The elusiveness of sleep is something I’ve struggled with all my life and if you’re here, you’ve probably experienced your own sleep challenges.
Whether for yourself or your family members, these changes can help you and others in your life get the best sleep possible for the best days possible!
Identifying the Issues
This means your physical sleep space- your bedroom- but it also includes your physical senses, such as sight, touch, smell, and sound.
And as corny as this sounds, it might be useful to keep a sleep journal for the simple fact that you can track what practices work and which don’t, for your personal reference and understanding. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Your Physical Environment
1.) A Clean Room
Did you know that having a clean room can greatly contribute to a better night’s sleep?
When our bedrooms are cluttered and messy, it causes increased stress levels and makes it hard to unwind before bed.
But, when our rooms are clean (and pretty), we’re more likely to feel good, feel calm, and feel at ease, which relaxes us.
Clean bedrooms promote good hygiene and reduce allergens- we breathe easier and sleep more soundly (more on air quality below).
It can reduce distractions (cluttered nightstands anyone-ugh!) and encourage better organization, which positively impacts our mental well-being and ability to get rest.
2.) Clean Bedding
We all know dirty sheets, pillows, and blankets can harbor bacteria, dust mites, and allergens, but aside from that, it’s just plain gross!
So, it’s essential to regularly wash your bedding to keep it fresh and inviting because the feeling of cool, crisp bedding is indescribably delicious.
And even though you are washing your bedding regularly, try bumping the washes up even more in your laundry schedule, especially in the summer when we sweat more- for that cozy, crisp feeling- more often.
In the summer, I ALWAYS hang my bedding outside- it’s a true life changer, isn’t it? 🙂
3.) Seasonal Bedding
Seasonal bedding can contribute to an even better sleep experience.
And it’s so easy to make this a habit.
Simply clean and pack away all your summer bedding in the fall, and bring it back out again in the spring when you clean and pack away your winter bedding!
During the warmer months, lightweight and breathable materials like cotton or linen can regulate your body temperature, preventing you from feeling too hot and sweaty while you snooze.
And when it’s chilly outside, heavier materials like flannel or wool, or weighted blankets can provide extra warmth and comfort, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
4.) Quality Bedding
High-quality bedding can provide a luxurious and comfortable sleep experience due to its breathability, durability, and overall comfort.
Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool are popular choices as they are soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic.
They’re also known for their moisture-wicking properties, which keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Remember, high-quality, long-staple cotton can have a lower thread count but still feel softer and more luxurious than lower-quality cotton with a higher thread count.
5.) A Good Quality Mattress
Good mattresses provide support for the spine, are comfortable, and enhance sleep quality.
Mattresses made of high-quality materials like memory foam and latex are durable and a worthwhile investment for one’s overall health.
Source from reputable sellers and determine the type of mattress that best suits:
- your size needs,
- comfort preference (firm, soft),
- and ability (adjustable).
6.) A Good Quality Pillow
Good pillows can reduce snoring, ease breathing, regulate body temperature, and combat fatigue.
Invest in one with memory foam, down, microbead, cotton, buckwheat hulls, polyester, wool, or latex that suits your specific needs.
I personally like down pillows that I can punch and squish into the perfect height and shape.
Choose wisely, and be rested.
7.) Comfortable Pajamas
Loose-fitting pj’s made from soft and breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo can help regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable through the night.
It’s no secret that I don’t mind synthetic materials to wear- see The 7 Best Summer Pajamas for Sophisticated Women.
On the other hand, tight or restrictive clothing can lead to discomfort and disrupted sleep.
When shopping for pajamas, make sure to choose garments that feel comfortable and allow for easy movement.
Avoid clothing with scratchy tags or materials that twist, bunch, or irritate your skin.
8.) Sleep Mask
Sleep masks create a dark and comfortable environment and by blocking out light, promote the production of melatonin – a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.
Melatonin is released naturally in our bodies in response to darkness and is inhibited by exposure to light. So wearing a sleep mask increases melatonin levels and improves the quality of our sleep.
They can also be useful for reducing headaches, eye strain, and other sleep disruptions caused by light.
Overall, it’s a simple, effective, inexpensive tool that enhances sleep quality- I shop these masks- they’re effective but cheap.
Noise can be a major sleep disruptor, and even low levels of sound can cause our brains to become active and alert, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, which leads to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue.
