Have trouble sleeping? Find yourself feeling uncomfortable in your bed and don't know why? Think there might be something missing from your bedroom to make it complete? You're not alone! Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that plagues tens of millions of North American adults. You can blame the stress of your life, a good TV show, or your snoring husband, but the truth is that the cure can lie in something as simple as how your bedroom is set up! Follow these simple steps to create a bedroom fit for a king...or maybe Sleeping Beauty would be more fitting!
1. Let There Be Light...Wait, Never mind.
If the sun wakes you up in the morning it's one thing if you prefer it that way, if you're waking up too early because of the light, it may be time to change blinds. The old white industrial blinds are completely wrong for a good sleeping environment. Not only will they let sun into the room, they will let all kinds of light in: the moon, street lamps, and car headlights. Scientists agree that keeping a room as dark as possible is best for a good night's sleep. You can accomplish this with heavier drapes, double layers of drapes, or blinds in darker hues of blue, red, purple or even black. Rich colors are relaxing and easy on the eyes!
2. Feeling the Difference
There are all sorts of advertisements out there for mattresses like temper pedic, sleep number and, back in the day, water beds. Those products can be helpful, but they aren't completely necessary and can be very costly. A less expensive option is a memory foam mattress topper. They range from $30 - $200 and can make even the oldest, used mattresses feel like new again. Cover the topper with a nice sheet, preferably with a higher thread count, and you will have the most comfortable surface to sleep on that you just melt right into. Also take a look at your pillow. When was the last time you bought a new one? It is recommended that you buy a new pillow every six months or so. If that seems a little much, think about getting a nicer pillow to start with. Trade your cotton pillow in for a down feather pillow. You will have to replace it half as much because it can withstand much more pressure for longer.
3. Do You Hear What I Hear?
Do you live with kids or pets? Do you live on a busier street? Can you hear someone doing the dishes in the kitchen even when lying in bed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are looking at a sound crises! If you are a heavy sleeper, sound may not be an issue for you, but a lighter sleeper will find plenty of difficulty getting to sleep with dogs barking and garbage trucks rumbling by. There are a few things that can help here. First is sound proofing your room. One easy way to do this is with pillows or other types of thicker fabric. Line the crack of your door or and bottoms of windows when you go to bed. Second is investing in a nice fan or sound machine. Right away it might feel odd to have constant white noise in your bedroom, but soon you will get used to it and it will calm you into dreamland. The third option is to look at how your walls and windows are layered and insulated. You can remodel your windows to be thicker and your walls can be covered with plaster or popcorn texture to limit noise.
4. Creating a "Night Nest"
Just as a dog will circle its bed to create a nest before it lays down, you should think of your bedroom the same way. A "night nest" is a way of setting up your room to fit all of your sleeping needs. Make sure you have a nightstand or table at arms length that can provide you with insomnia essentials. These are things like books and magazines to read, earplugs, a face mask, a dim lamp, an area to place a bedtime snack and drink, and maybe even things to do to keep your wandering mind occupied like a puzzle book, a journal, knitting, or files from work you can fill out. Things to keep out of your night nest may be hard to give up. These include televisions, laptops, alarm clocks, radios, and ceiling lights.
5. Invite Yourself to the Party!
You want your bedroom to feel like an inviting place. Remember it's where you're going to spend a substantial part of your life, you definitely want to WANT to be there. Decorate your bedroom with personal items like pictures, posters, special knickknacks that inspire you and make you feel warm inside. When those fleeting moments of terror set in when you can't sleep, you can feel comforted by the space you are in. Same goes for the color palate of the room. Go for soothing, sleepy colors, not bright ones. If you like a warmer, darker feel go with browns, dark reds, or purple. If you like a more spa-like atmosphere, go with blues, dark gray, or green!
Sheep Counting Tips:
- Reduce the clutter in your bedroom! There is nothing worse than having to step over a heap of clothes or toys. Also make sure your room is set up in a way you can navigate in the dark!
- Pay attention to the temperature in your room. If it is too hot or too cold you will find yourself constantly peeling off the sheets or layering them on, taking precious minutes away from your sleep time and making you stressed.
- Don't be too extravagant when decorating your bed! Beds with too many pillows or overly heavy comforters excite the brain too much and create less space for you to work with. Simplify, simplify, simplify!