Tips on how to make your room a healthy sleep environment

Good sleep is about much more than simply laying down and closing our eyes. In fact, our bedroom environments can have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep. Because of this, it is important to create a calm, restful, and relaxing space to unwind at the end of the day. The following are five tips on how to create a healthy sleep environment in your bedroom.

1. Invest in window treatments
One of the best ways to create a healthy sleep environment is by reducing light exposure. In addition to turning off lamps and overhead lights, invest in room darkening window treatments; well-fitted blinds, heavy curtains, or even blackout curtains can eliminate as much natural light as possible.

Beware of blue light at bedtime as well. Blue light, which is emitted by phones, tablets, computers, and other devices, can increase alertness; blue light tricks our bodies into thinking it is day by shifting our circadian rhythms, increasing alertness, and even suppressing the sleep hormone melatonin. Avoid using devices at least an hour before bedtime as a way to wind down and promote healthy sleep hygiene.

2. Pick the perfect paint
Color has powerful effects on our moods – and can also affect our sleep quality. Research has shown that muted, neutral colors create a relaxing environment; blue is the best color for promoting sleep, while yellow, green, and grey are also calming colors. Bright, bold colors can trick the brain into thinking it needs to be alert.

3. Turn on a sound machine
Environmental noise can impact our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Whether it is a busy street, a barking dog, noisy pipes, or even a snoring partner, background noise can make it difficult to fall – and stay – asleep. Sound machines can offer quiet, consistent noise to block out environmental sounds; with sounds ranging from white noise and rainstorms to crashing waves and crickets, sound machines can help promote a restful night.

4. Arrange furniture symmetrically
Bedroom furniture pieces are mostly practical; their arrangement can impact the functionality – and restfulness – of a bedroom. For optimal relaxation, beds should be centered against the wall furthest away from the door with room on either side of the bed. Likewise, you should lay in bed facing the door with your feet closest to the door; avoid sleeping directly underneath a window to prevent sunlight or drafts from impacting sleep.

5. Minimize clutter
Keeping the bedroom neat and tidy can help your body begin to relax. Too much clutter in the bedroom can be distracting when trying to fall asleep; busy artwork, piles of laundry, workout equipment, or work documents can all be reminders of your responsibilities when trying to sleep. Instead, keep bedrooms free of clutter with minimal decorations and décor.

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