Sleep Environment

12 Sleep Environment Tips for Insomniacs

  • Your bedroom should have a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere for sleeping.Soothing colours for your walls and décor, such as muted, dusty shades of blue, green or yellow are often associated with calmness and relaxation. Keeping your room uncluttered, tidy and clean also helps put your mind at ease when you are trying to sleep. A calm environment helps many people with insomnia.
  • Keep your bedroom as dark as possible while sleeping.Turn off all your light-emitting gadgets and close the blinds. Use blackout blind/curtains or a sleep mask if necessary. And if possible, refrain from reading your tablet, computer or smartphone in the hours preceding sleep.Studies have shown that exposure to room light before bedtime shortens melatonin duration by about 90 minutes compared to dim light exposure. In addition, exposure to room light during usual hours of sleep suppresses melatonin levels by more than 50%. Light can be a significant factor with insomnia.
  • Avoid blue and other types of artificial light. Artificial light mimics natural light and can be a contributing factor in insomnia.
  • Dim lights at least an hour before bedtime. This tells your body it is time to transition into sleep mode. Use blackout curtains-shades or a sleep mask to ensure total darkness for optimal sleep.
  • Keep noise down, as much as possible. If you can’t avoid or eliminate neighbour, traffic, or other noises in your household, try masking it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs may also help. Keep your TV off when sleeping, as changing tones and volumes can interrupt sleep. For some people, eliminating noise can result in a significant improvement in their insomnia.If a pet regularly wakes you during the night, consider keeping it out of your bedroom.
  • Temperature – Keep your room cool, but not cold.Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 60°– 67°F or 18° -20° C ) with good ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interrupt quality sleep and be a contributing factor to insomnia.
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping. By not working, watching TV, or using your computer in bed, your brain associates the bedroom with just sleep and sex, making it easier to wind down at night.
  • Your room isn’t your gym, office, or playroom. To train your mind to associate your bedroom with sleep, get rid of all the stuff that is a potential distraction. Put your treadmill in anotherroom,relocate the computer, work desk, and any other distractions that may be feeding your insomnia.If your bedroom is where your office is, it can keep your mind busy and anxious about work, because you correlate the room with busy work.For people who don’t have sleep problems it doesn’t matter. However, for others it increases their insomnia.
  • Get rid of the TV. It is far too easy to watch your TV before bedtime when it is in the room. Engaging programs can keep your mind awake as you get sucked into the story.TVs emit blue light, which can trick an insomniac’s production of melatonin into slowing down. When there’s light, your body doesn’t produce as much melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep.For the same reasons you shouldn’t have a TV or computer in your bedroom, you also shouldn’t have a tablet, laptop, portable game console, or e-reader in the room either. Most of these devices emit light and distract you from sleeping.
  • Move alarm clocks away from your bed. Adjust the position and location of your alarm clock so the LED clock numbers are facing away from your bed. For many insomniacs the digital display is a constant reminder to look at the time. In turn, they start worrying about losing sleep. Worry turns into anxiety, which leads to even more lost sleep.The best position for your alarm clock is on the other side of the room. This keeps you from worrying about time and prevents you from hitting the snooze button.
  • Cellphones. If you must have your cell phone in your bedroom, eliminate unwanted light at night by flipping your phone over. Many phones light up by an incoming text, email, or push notification, that may distract you from sleep or even wake you from sleep.
  • Check Your Mattress. A poor quality or old mattress can sometimes be a panacea for someone with insomnia. The average life span of a good quality mattress is 8 to 10 years. As a rule, the more severe the insomnia, the more you should spend on a mattress.