Feeling exhausted? Chances are you aren’t getting enough sleep and you’re not alone. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep. 6 hours “may be appropriate” but anything less is not. Oops!
Getting enough sleep is something I struggle with. I tend to fall just under the “maybe be appropriate” 6 hours of sleep each night and I’m not alone. Contributor and friend, Lisa Frame from A Daily Pinch, is always taking a long hard look at her sleep. After determining that she had to sleep better in order to feel better, she made a pact with herself and doesn’t bring her laptop or iPad to bed. Her advice? “Our bedrooms need to be the places where we connect with our partners and sleep.”
Sleep schedules, bedtime rituals, daily exercise, and avoiding hidden sleep stealers , like alcohol and caffeine, are important elements that can improve the quality of sleep but so is the design of your bedroom.
Here are 7 changes you can make to transform your bedroom into a restful sanctuary that induces sleep. Some are easy and free while others are a bit more of an investment but all will help ensure that you sleep better each and every night.
7 Ways to to Transform Your Bedroom into a Sleep Sanctuary
Limit Screen Time
That’s right. You heard me. Take the television out of the bedroom and put down the devices and walk away. Mindless TV before bed is anything but because it engages your mind. The same is true for checking Facebook, scrolling through your Instagram feed, or one last peek at your email. Those activities can arouse, depress, or create anxiety that prevent relaxation that is needed for sleep. Not only do our brains get stimulated from the content we consume before bed but vision care providers are concerned about the effects of blue light on our eyes. The less we’re on our devices, the better especially as we are trying to improve the quality of our sleep.
If you like to read before bed, a book is always best but the light from Kindle Paperwhites are designed to be far friendlier on the eyes than traditional back lit tablets thanks to the lack of glare and a built in front-light that guides light towards the surface to prevent eyestrain.
Use the Do Not Disturb Function on Your Phone
If you’re like me and use your phone as an alarm clock, the Do Not Disturb setting is key to getting a good night’s sleep. In between the hours of 10 pm to 6 am, the only calls or texts that can come through my phone are from immediate family members who are designated as Favorites in my contacts. Otherwise I am blissfully unaware of any social media alerts, calendar reminders, texts, emails, spam calls, and my county’s traffic and weather texts until my alarm gently chimes to awaken me from my slumber. If you need a primer on how to set Do Not Disturb on your iPhone or iPad, visit How to Geek for step by step instructions. Android users can visit the Samsung site for instructions and a video.
Evaluate Your Bedroom for Light
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there might be lots of artificial light sources that prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. Avoiding artificially lit screens, finding another place for your phone besides your nightstand, and turning the glowing numbers of your alarm clock away from you can help but as parents, sometimes we need to keep a night light on for our little ones to find their way to us in the wee hours of the morning.
We are in love with the SnapPower Guidelight, an easy to install outlet cover plate that really does just snap in to place over your existing outlet cover. Sleeker than traditional night lights and just as smart as the light sensing ones, SnapPower Guidelight automatically turns on and off based on the light conditions in the room to provide a nice gentle glow that helps the youngest members of the family find their way to our rooms without adding too much light to the room. My recommendation is to evaluate the areas of your house that might receive foot traffic at night and replace those outlet covers with SnapPower Guidelights. A few strategically placed ones can make all the difference!
Find the Ideal Thermostat Setting
Too hot. Too cold. Somewhere in there is just the right temperature that will help you achieve sleep nirvana. Smart technology like a Nest Thermostat learns the temperatures you like and programs itself according to your preferences so it will always ensure that your bedroom is just how you like it.
Add a Little Background Noise
Believe it or not, there are four different kinds of light noises that induce sleep. White noise, nature sounds, calming music, and voice can be helpful in lulling you to sleep. While the other three kinds of noises are pretty self explanatory, the National Sleep Foundation defines white noise as a combination of all noise frequencies designed to help mask outside sounds. If white noise helps you fall asleep faster, we’ve been using this white noise machine from Dohm in Emily’s room or frequent fliers who need white noise on the go can download white noise apps like any of these that Techlicious calls the best white noise apps.
Replace Your Mattress
For years our 9 year old Thomas has been going to bed on a futon mattress on the floor on the bottom part of his loft bed just so he could snuggle with our Labrador, Oliver. Convenient for the dog, but not so comfortable for the rest of us! We recently replaced the futon mattress with a full size GhostBed and he couldn’t be happier!
Made in America of latex and gel memory foam, Thomas’ GhostBed was ordered online, arrived in a compact box, and grew before our eyes to become an 11” high mattress. There’s no comparison between what Thomas used to sleep on and his new GhostBed Mattress that sits on a box frame and rises high up off the floor and provides the perfect sleep surface. The top layer consists of 1 ½” of continuous aerated latex foam, 2” of gel memory foam, and a 7 ½” base layer underneath it that conforms his 9 year old frame and supports proper spine alignment. Since Thomas always runs hot, even in the summer when the air conditioner is running, It will be interesting to see how the GhostBed affects his sleep in the warmer months. The aerated latex foam plus gel memory foam is designed to carry heat away from the body for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Image courtesy of GhostBed
I know it seems risky to purchase a mattress online but honestly, I wasn’t worried about GhostBed thanks to their 101 Night Sleep Trial. Yes, we have 101 nights to try out our GhostBed and if we don’t like it, we can return it. So far everyone is happy with our new GhostBed except for Oliver who is no longer allowed to sleep on Thomas’ new bed! Poor dog!
Rid the Room of Clutter
Take a quick glance around your room. If it isn’t bringing you joy, Marie Kondo it and konmari it out of your life. Less is more in your sanctuary especially if clutter creates stress.
No compensation was received for this post but samples were received for review purposes and all opinions are our own. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post and images are courtesy of the companies mentioned. GhostBed sent us a mattress and box spring for review and based on the fact that everyone in the family has fallen asleep in Thomas’ new bed (except for the family dog!), it’s well worth the money and I’d certainly buy another one to replace one of our mattresses in the future.