Iowa Sleep Blog

Healthy Sleep Habits: Preparing Your Bedroom for Sleep

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Over the past few weeks, we’ve blogged about the most common tips for getting a good night’s sleep. We at Iowa Sleep want—more than anything—to help you learn what steps you can take to better improve your sleep and the reasons behind each step.

Creating a calming oasis in your bedroom should be a top priority when decorating. In fact, it should be one of the most relaxing places in your home. Your mind should be at ease the minute you walk through your bedroom door. There are many simple ways to achieve this that don’t involve a lot of effort, such as using calming color schemes like blues, greys, purples and greens for your walls and décor. Or, you can decorate with soothing candles, cozy rugs and personal mementos. If you have ideas for a fun, bright design, use it in a “lively” part of the house like the kitchen or living room instead of your bedroom. Here are a couples more ideas for creating a slumber heaven in your bedroom.

Move the Clutter
If you have a desk with lots of files on it, disorganized shelves of books or piles of clothes everywhere; it could affect your sleep. Move your office to another area of your home if possible, or hide it behind a decorative screen. Also, try to make your bed each morning so when you come home from a long day at work or school, a fresh looking bed awaits. By keeping your room clean, you can keep your mind clear and ready to relax instead of focusing on how messy everything is.

Keep Your Room Cool and Quiet
Many people struggle to fall asleep because they keep their bedroom temperatures too high. The National Sleep Foundation determined the best temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees. An easy way to prepare your body for sleep is to gradually reduce the temperature throughout the evening before heading to bed. The same can be said for a room that is too loud at night. Falling sleep to a late night talk show or with the radio on can actually keep you up longer instead of helping you fall asleep.

Put Pets in Their Own Place
As temping as it is to cuddle with Fido or Fifi, try not to make a habit of sleeping each night with your pet. Having a pet in your bed is almost harder than sleeping with a partner because as you move throughout the night, your pet moves with you. More often than not, you’ll find you sleep worse when your pet shares the bed. Get your loyal companion a fluffy bed of their own, or designate “cuddle time” before you are ready for bed.

Turn Down the Lights
A simple, but undervalued trick is to keep your room as dark as possible. The Better Sleep Council suggests installing blackout shades on your windows to keep out light, as well as covering up LED-lit electronics that may distract from falling sleep. Similar to dropping the temperature, dimming the lights as you approach your bedtime helps to wind down your mind. Installing softer bulbs in your bedside lamps or a dimmer switch in your room can help as well.

When you’re crawling into bed after a long Monday at school or work, statistically the worst night for sleep, consider one of these easy changes to your bedroom for a better night’s sleep.