If only going to bed early was the secret to a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, too many people hit the bed before nine only to toss and turn throughout the night. When a full night’s rest is elusive, it is time to take action by creating an environment that radiates calm while working with your body’s biological rhythms to signal that it is time to sleep. Reclaim your sleep tonight by using these strategies to create the perfect bedroom habitat for a solid night’s rest.
Remove All Distractions
It’s tempting to try to use the TV to lull you to sleep or at least keep you occupied while you wait for your eyes to droop. However, electronics in the bedroom emanate blue light that interferes with your circadian rhythms. Trying to finish a show or send that last email can also cause you to stay up so late that you pass the point of being tired. Therefore, establish a rule now that no TV and no PCs are allowed in your bedroom at bedtime. This also goes for your smartphone.
Turn Off All Lights
A dark room is essential for signaling your body that it is time to shut down. Yet, creating a perfectly dark environment takes a little work. Start with room darkening shades to completely block out exterior light sources. Then, do a double check around your room for small lights coming from chargers and other electronics. If necessary, cover your alarm clock or set it on the lowest backlight setting.
Create a Cool Down
When you fall asleep, your body experiences a slight temperature drop. You can recreate this natural response by taking a hot bath prior to sleep. For the optimum effect, dim the lights and soak for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Then, make sure that your bedroom is at a lower temperature than your bathroom but still comfortable. As your body is exposed to the cool air, your body temperature will drop slightly and induce sleep.
Generate White Noise
White noise is a consistent sound that helps block out other noises that make it harder to fall or stay asleep. For example, you can leave a fan running to mask the sound of your partner’s snoring or the cars driving by outside. As you get used to the sound, it also serves as a comforting signal that bedtime has arrived. If a fan doesn’t work, you can also buy white noise machines with sounds such as a vacuum running or rain falling that many people find relaxing.
Dealing with sleep problems is frustrating, and daytime fatigue leads to a lack of productivity that affects every area of your life. In some instances, sleep issues are dangerous since they can interfere with your ability to drive safely. While it may take some trial and error, these strategies are proven ways to help elicit the sleep response so go ahead and start using them tonight to enjoy sweet, restful dreams.
Originally published at medium.com