Physical Health, Tips & Techniques, Wellness / Self-Care

How to create the optimal Sleeping environment

Ways to catch all the Z’s.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jan 8, 2022

I recently moved into my own apartment and have plans to make it the coziest most functional home I’ve ever lived in. Something I’m learning as I walk through boxes and suitcases of stuff is that moving in takes a lot longer than you expect. And that patience is a good virtue.

 

You need time to select the furniture, appliances, bedroom décor, and art around your house. But one of the main things you should be prioritizing, and something that isn’t thought about much, is the importance of your bedroom sleep environment. This is particularly important when, like me, you are amidst so much clutter as you purge and unpack.

 

By having a good sleep environment, you’ll be able to get the rest that you need. Below, we share a few tips on doing so.

 

What is a sleep environment?

Whether it’s your bedroom, a couch you’re sleeping on, or hostel, a sleep environment is the place where you attempt to sleep. The factors below all effect the way you sleep and your sleep environment.

 

Noise

Sleep is best when the environment is quiet. As humans, we tend to respond to external stimuli while asleep. Translation: If we hear a noise, we wake up. Or maybe you don’t wake up, but the sound definitely interrupts deeper stages of sleep. To combat noises in the neighborhood or apartment building, some opt for a white noise machine, earplugs, television or radio to drown out the external noises they can’t control.

 

Bed

Size and firmness of your mattress could be negatively affecting your sleep environment. A good mattress not only can improve sleep but also decrease stress and back pain.

 

Air quality

Ventilation and fresh air helps you sleep better. It can also reduce situations of mold buildup or insomnia.

 

Lighting

Light is one of the most prominent cues for your circadian rhythm, part of your biological clock that helps regulate sleep. It’s best to sleep in the darkness to reinforce a healthy circadian rhythm. To do so, you can get blackout curtains, or bedside lamps if you need low light. Exposure to artificial screen light (like scrolling on Instagram) may actually keep you awake and cause insomnia.

 

Temperature

Most prefer a slightly cool environment, but somewhere between 60-71 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal. It might be wise to take a warm bath or shower before bed time to help cool off and transition into sleep.

 

Décor

Focus on colors that make you feel at ease in your bedroom. For most people, that means warm colors, but choose what you like. Regardless of the size of your room, it’s best to avoid a cramped and over crowded bedroom.

 

First, opt for a mattress that fits without it being too snug. Which, we get, is hard to do in New York City. If you’re looking to maximize the storage, you can always store things under your bed to free up floor space. The most important thing is feeling stress-free in the bedroom. Which leads us to reducing clutter.

 

Visual clutter can generate stress, whether you admit it or not. Visual clutter can also be a barrier to quality sleep. Disorganized items in your bedroom can lead to anxious feelings that there are still things need to be done, that makes it harder for your mind to relax and fall asleep. Aka, it’s worthwhile to rid your room of any clutter, organized chaos included.

 

The takeaway

Too easily, the bedroom becomes a multipurpose room—especially if you live with people and have space constraints. However, the bedroom should be relaxing and stress and stimulation-free.

 

No other activities should take place in the bedroom expect for sleeping. The more and more you use your bedroom for activities unrelated to sleep and relaxing, the harder it will be to fall asleep when you actually need to. The activities or items may also become disruptive and wake you back up.

 

As you can see, there are various factors that affect your sleep environment and deeper levels of sleep—leading to an effective, successful, and productive day. A relaxing environment is essential for a good night’s sleep. More and more studies have shown that your sleep will be better if your light, noise, temperature, and décor are appropriate.

 

If the pandemic has ruined your sleep cycle, fix it following these steps. Also, too much sleep can also be harmful, learn more.