Astoundingly, in 2022, adults in the UK only get an average of 6 hours sleep per night. This is far less than the ideal 8 hours of sleep that is recommended for the average person. Lack of sleep can be linked to increased stress and a higher risk of health problems. But how can you get more sleep organically? Making subtle changes to your living space and updating the essentials in your home can transform how you sleep.
Decorate with Neutral Colours
Bright colours often give off psychological associations that influence how the brain works. For example, bright reds and yellows can often make the brain subconsciously become more alert, as those colours are associated with danger. Painting your walls with calming, neutral colours like soft blues and creams can make your brain feel more relaxed, which could allow you to have a better night’s sleep.
One of the most common reasons why people have disrupted sleep is light absorption. Leaving lights or televisions on in the bedroom can be a key factor in why people have a bad night’s sleep. Blue light can stimulate the brain, tricking into thinking it needs to be awake. This makes it much harder for people to fall asleep. Furthermore, natural light filtering in through the windows can make it hard to get a restful night- invest in a pair of blackout curtains to transform your sleeping space into a relaxing area to promote good sleep.
Improve your down time
An hour before you go to sleep, limit the amount of activity your brain is getting. If you have to do work before going to bed, why not invest in a pair of blue light glasses to limit the amount of harmful blue light rays that can disrupt the brain patterns and disrupt your sleep. Maybe try to move electronics out of your sleeping areas to prevent the distractions.
It is proven that many scents can be naturally relaxing to people and make them more likely to fall asleep. Why not get pot pourri, dried flowers or scent diffusers in naturally relaxing scents in order to enhance the calming effect of your sleeping space. Dried lavender bags placed under the pillow can make you more likely to get to sleep quickly. Oil diffusers with scents such as chamomile and ylang ylang can make your room more relaxing and aid your sleep. Relaxing lavender pillow sprays can also make sure you get as much sleep as you possibly can.
Manage your room temperature
One of the main factors in why people don’t get enough sleep is because they’re too hot or too cold. Why not invest in temperature control items, such as a fan or a space heater, so you can be your ideal temperature for sleep. Small changes such as this can make you have a better night’s sleep overall.
Get a new bed
Research shows that improving a bed can give you an extra 42 minutes of sleep per night. That’s 15,330 extra minutes a year! Investing in a new bed can transform the way you sleep. Get a bed frame and base that suits your room and is comfortable- but avoid ones with a TV included, as TV is terrible for sleep! Make sure your new bed frame is sturdy and comfortable, as worn-out bed frames can impact the quality of the mattress, which could result in less sleep.
Get a new mattress
One of the key things to know about sleep hygiene is that different people need different mattresses. Investing in a new mattress that is tailored specifically for your comfort and your sleeping style can transform the way you sleep. It is recommended that you buy a new mattress every 7-10 years. Making sure your mattress is optimal for your body and the way you sleep can add hours to your sleep.
Make sure your bedding is the best for you
The duvet, pillows and sheets you use can be fundamental to your sleep hygiene. Make sure you get the best quality sheets so you can sleep comfortably. If your pillow is too high or too low this can affect your breathing, which harms your sleep hygiene. The tog-rating on your duvet can make you too hot or cold, which could affect the quality of your sleep. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, many people find weighted blankets help their sleep massively. The pressure from weighted blankets calms the body down and slows the heart rate, which makes going to sleep a lot easier. All of these factors can contribute to getting healthier sleep patterns.
Get a light therapy box
Interestingly enough, while darkness is important to the quality of your sleep, not getting enough light can make the quality of your sleep worse. This is because light stimulates melatonin production in the brain. So in the mornings, if you’re staying in the dark and not waking up adequately, this can make you feel more tired. Not waking up adequately in the mornings can alter your circadian rhythms and make your sleep cycle worse. Introducing a light box to your home can help you correct your circadian rhythm.
Alter your furniture so natural light fills the room more
As well as considering light boxes, a bit of feng shui may funnily enough help you correct your sleep schedule. As aforementioned, light is important to the regulation of melatonin in your brain, which is responsible for the regularity of your sleep patterns. Making sure your furniture is placed and angled in such a way that means the natural light filters in through your window can help you wake up more easily in the mornings, and help regulate the melatonin levels in your brain.
Update your speaker system or stereo
Playing relaxing meditation tapes or soft, gentle music can help promote relaxation, which is one of the primary factors in order to get good sleep. By updating the sound systems in your bedroom, you can more easily play relaxing music to help you drift off to sleep.
Purchase a sleep diary to keep next to your bed
Tracking your sleep is a good way to detect patterns that might be contributing to the lack of a good night’s sleep. Noting down what time you go to bed, what time you wake up, and whether your sleep is disturbed in the night can be extremely helpful when seeing what your natural sleep pattern is like. For example, if you always wake up in the middle of the night thirsty or needing the bathroom, you can make changes such as keeping water by your bed, throwing out your old mattress or going to the toilet just before you go to sleep. Making small changes like this can improve the quality of your sleep, as sleep disturbances can irregulate your circadian rhythm. There are so many small online businesses that offer really cute sleep diaries, so just have a quick look online and you will find plenty of options.
By making these changes to your home, you can vastly improve your sleep hygiene. Everyone likes a good night’s sleep! Start improving your sleep hygiene routine today, and see the benefits tomorrow.