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16 Fixes for a Poor Sleep Environment

16 Fixes for a Poor Sleep Environment

Ongoing deficiencies in sleep quality or quantity are common problems that can impair cognition, weaken the immune system, cause muscle aches, fatigue, and irritability. Also, sleep problems can significantly intensify symptoms of already existing conditions of poor health. In addition undertaking improvement of lifestyle habits that promote better sleep, there are abundant simple steps you can take to increase the healthfulness of your sleep conditions. If you often have difficulty in getting to sleep, or with waking up frequently during the night, or if you do not feel well-rested after sleeping, use the following suggestions to fix issues in your sleep environment.

 

  1. Control lighting: Even the smallest amount of light in a bedroom can go through the optic nerve and on to the hypothalamus, which is the controller of the body's biological timekeeping mechanism, and can interfere with this natural internal clock.Make your room as dark as possible during sleep. Use "room darkening blinds", if needed. Eliminate night lights in the bedroom, and close the door while sleeping, if necessary to block light coming in from outside the room.

  2. Reduce temperature: Maintaining bedroom ambient temperatures that are too high or low can result in unrestful, nonrestorative (delta) sleep. During sleep, the body's internal temperature naturally reduces to its lowest daily level.So, lower the ambient temperature to a range that feels more natural and suitable to what the body does during the night, sleep. Keep bedroom temperature at a maximum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. According to research, a sleep temperature between 60-68 degrees is optimal.

  3. Regulate noise: The brain continues to process sounds. Noise can cause you to abruptly awaken, switch from one sleep stage to another, change body position, or have a heart rate or blood pressure change.If you must sleep in an environment with noises you cannot control (including having a snoring sleep partner), consider using a "white noise" recording while you sleep. The low-level of controlled noise may help reduce instances of sudden awakening by reducing the noise level differential between background sounds and sharp noises, like a door closing or car horn.

  4. Manage air quality: In a survey from the National Sleep Foundation, about three in four respondents said they get a more comfortable night of sleep on sheets that have a fresh scent. Research shows that using certain aromas, like vanilla or lavender, to scent a room can contribute to a calming, relaxing atmosphere. (Though, this does not suggest that these cure insomnia.)Also, controlling allergens in your room, and managing your responses to them, according to your doctor's instructions, is important to preventing sleep disruptions for both you and your partner.

  5. Create a sleep zone: Habits of watching TV, working on a laptop, or playing video games in bed, working out, etc., stimulate the mind and can make it harder to feel ready to sleep. Also, the TV emits light, which can reduce your body's melatonin production. Melatonin is the sleep-promoting hormone.Remove your TV, laptop, tablet, e-reader, or gaming equipment from your bedroom. Turn your cell phone upside down to prevent its light from waking you when a text or email, etc., is received.

  6. Dedicate your bedroom for exclusive use: In addition to using our bedrooms for working, web surfing, etc., many people use the bedroom as an informal meeting room for discussing important household issues, or as a place to think about problems and make major decisions.Leave all that is not associated with sleep (or romance) outside, preserving your bedroom as a space free of work and other activities that increase tendencies to focus on daytime concerns. Reserve your bedroom for sleeping (and romance, of course), in order to create a quiet, serene bedroom for restful sleep.

  7. Manage alarm clocks: It is excessively stressful to be shocked awake. And, light shining from clocks with digital displays can impact melatonin production. Bedside clocks can also distract from falling asleep for people who repeatedly check the time and fret about the hours passing as they are unable to fall asleep. Such worry can result in even more sleep loss.Set your alarm at the designated time you need to wake up. And, keep the clock on the opposite side of the bedroom, turned away from your view.

  8. Paint your bedroom: Research indicates that the color of a bedroom may actually positively or negatively impact the average number of hours individuals sleep. Apparently, soothing shades of green, blue, and yellow can help increase sleep duration. These colors have long been associated with a sense of relaxation, and mental ease and calmness.Surprisingly, dark shades of brown, purple, and gray had shortening effects on sleep time. Researchers have speculated that this is due to associations of those colors with a sense of dreariness or even depression.

  9. Sleep in separate bedrooms: Research suggests that in many cases, sharing a bed with a partner, or even a pet, may be significantly disruptive to healthful sleep, if either has one or more sleep-disruptive habits, such as kicking, snoring, flailing, groaning, sleep talking, turning back and forth frequently, or other restless sleep behaviors, or getting up frequently to use bathroom or drink water, etc..It may be time to consider sleeping in separate rooms if the partner is a very restless sleeper or has sleep habits that disrupt your sleep. And, consider relocating your pet if it is interfering with your sleep.

  10.  Deactivate electro-magnetic fields: Examine your bedroom for presence of electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These fields can interfere with the functioning of your pineal gland, impeding your body's production of melatonin and serotonin. The disruptions may also cause other negative physical effects.

  11. Use a gauss meter to perform an inspection for field strengths. A variety of models are available online, price from $50. Cutting power as much as is feasible to the area of your house where your bedroom is located is recommended.

  12. Replace sleepwear: Manage the closest item to you in your bedroom, your sleepwear. Have an abundant stock of soft, breathable, lightweight pajamas, or sleep clothing of the kind and fabric in which you find that you sleep most comfortably.Alternatively, for many people who experience difficulty staying cool enough throughout the night, sleeping naked may improve sleep comfort by helping cool the body initially, and preventing heat retention throughout the night. And, it may prevent binding and twisting, causing sleep disruptions through the night for people who change sleep positions frequently.

  13. Avoid unnatural substance use: Do not use alcohol, or chemical sedatives as aids to promote sleep. These can increase dependency on them, and thereby can lead to overuse and to very serious health consequences.Use hot non caffeinated beverages, soft music, or other non-harmful sleep aids, such as decompression activities, deep breathing, reading, etc., instead of sedatives.

  14. Replace your bed: Comfortable sleep surface is the first fundamental for restful sleep. The comfort of the mattress, sheets, and pillow impact sleep quality. If you do not feel rested when you wake up, or if you feel numb, stiff, or tired during the day, first consider the comfort quality of your bed.Or, if your mattress has deteriorated, has sagging spots, lumps, holes, or tears, consider replacing it. Or, if you need to fluff up your bed pillow multiple times during the night, get the best new one that you can afford. mattresses are available to suit all preferences.

  15. Keep bedding clean: Clean sheets are a basic for comfortable sleep. Further, they are important for protection against bacteria build-up on sheets from shedding skin and hair, sweating, and excreting bits of bacteria-laden mucous from the various body openings, and from bacteria under fingernails and toenails that can contribute to skin, sinus, ear, and eye infections, any of which are detrimental to sleep, especially if they become frequent problems.Change sheets and pillow cases as often as necessary to maintain clean bedding. If you sleep with a pet, changing sheets daily is ideal, or as frequently as possible.

  16. Make your bed: This ritual is actually a much more significant benefit to us than gaining an appreciation for tidiness. Many participants in a  National Sleep Foundation survey indicated their belief that neatness and cleanliness in the  bedroom contribute to sleeping well. You can physically feel the difference between lying down in a messy, disorganized bed, and lying down in a well-made bed. The latter, with its smooth sheets and blankets, and fluffed and smoothed pillows, is much more comfortable and cozy. Rather than trying to fall asleep in a disheveled, twisted mass of lumpy, crumpled sheets and blankets, make your bed every day, if not in the morning, definitely before getting into it at night.

Edited: 09/14/2019

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