New or expecting, moms are tired. Like, tired with a capital T. And much to our chagrin, the reality of motherhood is that a lot of the time, the answer isn’t to simply “get more sleep.” Because there’s no time for more sleep–or no feasible way to convince your newborn to sleep through the night.
We know that the amount of hours you have to sleep may be limited, so we want to help you maximize them in every way possible. The name of the game: optimizing your sleep quality. And it all starts before your head even hits the pillow! Yep, the often overlooked factor of your bedroom environment has a lot to do with how well you’re able to fall asleep, stay in slumber, and wake up refreshed.
There are a few things you can do to create a more relaxing and restful vibe in your bedroom–rom colors to lighting, air flow to tidiness, and even finding the ideal temperature. These are our 8 tips to help you to make your sleep space that much more spa-like and inviting; because when you do finally get the chance to sleep, you want to make the most of it! Get ready to rest easy…
1. Keep Your Space Tidy
Having a home that is organized and relatively clutter-free can do wonders for your stress levels. When our living spaces are messy it leads to feeling overwhelmed, drained, and anxious – even if we’re unaware of it. There is actually such a thing as clutter fatigue, but don’t go thinking that having a messy bedroom make you tired and ready to sleep. It’s just the opposite! Those increased feelings of stress that arise from having an unorganized space might just be impacting the quality of your sleep through the night.
If you’ want to Marie Kondo your home, start with your bedroom. Clean out your closet, make sure everything has a home, and invest in containers to keep everything organized. Make your bed every morning, and pick things up before they create mess–it’ll make your clean space much easier to maintain.
2. Get The Lighting Right
Your sleep cycles are tied to your circadian rhythm, and that is largely dictated by patterns of daylight. Mimicking sunrise and sunset in your bedroom can be a great way to help you fall asleep soundly and wake up more easily in the morning. If you can, set your lights to a timer where they turn off or dim right before bed, and then turn on right before waking up – you’ll be amazed by the difference it can make. Then, when sleeping try to keep your space as dark as possible (this is really good for helping baby sleep through the night as well!). Blackout curtains are one of the best bedroom investments you can make if you don’t have them already.
3. Find A Calming Color
Did you know that blue is a naturally calming color? One theory on why a trip to the seaside is so relaxing is that we have an affinity for the color blue. Regardless of where you’re from, chances are you most likely associate the color blue with peacefulness, openness, and satisfaction. Splashes of soft blue hues can instantly create zen-like feelings…and who wouldn’t want that in their bedroom? You don’t need to go all-out and repaint your walls, but you can freshen up your bedroom decor with some splashes of cerulean and accents of azure – whether it’s fresh throw pillows, blankets, bedding, artwork, or area rugs – the options are endless!
4. Use Soothing Sounds
When you finally get to bed, you may be ready for the sweet sound of silence. But sometimes silence can be a bit too quiet. Try playing some relaxing music as you go through your bedtime routine–research suggests that the most relaxing tunes start out at our resting heart rate – around 60-70 beats per minute – and gradually slow to 50 beats per minute. This slowing cadence can actually work to slow our own heart rate and calm us down. While you’re sleeping, you don’t want dynamic sounds in the background – such as TV or radio as it can keep your brain activated when it should be going through rest cycles. But you can benefit from ambient sounds! If there are disruptive noises you want to drown out, try using white noise, the sound of rain, or even the hum of a fan to keep you moving through your sleep cycles uninterrupted.
5. Focus On Feeling Fresh
Having air circulated through your room will help keep things feeling fresh and light. There’s nothing worse than having stale smells and heavy air lingering in your room – and it will make it a place you don’t enjoy being in. Whether you pick up a fan, humidifier, or air purifier – make a habit of turning it on a few hours before bed so you can have a nice fresh space to sleep in.
6. Stay Cool To Stay Asleep
The best ambient temperature for getting a good night’s sleep is generally lower than people expect it to be. The ideal temperature for sleep is actually right around 18˚C (or 65˚F). It may sound chilly, but your body temperature actually needs to decrease in order to fall and stay asleep – and lower room temps can help trigger that process. Of course, everyone is a bit different so feel free to play around with this until you find the best temperature balance for your body.
7. Consider Your Clothing
We’re spending a lot of time thinking about external factors that’ll make us comfortable–but what about the clothes you’re wearing? Take a moment to go through your collection of pajamas. Toss or donate old pairs that don’t fit properly, aren’t comfortable, and you don’t enjoy wearing. Feeling comfortable when you get into bed will help you fall asleep more easily–and choosing the right pajamas will prevent you from waking up feeling way too hot or cold.
8. Disconnect From It All
Make your bedroom a screen-free space, especially if you want a good night’s sleep. This goes for TV’s, laptops and yes…your phone. Making your bedroom a space that is meant only for relaxing, unwinding, and sleeping will be helped so much by removing the temptation of staying connected to the outside world. If you use your phone as a daily alarm then swap it for an alarm clock! Simple changes like this can have a really powerful impact on your sleep health. If you are going to keep your phone in your bedroom, try to leave it face down and across the room at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
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