RESET #1: OPTIMIZING YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
Before we begin, we want to acknowledge that good sleep is a privilege effected by a multiplicity of things; responsibilities for others (parents, children, etc.), jobs, environment, and living situations.
We know that sleep will never be perfect. This challenge is an attempt to understand how our daily habits, routines, and environments can affect the way we sleep. In turn, we can begin to take steps to promote better sleep and improved overall health.
Every 5 days, we will work to reset one area of sleep promotion, starting with our sleep environment.
Step 1: Design
Do you feel at home, comfortable, and happy in your bedroom? Making your sleeping environment one that makes you feel at ease and is stress-free will help those zzz’s roll in. Try warm, inviting colors; whether that means painting the room your favorite color or just adding an accent rug that feels soft under your feet.
Note: We love the rock n’ roll style of this bedroom but please note, black is not a recommended paint color for your bedroom!
Step 2: Elements
Mattress + Bedding: Make sure your mattress fits the space; find a size that is comfortable for you, but leaves room to move around your space freely. Make sure your mattress is not only comfortable but supportive. A new mattress can be a big investment, and if you’re not ready to make that leap, a topper can be a great short-term solution that saves you $. Find bedding that is temperature regulating and hypoallergenic. Lastly, make sure the pillow you use supports your sleeping position.
Air Quality: It might not be the first thing you think about when creating your best sleep environment, but air quality has a lot to do with your quality of sleep. Fresh air, ventilation, and humidity all affect your sleep quality, and ensuring the air quality is good makes for better zzz’s.
Temperature: Research has shown that excess heat can disrupt your circadian rhythm, so make sure you keep your bedroom at a comfortable 60-71 degrees, erring on the cooler side when possible.
Smell: Certain scents can cultivate a calming and peaceful environment that can promote quality rest. Use the scents you find comforting or calming; We love lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
Sound: A calm and quiet environment promotes restful sleep, but if that isn’t possible for you due to external factors out of your control, consider a white noise machine, calming music, or earplugs.
Light: Light is the most powerful cue for your circadian rhythm. When it’s time for bed, make it a goal to keep the environment free of bright lights or direct sunlight. Blackout curtains can help darken your space, and come in different levels of light blocking dependent on your preference. It’s also important to limit the use of electronic devices, including tablets and cell phones, in your bedroom. The blue light of screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and promote an active mind, making it harder to settle in for sleep.
Polar Watch: Polar Sleep Plus™ sleep tracking helps you visualize the elements that together make up good sleep. Use the tracking elements to find out what your sleep habits, sleep duration and sleep quality are like and fine-tune them, if you feel that’s necessary.
Put 20-30 Minutes aside this week and give your bedroom a sleepover (aka sleep makeover)!