As the song goes, wherever I lay my head is my home. However, as a homeowner living in one space for an extended period sometimes most of your life you want a healthy space. And a healthy bedroom is so important for a long and healthy life. Here are 8 steps you can take to help you achieve a healthier bedroom.
8 Steps to make your bedroom healthier
Our sleeping habits and health are closely related. When you do not get enough sleep, it puts you at risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Similarly, our poor health can negatively impact our rest, leading to various sleep disorders.
One of the crucial factors in your sleep quality is your bedroom design. The wrong mattress or pillow might even lead to straining your neck or back problems. And the atmosphere in the room itself might mean the difference between being able to fully relax or stay stressed as you try to unwind. Additionally, switching your sleeping position to a healthier one might be something you should consider.
The type of mattress you use might also be to blame. Using an old worn out mattress, or a mattress that doesn’t jibe well with how you sleep – a side sleeper mattress if you’re a side sleeper, or a mattress designed especially for people who tend to sleep on their backs might make your sleep quality much better.
With this in mind, we have prepared a list of bedroom changes you should make. They will improve your overall health and help you sleep better. Check out which one of these works for you.
Stop using bright artificial lighting
One of the worst things you can do to your sleep is to use electronic devices with LED screens after dark. These devices emit blue lights that suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. having these lights illuminate where you are trying to sleep does not make for a healthy bedroom. Be aware that if you read books or use your phone after sunset, you will experience many negative effects.
Bright light has been proven to affect your body’s natural circadian rhythms – when humans get rid of artificial light they naturally revert back to normal sleep patterns. But that is next to impossible these days – artificial light surrounds us, and a normal work day may go on for hours after sunset.
Make sure to turn off every source of light before going to bed. If you want to read a book, read a real one – not an e-book. If you need to use your phone, use the dimmest possible setting.
Unplug from work
For many people, working in your free time means checking emails or answering messages. Although it is convenient to do so from your bedroom, it is not a good idea. These habits do not make for a healthy bedroom and will disrupt any pre sleep calm you might need for a good night’s sleep.
Even if you scroll through your emails half-heartedly or just delete junk mail, your brain goes on alert “work mode”. Try performing manual tasks – doing laundry, gardening or repotting your plants. Even some painting, pottery or cooking won’t hurt. It will tire you out and make you ready for sleep. It will also, most importantly, make your mind focus on a simple task instead of wandering into stressful territories.
Put away your computer
One of the worst things you can do when you have trouble sleeping is use your computer or watch television at night. However, it is not just the light these devices emit that is the problem. Watching funny videos or browsing Facebook will make you fidget in bed. You will also be engaged in the content and try to figure out what happens next. This distracts your attention from falling asleep. You will get stuck on a scroll-loop, going “just one more” or “just 10 more minutes”, until it’s 3 in the morning and going to sleep might sound like a futile idea.
If you find it difficult to sleep without watching TV or browsing the Internet, do not use your device in bed. Do it right in front of a larger screen or even on your laptop. It will make you less engaged and help you avoid sleepless nights. When you are ready to go to bed – you “just” go to bed and know it’s time to concentrate on sleep. Try to keep your bedroom a tech free zone if possible, it will help to make a healthy bedroom space.
We know we are really pushing books – but do try to read before bed, even if it’s a magazine. Meditation is also a great idea for those who want to clear their minds.
Avoid eating in bed
Eating right before going to bed is a bad habit with many negative consequences. First of all, it might cause indigestion, which might disrupt your sleep quality. Furthermore, it might lead to weight gain if you consume unhealthy foods before going to bed. Eating in bed also leads to ruining your sheets and mattress with stains and spills. Yuck!
Instead of eating in bed, try to make your dinner at least an hour before going to sleep. Your body will have enough time to digest the food properly without any unpleasant symptoms.
Try using aromatherapy with relaxing scents like lavender in order to get your mind off of food before bedtime.
Clean regularly to make a healthy bedroom
Keep in mind that your bedroom is the place where you spend most of your life when you are not at work or out with your friends. Hence, it should allow you to recharge and relax before you go to bed. That is why you should keep it organized and tidy at all times.
The main advantage of keeping your bedroom tidy is that you will feel more comfortable there. It will also help you focus on falling asleep instead of thinking about the mess. The less things you have to think about, the better.
Mess stresses people out – it’s a well known fact! We associate it with depression and mental chaos.
Change your mattress and pillow
If you have bad sleeping habits, the first thing you should do is to check your mattress and pillow. It is difficult to fall asleep if you do not feel comfortable in bed. Every good mattress and pillow should be able to enhance your comfort and make you fall asleep faster. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to change them.
Some people like sleeping on different types of pillows – firm ones, soft ones – but they should never be lumpy and worn out! No one sleeps well on a pillow like that, and the same goes for your mattress.
Create a calm environment for yourself
There are a few ways to get your zen on in your bedroom. And there are a few tricks to creating a calm environment. Scents like lavender or sandalwood have calming tendencies – you can get yourself an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser, or some incense you can burn before bed. Remember to air out the smoke after they’re finished – it will leave the room fresh, with a lightly scented atmosphere.
Another great trick is candles – some people hate the smell of scented candles, and that’s ok – regular, natural beeswax candles will do. They distribute peaceful light, and you can turn down your artificial lights more and focus on the flame before you go to sleep.
Plants also help with creating a good sleeping environment. People feel better with plants around, and they reduce stress levels. It’s a good idea to have several plants that help clean the air, to help get rid of all that carbon floating around, and make your sleep more peaceful.
Turn off all lights and gadgets completely
Many people are used to leaving their lights on while they sleep. This might be useful if you want to use a bathroom during the night, but other than that, it is not necessary at all times. Leaving lights on all night long distracts your attention from falling asleep and makes it difficult for you to relax properly before going to bed.
Furthermore, having lights on all night long can lead to serious problems such as sleep deprivation, insomnia, and even depression if you do so for too long of a time. Make sure to turn off all lights before going to bed and avoid using electronics right before going to sleep as well. It will help you avoid all kinds of health problems related to light exposure in your bedroom at night. This goes for all your charging lights, flickering computer or TV lights and bright lights coming from the outside. Get some good black-out curtains for an amazing night of sleep.
A healthy bedroom leads to healthy sleep habits
Stress, fatigue, distractions, depression and uncomfortable beds and pillows, all may lead to an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Or even worse you may develop insomnia. Figure out which of these steps to a health bedroom might help you out the most. And next time you start winding down for bed, note down your habits. You might not even be aware of some of them and how disruptive they can be. Check for any unnecessary bright lights in your room, take a look at the state of your mattress and your bed. See if your room needs some tidying up. We promise, you will feel a lot better!