We don't know precisely why we need sleep, but we know it's one of the essential components to keep your brain functioning and maintain your overall health. Getting the formula right for a perfect night's rest starts with where you lay your head. Even after an exhausting day, you might find it hard to fall asleep if your environment isn't just so.
There’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health. Therefore, creating a sleeping routine that works best for you is essential. Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for sleep. You may consider a warm bath, write your thoughts down to minimise distractions, or even a cup of tea to stimulate sleep-enhancing and stress relieving benefits. Teachings from the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy would encourage you to do your best but savour the present moment. Here's how you can sleep better in 8 quick and easy steps.
Light your room appropriately
A decent night of sleep is the result of one key ingredient: darkness. There's a reason we get tired when the sun goes down. Our bodies naturally lean into the day and night cycle. Having a dark bedroom puts your mind and body into the rhythm of sleep, so naturally, the amount of light in your room directly affects your slumber.
Now more than ever, it's hard to achieve a truly dark bedroom. Not only are we fighting light pollution from outside, but the screens within our homes are also aggressors to keep us awake. Digital clocks, the TV and most notably, our phones should be hidden and out of sight to prevent disruption. Best practices include putting screens away at least an hour before your nighttime rituals begin. For external lights, choose heavy drapes or curtains that block any windows.
Opt for calming colours
Colours schemes and tones can affect how you feel. Walking into a room with red walls and purple sheets will stimulate your mind and awaken your senses. Soft colour palettes like cream, beige, white and pale greys are favoured because they soothe the mind and allow calm to wash over you. That's not to say your favourite colours shouldn't make an appearance, but they should be used sparingly.
A touch of green always helps to build a sense of ease unconsciously. Incorporate plants that work to clean the air, which will help your bedroom feel less stuffy and more airy. Try Spider Plants, Peace Lilies, Ferns and Chrysanthemums.
Organisation is a strong tool for better sleep. Your mind feels far more at peace when in a tidy and uncluttered room than in a space that feels chaotic. Start by making sure your bedroom only houses only the essentials and that every item has its place. Follow the fundamentals of slow living for inspiration. No clothes should be found haphazardly lying around, and things that need to be stored are concealed accordingly.
This speaks to your furniture too. Do you need a treadmill in your room or a writing desk? Likely not. Keep your furniture light and functional to serve your sleep better.
Invest in a good mattress and sheets
The most significant and more impactful change you make for a better night's sleep is picking the right mattress. If you’re due for an upgrade or moving homes, you should start here. Suppose you find that you often wake up with body aches, a stiff neck and feel unrested. Your mattress is the first thing you should address. Invest in something that makes your body feel good, after all, you spend an average of 26 years of your life asleep, that doesn’t take into account the time spent just lazing in bed. Take full advantage of mattress companies trial periods and opt for a mattress that supports your body's needs.
Incorporate calming scents
Scent can trigger strong emotions and ties to memory. Calming scents like ylang-ylang, lavender and chamomile can help you to relax. Better yet, pick a scent you love and burn it for a few minutes each night. The smell will help trigger a response in your brain that tells you it's time to slumber. Just remember to pick one that's softer on the nose to avoid overwhelming your senses.
By removing or covering mirrors, you may be eliminating unseen energy within your bedroom. Feng Shui teaches us that a mirror's reflection bounces Chi energy around the room, which can be disruptive to sleep. Sleep experts have also revealed that the physical nature of light being reflected around the room can also disturb sleep, as mentioned earlier, light affects your sleep-wake cycle.
Banish the TV
Watching television before bed disrupts sleep cycles, as it sends blue light signals to your body from your eyes that it’s time to be awake. We recommend removing TVs from your bedroom for a better rested and more productive day and replacing it with a painting or something you genuinely are mesmerised by to plough into your thoughts before bed rather than gazing at the tv screen.
Invest in something that makes your body feel good, after all, you spend an average of 26 years of your life asleep