Friday, March 4, 2011

7 Tips for Better Sleep

Man yawning in bed because he can't sleep. 

Can't Sleep? Make Your Room a Sleep Sanctuary in 7 Steps

Trouble getting to bed at night? You're not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 13% of American adults report problems sleeping. And there isn't much that's more important to your overall health than good sleep. Luckily, for many, a good night's rest is only a few short steps away. Cure your insomnia by redesigning your room for maximum tranquility.

Tranquil room with blue paint on the walls. 

Choose the Right Color

The color you paint your bedroom walls and the colors you use to decorate can affect the way you feel inside your room and, ultimately, can affect your sleep. Studies have shown that subdued shades of blue and green can elicit feelings of relaxation, calmness, comfort, peace, and hope. Other lighter colors such as peach and tan may also help calm your senses before bedtime.

Hand testing how firm a mattress is. 

Get the Right Bed

When you're spending almost a third of your lifetime in your bed, it makes sense to commit the time and money needed to make sure it meets your needs. When it comes to beds, there's no one-size-fits-all. Find a store that lets you test a mattress for 30 days before buying. Test out different mattresses and pillows to select the right size and firmness for you. If you're waking up stiff or sore, try a new mattress or pillows.

Bedroom with good lighting for sleeping. 

Turn Down the Light

It seems obvious, but making sure your room is dark enough is essential to a night of quality sleep. Turn off or block all light sources, and make sure that you have curtains or blinds on your windows; even street lights and moonlight can wake you up if you're a light sleeper. If you need some light to fall asleep, don't just use any old lamp; get a night light or dimmer switch-controlled lamp that will emit soft, gentle light.

Woman sleeping with the clock turned away from her bed. 

Turn the Clock

A simple but effective adjustment to your bedroom layout – turn your clock so that it faces away from your bed. First of all, if your clock glows, the low light it emits could affect your sleep. Second, watching time slowly tick by as you lie in bed will cause mental stress that keeps you from ever falling asleep.

Man and woman watching tv in bed. 

Get Rid of the TV

And the computer. Your bedroom should be a place of sleep and intimacy, and your electronics can affect both of those. Move your TV out into the living room. If you use your bedroom as a home office, make sure that when you put away your computer, you can put it out of sight. While you're at it, make sure there's no soft blue glow coming from your cell phone or iPod either.

Clean room and closet with clothes organized. 


Organize your closet and shelves so that there aren't piles of clothes and stacks of books lying around your room. Move unfinished projects out of your bedroom so they don't stress you out when you're getting ready for bed. An uncluttered room will lead to an uncluttered mind, less distraction, and easier relaxation.

Woman opening the bedroom window to get some fresh air. 

Clean the Air

Breathing easier will lead to sleeping better. Open the windows regularly to air out your bedroom and get fresh air in and stale air out. Try putting an air-purifying plant or a HEPA-filter air-purifying system in your bedroom to rid the air of toxins and allergens. Finally, consider aromatherapy; mist your pillow with water infused with lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, bergamot, or chamomile to soothe your senses before bedtime.

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