounding light out.
7. Electronic devices
Watching TV shows before you sleep? Bad idea. The blue light emitted from the screen may hinder the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, affecting your sleep-wake cycle. It is also best to avoid scrolling through your social media before bedtime. Your phone also emits blue light that may keep you up all night. If you really must use your phone, switch to amber light. iPhone users can find the ‘Night Shift’ mode in the ‘Display & Brightness’ section under settings. Challenge yourself to keep your bedroom an electronics-free zone – you will notice an improvement in your sleep quality.
8. Wall colours
Yes, the colour of your room affects the quality of your sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, blue is the magic colour to get quality shut-eye – people whose rooms are painted blue tend to sleep for longer. If you’re not a fan of blue, other cool hues like grey, green and purple work too.