Is your bedroom your happy place? If the answer is no, let's work on making that happen. Why? Sleep is absolutely vital for optimal health. Your bedroom should be a tranquil getaway from the stresses of your day.
Some benefits of a good night's sleep are improved memory and stamina, decreased cravings, stress reduction, reduced inflammation and longevity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, lack of a good night's sleep can cause depression, weight gain, irritability, poor concentration, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Lucky for you, I've tried many different ways to achieve a successful night of sleep. Here are my top 10 tips to make your bedroom a tranquil escape to ensure restful sleep:
1. Ban electronics from the bedroom.
This includes TVs, tablets, and phones. Sorry, no more Candy Crush in bed. The light from these devices disrupts your body's ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which your body instinctively produces when it's nighttime. If your body doesn't produce enough melatonin, it can't distinguish between day and night, resulting in tossing and turning.
2. Keep your bedroom dark.
In addition to banning electronics, keep your curtains closed at night. Outdoor light from cars, streetlights or the moon can keep you from falling asleep. If you don't have dark curtains, invest in an eye mask. This keeps the room extremely dark, preparing your body and mind for shut-eye.
3. Invest in a high-quality mattress.
One of the main culprits of poor sleep is body pain. Some people don't realize their mattress may be too hard or too soft. Aim for something with sufficient support. On a budget? Try a textured mattress topper. Additionally, be sure to invest in pillows that offer neck support.
4. Keep your bedroom cool.
If your body overheats, you can break out in a sweat. This can disrupt your sleep and that of your partner. Aim to keep your bedroom between 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Not a fan of air conditioning? Invest in a ceiling fan to circulate the air, and sleep with a light sheet.
5. Wear loosefitting pajamas.
If your pajamas are too heavy or tightfitting, that could cause discomfort, preventing your body from entering a truly relaxed state. Try wearing an old cotton T-shirt. It's light, airy and isn't constricting.
6. Place a plant on your nightstand.
Unless you're allergic, having a plant or flowers at your bedside will release oxygen, refreshing the air. They also release water, increasing humidity for improved breathing and purify air by removing toxins.
7. Declutter the space.
Eliminating clutter from the bedroom helps to reduce stress, promoting relaxation. Some items I do suggest you keep in the bedroom are your favorite books, candles, incense and lavender oil for self-massage.
8. Shut down an hour before bed.
Not only should you shut down your electronics and the evening news, but your mind as well. This may include a nightly ritual such as a warm bath, hot towel scrub, self-massage with lavender oil or reading a book.
9. Write in a journal.
Keep a journal by your bed to write down any thoughts from your day. Whether it's a to-do list for tomorrow, worries you may have or a gratitude list, get it out of your mind and on paper. It'll help to calm your nerves.
When all else fails, meditate. Meditation doesn't have to be a big event. You can meditate right in bed. Try this: lie flat on your back, close your eyes and relax every part of your body. Relax your face, your jaw, your teeth, your neck, your shoulders and so on. Breathe in through your nostrils for a count of four and breathe out through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat several times until you fall asleep.
Establishing a regular meditation practice can drastically improve your health, and so can choosing the right foods. Ready to learn more about the power of food? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.