It might be your home—not your habits—that are keeping you awake.
To help your sleep, you know you shouldn’t use electronics before bed or drink coffee late at night. However, even if you’re following all the suggested habits for good sleep, you might still find yourself struggling.
There are many causes of insomnia or other sleep problems, but one often-overlooked cause is your bedroom setup. You can make a number of mistakes with your bedroom that keep you up at night, or make you more prone to waking up again and again before your morning alarm.
Can’t figure out why you’re not getting the best sleep? Check your bedroom for these sleep saboteurs:
Piles of clutter in your bedroom can subconsciously increase your stress and anxiety, and a cleaner, more organized room tends to create a sense of peace.
2. Chaotic colors
Certain wall colors can elicit more calm than others. For example, shades of blue are often considered the most calming, and can make a very peaceful and tranquil room. On the other hand, shades of red are known for being more aggressive and can create a less comforting room.
However, it’s a personal preference. Some people find blue to be sad instead of tranquil, for example. The point is to find the color scheme that is soothing to you.
3. Sneaky light
Darkness is an important tool to help activate melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you feel sleepy. Brightness suppresses the hormone and can make you feel more alert, which is why the morning sun helps wake you up.
Your bedroom can have many sneaky sources of unwanted light: a street light outside, your alarm clock, the power light on your laptop charger, etc. Try room-darkening curtains to block outdoor light, and cover up those lights from digital clocks and electronics.
Finally, before sleep, use a low-wattage bedside lamp. This can help your body transition to sleep time before you’re ready to turn off the lights completely.
4. Unwanted noise
Maybe you live near a busy street with constant “noise pollution,” or your partner has a different sleep schedule and watches TV in a nearby room.
You can’t always control the noise, but you can equip your bedroom with tools to negate the problem. You could use earplugs, or you could use a white noise machine (or box fan) to drown out noise with a soothing hum. (Here are other products that can help improve your sleep.)
It’s worth the effort to find a solution to your sleep problems. After all, good sleep is the bedframe for your overall health, so make your room a dream—not a nightmare.
Making your room dark. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation. (Accessed on May 19, 2020 at https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/see/making-your-room-dark.)Room design for better sleep. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation. (Accessed on May 19, 2020 at https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/see/room-design-better-sleep.)