Just a few small changes or additions to turn your bedroom into your own sleep centre can make a big difference in the quality and quantity of your sleep, as well your overall health. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to get this done, just a bit of planning and motivation.
Here are some essential things to consider when transforming your bedroom into the perfect sleep sanctuary.
Unsurprisingly, your bed is one of the most important things in your sleep centre. The lifespan of your mattress depends on a number of things, including quality, amount of use, and changing needs over time. However, most mattresses need replacing about every 7-8 years.
You know it’s time for a new mattress when you wake up stiff and sore after a night’s sleep, or when your mattress starts to sag or feel lumpy. But even if your bed still feels comfortable, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s providing your body with the support it needs.
Although mattresses aren’t inexpensive, the benefits for your back and sleep quality mean it’s worth investing in the best you can get.
If you do decide it’s out with the old and in with the new, choose your mattress carefully. Go to a reputable bed shop and find out about all the mattress options. Test out the different types and don’t be afraid to try lying on each one in your typical sleep position.
Nothing but the bed
Your sleep centre should be a place where you can turn off the day and wind down to sleep. But all too often, we are surrounded by technologies that can have the opposite effect. An increasing number of us now make or receive phone calls, text messages, or emails in bed.
If you’re not ready to let go of your gadgets, try banishing them from the bedroom for a week to see if your sleep patterns change. Why not take the TV out of your room and track your sleep by keeping a diary of the times you got to sleep and woke up, and whether you were awake at all during the night?
Some people find reading helps them to unwind and go off to sleep, while others may find it makes it harder to turn their brain off after a long day. You probably know what works for you, but it’s worth trying both approaches. Or perhaps vary your reading material. A page-turning thriller is probably not the best one to go for!
Keep it clean
Whether it’s dust from the carpet tickling your nose or the pile of papers building up on your bed-side table, don’t underestimate the difference a neat and clean sleep environment can have on your shut-eye.
A cluttered room can mean a cluttered mind, so try to keep bills, letters and general filing out of the bedroom, or at least in order. This may mean setting aside some time earlier in the day to make a list, do your filing, or generally get a bit more organised. Try to find time for a quick vacuum or dust round every few days.
Getting the right room temperature to sleep in can be tricky, and a few degrees on either side can mean waking up sweating or shivering. A cool room is generally advised, with the ideal bedroom temperature set at about 16-18 C (60-65 F).
Luckily, this is fairly easy to fix because all you need to do is experiment a little. Try changing to thicker or thinner bedclothes, resetting the thermostat, or sleeping with the window slightly open.
So, how does your sleep centre measure up? Take a minute to make a list of what you could change for the better in your bedroom and set aside a day to create your perfect sleep environment.
We’ve got more sleep tips for you in this blog post.
- Bed MOT (https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/advice-support/sleep-tools/bed-mot/). The Sleep Council. Visited 11 November 2013
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