Finding it hard to sleep easily right now? Changing up the look and feel of your bedroom can help to press the reset button on your sleep patterns.
For most of us, we’ve never spent more time at home than in the past month. And chances are you’re feeling more than a little stir crazy. The coronavirus pandemic has turned daily life on its head for all of us, and one of the ways it has changed things is disrupting the way we sleep.
But there are things you can do to encourage a healthy sleep patten, and some of them have to do with creating the right sleep environment. If you’ve got some extra time on your hands right now, check out these simple ways to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly during lockdown.
Wash your sheets
We all love the feeling of sinking into a freshly made bed, but experts suggest that most of us simply aren’t washing our sheets enough. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, we should be washing our bedding once a week or once every two weeks at a minimum, and this includes pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers.
Not only does a freshly made bed feel more inviting and comfortable, but a poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that 73% of people sleep better on fresh sheets. In a time when cleanliness is key, make the effort to change your bedding more frequently.
Treat your senses
Every sense has the power to impact your sleep behaviours, but your sense of smell is particularly important. Relaxing scents like lavender can help to relax your mind and help your body unwind in the lead up to bedtime.
One 2012 study found that inhaling lavender scents in the run up to sleep can promote relaxation and restfulness, so consider investing in scented candles, incense or a relaxing pillow mist.
Invest in blackout blinds
Sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom cool and dark while you sleep, and blackout blinds are an effective and simple way to achieve this. These are blinds designed to help you sleep, keeping out the late evening and early morning glare and helping your bedroom stay cool right up until the time you wake up.
Blackout blinds will also help prevent sun damage within your bedroom, and some of the leading options even reduce noise pollution in your room too.
Go for greenery
The benefits of fresh greenery in your home has been well documented through countless studies. Simply put, plants and flowers make your home feel more refreshed and help you feel more relaxed. Having plants in your bedroom helps to improve air quality, as well as creating an aesthetic element for you to enjoy.
Save your bedroom for sleeping
During the current lockdown, it might be tempting to use your bedroom for a range of purposes: streaming shows, eating meals, working from home, the list goes on. But it’s important to retain a distinction between your living space and your sleep space, and the best way to do that is to save your bedroom for sleeping.
Staying out of your bedroom during the stay will help you train you brain that entering this space means it’s time to start unwinding. If you’ve been hanging out in your bedroom all day, it’s difficult for your body to make the distinction between rest and play.
Leave tech at the door
Technology is present in pretty much every aspect of our daily lives, but try not to make it present in your bedroom. Not only does scrolling through social media keep you more wired, engaged and anxious when you’re trying to sleep, but the blue light from your devices can disrupt your body’s natural release of important sleep hormones.
Set yourself a ‘no tech’ rule in your bedroom, and try to avoid using your phone or a tablet for at least an hour before bed. Instead, you could try reading or meditation to help you unwind.