Jumping out of bed bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to step onto your yoga mat is much easier after a good night’s sleep. Implement these simple changes to improve the quality of your sleeping space, and hence the quality of your sleep. Sweet dreams!
An untidy environment can be frustrating to live or work in, and it’s the same for sleep. We all know how hard it is to drop off when you have annoying thoughts running through your head. To reverse it, a clear living space promotes a clear head space — so get organised. First, go through everything you keep in your bedroom: clothes, furniture, everything. If it doesn’t need to be there, or if you don’t need it at all, move it: give it away, donate it to charity, or sell it.
Next, tidy everything you have. There are dozens of smart storage solutions available, from drawers under the bed to vacuum bags for out-of-season clothes and bedding. Make sure to keep it that way by creating space in your daily routine for picking up items and making your bed. It doesn’t have to be stark and minimalist — having a few favourite ornaments is both aesthetically pleasing and a mood-enhancing choice. The inclusion of a few, low-maintenance plants will also purify the air for a more wholesome sleep environment.
While you’re re-organising, you can also think about the mood of your bedroom. It’s widely accepted that light and colour can energise or calm us, provoke happiness or sadness, and heal or irritate us. Consider consulting a chakra colour chart before repainting your bedroom. The blue of the throat chakra, for example, soothes the soul and can aid in achieving a restful state, ready for sleep. Check that your curtains block as much light as possible, as this affects your natural rhythm of sleep.
3) Ensure good quality bedding that changes with the seasons
Considering you spend almost a third of your life in bed, it’s worth taking the time to consider your bedding choices. There is a range of comfortable, affordable and sustainable options available, including French flax linen, Egyptian cotton and bamboo lyocell. Ensure that you change your bedding with the seasons, as temperature affects sleep quality. Aim for the cool side of comfortable -— when you start to fall asleep, your body temperature drops, so emulating this can encourage sleepiness.
4) Banish technology
The National Sleep Foundation has pointed out how the blue light emitted by modern-day screens (televisions, mobile phones, computers and tablets) diminishes the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm. When its production is reduced, it becomes harder to fall asleep and any sleep you get will be lighter and of poorer quality. It’s recommended that you stop using these types of electronic devices for at least 30 minutes, but preferably an hour, before bed. Try leaving all devices outside the bedroom. You’ll find that your body prepares itself for sleep faster and more naturally.
5) Create a bed-time ritual for the best sleep
Just as your bedroom should be tidy before bed, it’s a great habit to also take time to tidy your mind. After you’ve finished using technology for the evening, choose a relaxing activity to add to your routine that will help you to wind down and prepare for sleep. Create your own bed-time ritual, taking inspiration from activities like:
- Restorative yoga
- A warm bath
- Listening to calming music
- Journalling to clear your mind of busy thoughts
- Candle gazing
- A (caffeine-free) tea ritual
About the author:
Phoebe Yu is the founder of Ettitude, an Australian bamboo bedding start-up that recognises the importance of the environment and the greater community by creating ethical, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly bedding. Check them out and add to your Zen den at www.ettitude.com.au