By reducing or eliminating noise, earplugs assist in deeper and more restful sleep.
They’re especially useful for individuals who live in noisy environments- near busy roads, in proximity to barking dogs, or in apartment buildings with thin walls.
Earplugs, especially when paired with trickling water, fans, or white noise machines are great for blocking out lots of noise. I personally use these- because they work, are pretty, and match my lavender sleep theme.
10.) White Noise
White noise works by creating a consistent, low-level sound that masks other noises to create a soothing environment for sleeping.
It works by reducing sudden changes in sound, which can be disruptive to sleep. White noise is often compared to the sound of a fan or rushing air and can be produced by specialized machines or apps.
White noise machines typically have other sounds such as the ocean, crickets and frogs, brooks, rain, thunderstorms, etc.- like this one here.
11.) Water Features
Another element that can contribute to a peaceful sleep environment is water features. The sound of water drowns out other noises that disrupt your sleep, such as traffic or a snoring partner.
From small tabletop fountains to aquariums, adding running water can create a soothing sound and promote a sense of calm.
But not everyone finds water sounds relaxing. If you’re unsure if a water feature is right for you, try listening to recordings of running water before making a purchase.
12.) Sleep Meditation Music
Sleep meditation music is a type of calming music that is specifically designed to promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.
It typically features slow, soothing, meditative melodies or natural sounds such as ocean waves, or gentle rain and can be from a sound machine, CDs, or even YouTube.
It slows down our heart rate and breathing, reduces muscle tension, triggers a relaxation response in our bodies, and quiets our minds – all key factors in reducing anxiety for a restful sleep.
13.) Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is a type of low-level lighting that creates a soft and soothing atmosphere in a room like table lamps, floor lamps, and wall sconces.
Softer lighting leading up to bedtime prepares the body for sleep by reducing exposure to harsh, bright lights. It can also be a safety factor, lighting the way for nighttime bathroom use.
And adjusting the blue light levels emitted from electronic devices, (which suppresses the production of melatonin and interferes with our natural sleep-wake cycle) is also essential for readying our bodies for nighttime sleep cycles.
14.) Restful Scents
Soothing fragrances like lavender, chamomile, and vanilla help relaxation and improve the quality of sleep. Fragrances stimulate the olfactory system – the part of our brain that processes smell – and trigger a relaxation response in the body.
This response reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, slows down heart rate and breathing, and eases tension in our muscles.
Soothing fragrances can be enjoyed through essential oils, candles, room sprays, or other scent diffusers.
15.) Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Dark
A cool and dark bedroom environment can help promote bedded bliss. It’s recommended to keep your room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep conditions.
Darkness is also important for promoting sleep. The body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is affected by light, so it’s best to avoid bright lights in the bedroom before bed.
Investing in blackout curtains can also help create a dark environment that is conducive to restful sleep.
Fans, Humidifiers, and Dehumidifiers
There are other factors that contribute to a good night’s sleep, such as the temperature of the room, the level of humidity in the air, and air circulation.
And in this context, fans, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers can also improve the quality of our sleep.
Here, we will discuss the benefits of having each of these items in the room, depending on the individual’s preference.
Fans are great for circulating air in the room, regulating temperature, and to preventing overheating (especially useful during pre-peri-menopause).
They also reduce stuffiness and improve air quality by circulating fresh air into the room.
And, fans produce a soothing white noise that drowns out other noises for a peaceful sleeping environment.
Humidifiers add moisture to dry air and this can be beneficial during the winter when the air is typically dry due to heaters running.
By increasing the humidity level, a humidifier can help with dry skin, irritated sinuses, and throat, and reduce the risk of infections.
They also help with snoring, as dry air can aggravate nasal passages, which results in snoring. Plus, adding moisture to the air can make the room feel more comfortable, which is important for getting a good night’s sleep.
Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, work by reducing the moisture in the air and preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
This can be advantageous for people living in areas with high pollen or humidity levels, which makes sleeping uncomfortable and can trigger allergies and respiratory issues.
In the summer our dogs are more lively than usual and with the dehumidifier in my room, and the white noise machine- they can bark at nocturnal creatures and howl at the moon all night long if they want to- I don’t hear it! And no, I do not have neighbors.
Sleep provides us with a refreshed strength and resilience to tackle life’s stressors, every day.
Sleep is bliss, and I hope these tips for a better night’s sleep truly help you get the rest you need, consistently and deeply.