Creating the perfect sleep environment is a personal practice and since it forms part of our nightly routine, we’re taking a look at the science involved in creating the perfect sleeping conditions.
The environment in your bedroom is crucial to the amount and quality of sleep that you get. There are many ways that you can alter your sleeping environment to increase the quality of your sleep. For example, not watching TV and not using screens for an hour before sleeping could help you to drift off. Studies have shown that the blue light from screens can prevent melatonin production in your body, meaning that your body doesn’t start producing the important hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy before bed.
Ensuring that there is soft lighting in your room and not interacting with a screen for at least an hour before going to sleep means that you can give melatonin the chance to work naturally. In the morning, open the curtains or blind early in order to wake up properly, as this will stop the body’s production of melatonin.
A study by Travelodge into the use of paint colours in bedrooms and the subsequent effect on sleep yielded some very interesting results. They found that the participants that slept for the longest had blue walls, a colour associated with feelings of calm. Warm colours, such as yellow, also proved to have a similar effect. Interestingly, those with purple walls slept for the shortest amount of time, as it is thought that the colour encourages creativity and stimulates the mind.
We’ve heard that it’s better to sleep in a cold room, but a study from Dr Eus van Someran and colleagues from the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience found that there is a delicate balance between hot and cold. Being cool when going to bed helps the body to realise that it’s time to go to sleep, however, if you’re cold enough to be shivering then you won’t be sleeping deeply enough. We recommend sleeping in clean cotton pyjamas and layering duvets, sheets and throws so that you can adjust your temperature should you need to.
Creating the perfect sleeping conditions also involves the scents you can smell and the sounds you can hear. Essential oil diffusers are a good way of winding down after a long day, and when used before bed can help to ease stress and tension. We love one or a combination of Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, Jasmine, Rose and Sandalwood.
There are many different factors that could affect your quality of sleep, including the effects of age, psychological stressors and stimulants such as caffeine. For more information on sleep hygiene, head to Web MD. What are your most effective sleep tips? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter using #Snoozology to join the conversation.