Hitting the hay, getting some shut-eye, turning in for the night, or simply going to bed…call it what you want, but good sleep is essential to overall health and wellness. During sleep, your body has a chance to rest, rebuild and rejuvenate while your mind unravels concerns and handles all of the administrative brainy stuff that it does behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep is tough for many people. In fact, according to the American Sleep Association, nearly 70 million adults in the U.S. experience the effects of a sleep disorder. While prescription medications exist to address sleep problems, getting better sleep may simply be a matter of making adjustments to your sleep environment.
If you’re facing trouble getting settled in for the night, consider the following five-bedroom improvements that can help you get better sleep:
Darken Your Bedroom With Window Treatments
Even when you’re tired, light can make it difficult to fall asleep. On top of that, even after you’re asleep, light coming in your bedroom window can actually disrupt your sleep cycles.
Thankfully, you can darken your bedroom using window treatments like blackout curtains and thick blinds. When combined, the right curtains and blinds can make your room virtually pitch black any time of day and lead to better sleep.
Use the Right Mattress
Of course, the cornerstone of any good night’s rest is a quality mattress. Your sleep preferences, body type, health concerns, and more can all affect your choice of mattress. Also, your preferred sleep position can determine what type of mattress is best for your needs.
Traditional mattress options include differing degrees of firmness, but you might also benefit from an adjustable bed. These types of beds come in a range of sizes and can be customized to match your exact sleep needs. As an added benefit, selecting an adjustable bed can give you the ability to make changes as needed if your sleep situation changes in the future.
Add Some White Noise
Many people find a quiet bedroom perfect for falling asleep, but others have a hard time getting to rest when a room is too quiet. If you experience difficulty falling asleep in very quiet environments, adding in some white noise may help.
White noise machines are specifically designed to produce the audio waves that make up nondescript white noise which can be played at different volumes in your bedroom. Even turning on a box or ceiling fan may be enough to add in a bit of background noise to lull you off to sleep.
Relax With a Scent Diffuser
Your sense of smell plays a big part in your overall mood and state of mind. Pleasant, relaxing aromas can help you drift off to dreamland when used in combination with a scent diffuser.
These devices can be operated using battery power or electricity from a wall outlet, and many come with the ability to swap out scents at will. Once powered on, a scent diffuser can fill your sleep environment with a light scent of your choosing. For the best results, consider scents like lavender, cedarwood, or jasmine.
Match Your Bedding to Room and Body Temperature
When you sleep, your body temperature changes through each sleep cycle. During deeper sleep, your body temperature drops, but this doesn’t mean simply adding thicker blankets to sleep better.
Instead, you should consider balancing your bedding according to your body temperature as well as how warm or cool your bedroom stays. Many people find it difficult to fall asleep when a room is too hot or too cold.
What’s important to keep in mind is that even though you may feel comfortable at bedtime, your body temperature fluctuations may lead to discomfort during sleep. This means that the light blanket you are using when you go to bed might not be enough to keep your body comfortable during deep sleep.
To achieve balance, consider adding bedding in layers. If you get too hot or cold during the night, you can make adjustments. In fact, you will probably make adjustments while you sleep as your muscle memory takes over and causes you to remove bedding when it’s too hot or pull up bedding when it’s too cold.
Talk to an Expert to Address Sleep Disorders
While the tips listed above can help you get better sleep, you are encouraged to speak with a healthcare professional if you find that you’re experiencing a medical sleep disorder. The asleep disorder is usually characterized by feeling tired the next day, waking up frequently through the night, or experiencing insomnia on an ongoing basis.
What’s important in the end is that you find a way to get the recommended amount of sleep for your needs. Most people require between seven and eight hours of sleep per 24-hour period, but your needs may vary. Remember, counting sheep might work, but you don’t want to take risks when it comes to your health and peace of mind.