Your bedroom should feel like a sleep oasis — stress and distraction-free. While creating the right environment is, to a certain extent, a matter of personal preference, sleep experts offer these sleep hygiene suggestions that are backed by science.
- The ideal room for sleep is cool and dark. Most experts agree that the sweet spot for temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 73% of Americans say the darker the room the better. 65% of people use shades, curtains, or blinds to block unwanted light.
- Peace and quiet make for bedroom bliss. 74% percent of Americans think that quiet is crucial for getting good sleep. That said, many people rely on “white noise” or some type of ambient sound to help mask disruptive noises like car horns or highway traffic. You can also use a fan (which will do double duty, keeping your room cool) or try one of the many soothing sleepcasts or some sleep music from the Sleep experience in the Headspace app. Sleepcasts run about 45 minutes and can help create a relaxing, peaceful environment for sleep. Help create an environment that’s conducive for a restful night’s sleep — sign up and start using the Headspace app.
- Choose the bedding (and sleep position) that’s best for you. A comfortable mattress and pillows are essential for good sleep, but whether they’re soft or firm is up to you. The pillow you choose may depend on your preferred sleep position. If you’re a side sleeper (as most people are), your pillow should comfortably support your head, neck, and ear as well as your shoulder. People who sleep on their backs should consider a thinner pillow to limit stress on the neck.
- Declutter your bedroom. If your bed feels dreamy but your room is a mess, you could be at a higher risk for sleep problems. A study presented at the June 2015 SLEEP conference in Seattle suggests that those surrounded by clutter were more likely to have a sleep disorder. What your eyes see when you walk into a room can influence whether or not you’ll have an easy time falling asleep. So, as many of our parents used to say, clean up your room!
- Pick the perfect pillow for you. Pillow fill is important to consider if you suffer from allergies. Fills vary from natural choices like feathers to synthetics like rayon, foam, or latex. Look for pillows that are hypoallergenic to lessen the chance of nighttime congestion and sniffles that can keep you awake.