In our inaugural guest blog, Myra Campbell, a researcher for the sleep science and health organisation Tuck.com shares how to create an environment most conducive to a decent night’s sleep. Myra believes that great design can help improve our health and well-being. She lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.
Designing Your Ultimate Sleep Sanctuary
Your bedroom is your sanctuary for rest. It’s where you sleep, relax, and recharge every night, so you feel your best during the day.
Good design can help make your bedroom more comfortable for sleep, and help you get a better night’s sleep. Everything from the colour of your bedroom walls to the comfort of your mattress, even the light that shines in from your bedroom windows can influence how well (or how poorly) you sleep.
Follow these tips to design the ultimate sleep sanctuary and get a better night’s sleep every night.
Banish Light at Night
Our bodies have a circadian rhythm, which tells us when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake. Our circadian rhythm relies heavily on environmental cues to indicate whether it’s night-time or daytime. Light is one of the most potent cues, so it’s important that your bedroom is dark at night.
When your eyes are exposed to bright light at night, your circadian rhythm may be thrown off. Light gives your brain the signal that it’s daytime — and that you should be awake and alert, even if that’s not the case.
You can keep light out of your bedroom at night by designing lighting strategically. Although a bright overhead light may be great during the daytime or early evening hours, you shouldn’t use it in the hours just before bed. Instead, use a soft lamp that points light downward instead of up into your eyes.
Another significant way to stop light is to block it from your bedroom window. Street lamps, headlights, even moonlight can generate light that can interfere with your sleep. Use blackout curtains that you can close at night when it’s time to sleep, and then open them in the morning for a burst of bright light that can make you feel more alert when you wake up.
Additionally, don’t allow any screen time in your bedroom. Blue light from electronic devices can be exceptionally stimulating. That means you should avoid keeping a TV in your room, and never use a mobile device while you’re in bed. Ideally, you should stop screen time at least an hour before you to go to sleep.
Choose the Right Bedding
Good bedding can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one. If you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, it may be difficult to sleep well. The same is true for sheets that are too hot or scratchy.
Although you may be more concerned about colours, accessories, and furniture choice, it’s important to take care to choose the best options for the bed you’re sleeping on every night.
Carefully consider your mattress choice, looking for a mattress that can meet your needs for firmness, comfort, and support. Also, look at longevity. Latex mattresses last longer than most other types but are more expensive. Additionally, make sure your sheets and comforter are soft and temperature appropriate for the season. Choose a pillow that is supportive and can help align your spine at night.
Don’t put a desk in your bedroom.
If you’re rocking a work from home life balance, it may be tempting to put a desk in your bedroom, so your commute is just feet away from where you sleep. But doing so is not a healthy choice.
Work can be stressful, and it’s important to separate work from where you rest at night. It’s best to put your desk elsewhere, and always avoid working on your laptop or mobile device from the bed.
If you’re short on space and need to put a desk in your bedroom, you should make sure there’s something physically separating your sleep area from your work area. Ideally, you should not be able to see your desk from your bed. That could mean putting a room divider up behind your workspace. Or, you may be able to fit your desk in a closet where you can close the door after you’re done working for the day.
To learn more about everything you need for a decent night’s sleep, visit www.tuck.com