Sleep. It’s vital, but yet for many of us, it’s also elusive! It is estimated that around 1.2 million people experience some form of sleep disorder in Australia, so it’s little wonder that it’s something that many of us seek treatment for – in the form of both pharmaceuticals and herbal products. But have you given any thought to how your environment can affect your sleep quality?
Yes, medications or herbal supplements can be very useful, but creating an environment that promotes a restful night can be far more useful in the longer term so that you don’t have to rely on these products for the foreseeable future. The bedroom should be considered a sanctuary – the place where we give our bodies the chance to regenerate at the end of a busy day.
It is a place for rest and relaxation, and clear separation should be made between this room, and the other rooms in your house. Consider the following tips to help make your bedroom a haven of tranquillity:
- Keep all electronic devices out of your bedroom. That means mobile phones, laptops, computers and televisions should all be kept out of your sleep space.
- Avoid the use of synthetic fragrances, chemicals, and heavily-scented products in your bedroom. These products may disrupt proper ventilation and air flow in your sleep space and, if you are sensitive, may contribute toward allergic responses.
- Wherever possible, choose natural fabrics for your bedding. These fabrics may be more breathable than synthetic fibres and help to keep you cool and comfortable no matter the season. Natural fabrics may also be a better option over synthetic ones for allergy sufferers.
- Encourage the flow of fresh air and keep your bedroom cool by leaving a window ajar throughout the night. Consider leaving the window open during the day too if practical, to help keep the airflow continuous.
- Decrease artificial light sources in your bedroom, including light from clock radios, and if your bedroom is lit by street lights outside of your home, consider installing heavy curtains or block-out blinds. This will help to ensure your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal sleep/wake clock, which is controlled by factors including light) is not disrupted.
Taking just a few simple steps to help enhance the environment you sleep in may help to improve not only the quality of your sleep, but also the amount of zzz’s you can achieve!