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Some key pillars of our physical and mental health include nutrition, exercise, and sleep. However, these aren’t always easy to manage and can sometimes feel out of our control. Prioritising getting good quality rest (and enough of it) every night will help us to feel more energised and capable throughout the day. Relying on sleeping pills to get in some shut-eye is a route that not many people want to take – and for the right reasons. However, manipulating your environment to create the ideal sleeping haven is a more natural and fantastic way to improve your sleep hygiene.
There’s nothing quite like the sound of the bustling city, traffic, a ticking clock, or your partner’s snoring to fall asleep to, right? Maybe not. Distracting and annoying sounds can have a major impact on how we sleep because they can prevent us from falling asleep in the first place, as well as prevent us from falling into a deep and restful sleep. Sound machines are designed to take care of that problem. By playing white noise or other soothing sounds like rain or the crashing waves of the ocean, these devices will help you fall into a peaceful slumber in no time.
If you didn’t know that your body has an optimal sleeping temperature, you’re not alone. Most people fail to recognise that their body temperature plays a major role in their sleep quality. Studies show that keeping the temperature of your bedroom at around 15–20 degrees Celsius will offer you optimal rest, but it might be a good idea to check out gadgets like bed coolers if you’re interested in taking the control to new levels. Alternatively, many people have reported that taking a cool shower before hopping into bed has had a great impact on their sleep.
Contrary to the role of temperature, many of us do know that lighting can affect your sleep. It’s hard to fall asleep when it’s not quite dark enough and street lights are sneaking in through the curtains. On top of this, light can impact our rest even after we have fallen asleep. This means that although we may have slept through the night, the lighting may have rendered it to low-quality rest and impacted energy levels throughout the day. If you struggle with sleep, it might be a great idea to invest in blackout curtains to truly create a dark sleeping nook out of your bedroom.
We shouldn’t forget that before manipulating our environment, we might need to take a look at our habits and see where we can improve. Building healthy sleeping habits like going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day, avoiding screen time before bed, and giving ourselves time to wind down before we sleep are crucial elements in the sleep hygiene game.
There are so many factors that are within our control when it comes to sleep, so investigate what might need a change in your life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.