Creating an Ideal Sleep Environment
If we want to be at our optimal best each day, we need to get off on the right foot in the morning. In many ways, our day starts the night before, because how well we sleep and recover from today, sets the tone for tomorrow.
If exercise and nutrition are the pillars of health and fitness, then sleep could be considered the foundation upon which those important components stand. Scientific research has proven that getting a good night of sleep helps improve focus, memory, and willpower. It helps you lose weight, make healthier food and lifestyle choices, increase your stamina and endurance during workouts, and put you in a better mood. Great sleep helps balance your immune system, decreasing the likelihood of getting sick. It is not an exaggeration to say that quality sleep improves the quality of your life. (1, 2)
But often, getting enough sleep is easier said than done. With hectic schedules, busy lives full of stress and distractions, sleep is often the last thing on our minds. We may try to go to bed a little earlier, but end up tossing and turning throughout the night. It may feel like our brain is throwing a tantrum and won’t let us sleep.
To help our brains work with us rather than against us, we need to make sleep a priority. We accomplish that by setting up our bedroom as a sleep sanctuary, creating the most ideal environment for sleep. Make your bed an inviting and sacred place where you go to rest and recover. By dedicating our beds as a place for rest, we train our brains to actually sleep when we go to bed. (2, 3)
5 Ways to Make Your Bed a Sanctuary
While there are dozens of life hacks to help you sleep better-- from exercising earlier in the day to restricting caffeine to the morning-- nothing beats turning your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary with these five ideas. Experts all agree that to create an ideal sleeping environment, it’s best to make our bedrooms cool, dark, quiet, relaxing, and comfortable. (3, 4)
Make Your Bedroom as Dark as Possible
Our early ancestors slept in caves that were dark, cool, and quiet shelters. For thousands of years, humans have modeled our sleeping spaces to mimic this environment, equating this with a place to safely rest and recover. To this day, our brains still seek out a sleep environment that mimics that of our ancestors-- dark, cool, and quiet. To help us get good quality sleep, we need it to be dark. (2)
But when I say dark, I mean utter darkness. Not a hint of light streaming through. The sun emits a blue light that reaches our eyes even when they are closed and shuts down the production of melatonin in our brain, the hormone which helps regulate sleep. However, the sun isn’t the only source of blue light in our lives. Television, computers, and smartphones also emit blue light, which stimulates the brain and keeps us up at night. (1, 2)
To make your bedroom as dark as possible, invest in some room-darkening shades or blackout curtains. But even more important, keep electronics out of the bedroom. If you have to have a phone in the room as an alarm, keep it covered so the blue awake-inducing light doesn’t mess with your brain. (3)
Make Your Bed a Comfortable Sleep Sanctuary
Creating an ideal sleep environment is going to be a little different for every person. We’re looking for something that is comfortable and inviting for sleep, so the right mattress and even sheets, blankets, and pajamas (or lack thereof) will vary from person to person. But one rule that should be universal for bedrooms is restricting activities that are not conducive to sleeping. The ideal bedroom environment needs to be a place of relaxation, not stress and stimulation. So that means entertainment and work devices stay out of the bedroom. Ideally, the only activities that should occur in the bedroom are sleeping and intimate activities with consensual partners. Kick all other distractions out the door. (3, 5)
Make Your Bedroom Relaxing
These days we are inundated with products that claim to be sleep aids. Be very wary of these claims, as many medications may put you to sleep, but often there is nothing remotely natural about them. But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing out there to help establish a soothing and relaxing atmosphere, both in the bedroom and within ourselves. (2)
Supplements can balance our stress and immune system, allowing our minds and our bodies to enter a state where sleep is restorative and truly beneficial. While CBD is helpful in promoting a healthy balance, research shows that CBDa provides the strongest benefits. Nesas Hemp extract is bioactive, 100% natural, and made to work on a cellular level. Because it isn’t a sleep aid, Nesas Hemp promotes better sleep by creating the right environment in your body: helping reduce stress, support cellular health, support muscle and joint health, and improve focus. This formula is an optimal way to make your bedroom a true sleep haven. (1)
Make Your Bedroom Quiet
Creating a quiet atmosphere is as important as darkness to promote better sleep. In a culture where we are constantly bombarded by sensory inputs, a quiet sanctuary for us to sleep sounds heavenly, but also challenging. Quiet doesn’t mean completely noiseless, but unnatural sounds should be reduced greatly.
If you prefer some sounds to help you sleep, make sure they are quiet, natural sounds. A fan is a good choice, or try recordings of nature sounds like waves crashing, thunderstorms, or a forest glade. Things like television, or a podcast playing in the background, are not conducive to a quiet environment. While noises may not wake us up fully, they can keep us from entering deep sleep, or pull us out of one of the various sleep stages that our bodies need to fully recover from the day.
Digital devices certainly have a place in our lives, but the bedroom is not one of those places. Create a quiet and soothing environment without distracting noises, it can’t be overstated. (3, 5)
Make Your Bedroom Cool
Sleep experts all agree on three things-- make your sleep sanctuary dark, quiet, and cool. The ideal temperature for promoting sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. But just as our preferences are unique to each of us, what is considered a comfortable temperature varies from person to person, too. If you wake up drenched in sweat or shivering from cold, your room temperature is way off.
To successfully initiate deep sleep, the body’s core temperature must drop 2-3 degrees. So, it’s easier to fall asleep in a cooler room than a warm room. (2, 5)
Another method to cool down the body in order to improve sleep is taking a warm bath or shower before bed. This actually helps cool off the body’s core temperature and assists in transitioning to deep sleep. (5)
Make Sleep a Priority
Creating a sleep sanctuary promotes healthier habits that don’t just help us catch some shut-eye. These benefits carry over into the next day, waking up with more energy, better focus, and the ability to handle the daily stresses with ease. Breathe deep, relax, and sweet dreams.
- Asprey, Dave. Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever. Harper Collins, New York, 2019
- Walker, Matthew, Ph.D. Why We Sleep. Scribner, New York, 2017