You’ve probably heard that your immediate environment affects your mood and health, but did you know that it impacts your sleep quality, too?
Apparently, sweet dreams are made of home, sweet homes, but contrary to common misconceptions, the list of factors that affect the quality and duration of our Zzzs doesn’t stop with the bed and linens. Other environmental aspects, such as bedroom colour scheme, light intensity, temperature, sound levels and the presence of electronic devices, can make or break a good night’s rest. But while an odd sleepless night may sound like a trifling concern, sleep deprivation shouldn’t be taken lightly, because it can lead to daytime drowsiness, focus dips and an increased risk of accidents as well as a whole host of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
To stay on the safe side of the bed, make sure your home is designed with superior sleep quality in mind – and here’s how you can do it.
Colours of a Good Night’s Rest
Colours affect human mood and alertness, which is why you should be careful when choosing the colour scheme and furniture for the master bedroom. Although any soothing bedroom paint will work nicely, a 2013 study found that blue is the best colour to use when decorating your sleeping area, since the hue has a calming effect on the nervous system and can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are essential for optimal sleep quality.
Optimal Room Temperature
It can be tough trying to fall asleep when you’re shivering with cold; or sweating your pyjamas off for that matter. According to Sleep.org, the temperature that is most conducive to a good night’s sleep ranges between 60°F and 67°F. If you don’t want to spend nights counting sheep, you should aim to set the thermostat to a slightly cooler than average room temperature to prompt your body to go into shutdown mode and help you fall asleep faster.
Best Lights for Light Sleepers
Lighting type and intensity is another important environmental factor that impacts the quality and duration of your sleep. As a 2014 whitepaper by GE Lighting states, lighting can strengthen or disrupt the circadian rhythm, so homeowners who want to take their sleep game to the next level may want to invest in quality light solutions, such as LED or CFL lights. For bonus nighttime peace, energy-saving lighting will also help cut long-term utility costs, taking another worry off your drowsy mind.
Make Your Bed…and Lie in It
Your mattress, pillow and bedding also play a role in the quality of your nighttime rest. Fortunately, the range of first-rate bedware available on the market is impressive, so finding a quality latex mattress or memory foam pillow shouldn’t be a problem, regardless of your budget size. To hack superior sleep quality and long-term wellbeing, it would be smart to get hypoallergenic bedware and have the mattress steam-cleaned at least twice a year.
In the (Not Too) Silent Night
For some people, the dead of night isn’t exactly a byword for peaceful dreams. While noise isn’t best buddies with a good night’s sleep, silence can sometimes be louder than noisy neighbours. If you’re fidgeting in your bed and silence is standing between you and the realm of dreams, you can try playing a soothing bedtime melody or getting a white noise machine to serve as a lullaby in nights when the Sandman appears to be off duty.
Breathe in Sandman’s Dust
Sandman’s dust is in the bedroom air – or is it? The air quality of your home can impact alertness and focus, and as such is essential for proper sleep. For people suffering from allergies and conditions such as sleep apnoea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an air purifier and dehumidifier can make a difference between another sleepless night and a good rest, so be sure to clean the air in your bedroom of nightmares and air pollutants.
Screen Lights Out, Please!
If you’re staring at your smartphone every evening before turning in, it’s small wonder you still have any sleep left in you. Studies have found that exposure to blue light emitted by screens such as PCs, tablets, or smartphones, suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone responsible for circadian rhythm function. The solution? If you want to read at bedtime, grab a hardback, not an e-book: the latter will only add blue-lit fuel to the flames of your sleep woes.
Environmental factors such as colour, temperature, light intensity, air quality and noise levels can all chip off chinks of a good night’s rest, so if you want to make sure you don’t spend a single night tossing and turning in the bed, don’t hesitate to tweak your home using the tips listed above.
Chloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a young blogger. She is passionate about art, psychology, health and life in all its forms. Her biggest dream is to travel the world, take stunning photographs of beautiful places, meet amazing people and write down their stories. Chloe enjoys learning and writing about various aesthetics and health related topics. Sometimes she likes to leave her comfort zone and write about something totally different, personal and engaging.