Do you find yourself lying in bed, staring into the ceiling while waiting for sleep to come? Do you feel envious of people who doze right after they hit the hay? I’ve been there and it’s one of the most frustrating things to stress oversleep, which is supposed to be a relaxing activity. I improved my sleep immensely once I used some bedroom into sleep cave hacks. It’s simpler than you think.
Reasons You Are Finding it Hard to Fall Asleep
- You’re overstimulated
When you are overstimulated before bedtime, the body finds it hard to wind down. The culprit could be exercising too late in the evening to playing video games. Even conflict and verbal spats can trigger overstimulation that makes the body produce adrenaline.
- Your room doesn’t feel relaxing
Your bedroom should feel inviting and cozy. If your bedside lamp gives off harsh light or the temperature is too warm, that can affect the onset of sleep.
- There’s too much clutter
A cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind. An unmade bed with objects in disarray feels chaotic, making it hard to relax.
- You work in the bedroom
Especially in a global pandemic, people find it difficult to draw the line between work and home. If you use your laptop in bed, it signals to the brain that the bedroom is a workspace, making it harder for the body to shut down at night.
- You have an inconsistent routine
Getting under the covers at wildly different times, as well as not having a set period to get up in the morning, is disorienting to the brain. Your body has an internal clock that helps you feel sleepy at a certain time, that is if you have a consistent sleep schedule.
- You let your dogs go on the bed
Cuddling your pet may relieve anxiety and stress but letting them sleep on the bed can disrupt your sleep. Studies show people who sleep with a dog in bed wake up more frequently throughout the night.
- Your room is too hot and humid
Sweating makes it hard to fall asleep but freezing conditions will keep you up as well. Your bedroom needs to have the right temperature so you can settle into a good slumber.
- You are looking at a screen before bedtime
Using electronics during bedtime is detrimental to falling asleep quickly. Watching television or fiddling with a smartphone when lying down exposes you to blue light that disrupts the sleep cycle.
Ways to Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep Cave
Set-Up Proper Lighting
- Use block out curtains or a sheet over the window to avoid light creeping in
Even when they’re closed, our eyes are sensitive to light. Pitch darkness is most conducive to sleep. If this isn’t possible, you can fake it by using opaque or blackout curtains over your windows. That’s guaranteed to make you feel drowsier.
- A few hours before bedtime, try and avoid blue light (tv and phone screens)
However, the above tip won’t work if you expose yourself to the blue light that emanates from screens. Put away electronic devices before settling into the covers. Avoid stimulation from them a few hours before you sleep.
Remove the Clock from the Room
Watching minutes and hours slip by as you lie wide awake can stress you out and delay sleep even further. Nothing induces as much panic as realizing you’ve spent more than an hour alert in the early hours of morning. Turn your alarm clock so it faces away from you or better yet, keep it out of reach.
If you want an alternative to analog and digital alarm clocks that rudely interrupt your sleep, check out natural sunrise alarm clocks like this one. It radiates light, simulating the rays of the morning sun, to wake you up gradually. It even has five nature sounds that gently increases after your alarm goes off. The light therapy clock also dims once you’ve switched off the lights.
Add a Sleep Scent
- Try lavender
Spas use aromatic oils to induce relaxation in their customers. Replicate this by adding a sleep scent to your room. A whiff of lavender can calm you down and decrease your blood pressure and heart rate. It’s proven to bring about deep sleep. Add a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or tuck in lavender sachets so you get a waft of the soothing aroma as you sleep.
- Consider an electronic diffuser that disperses essential oils all night long
If you want to step it up a notch, consider getting an electronic essential oil diffuser. After you fill it with a few drops of essential oil, it mists the fragrance around the entire room. This diffuser also acts as a humidifier and adjustable lamp with 8 mood lights to choose from. It works throughout the night, filling your room with the sedating aroma of lavender or your preferred scent.
Get the Right Bedding
- Splurge on some luxurious sheets
Prioritize comfort in the place where you spend a third of your life: your bed. Soft, high quality beddings are some of the best investments I made for good sleep. A supportive mattress isn’t as inviting if you have scratchy sheets. Splurge on luxurious linens that feel good on the skin. Stiff beads and rough sequins are more suited for the living room. Concentrate on comfort more than looks when it comes to choosing the right bedsheets. The right hues can also make your sleep cave cozier. Choose a soft and calming color palette that’s easy on the eyes.
- Use a silk pillowcase
Next, wrap your pillow in a silk case. They have that sumptuous feel and reduce friction when you toss and turn. A silk pillowcase is also anti-aging because it doesn’t tug at your skin as much as cotton or other fabrics. Sleeping on silk can lull you into slumber because it’s gentle on the skin and feels like sleeping on a cloud.
This is one of our favorites.
- Try a weighted blanket
My next tip is to get a weighted blanket. This can cure a multitude of sleep discomforts. Weighted blankets can mimic touch as it presses on you. The pressure encourages the release of serotonin which regulates sleep. It also helps your body produce oxytocin which reduces stress. The weight of the blanket promotes stillness, thereby eliminating restlessness. It can also help you mentally prepare for sleep by decreasing anxiety and racing thoughts.
- If you’re sleeping with a partner, try using separate blankets
Getting a separate blanket if you sleep next to a partner can help you sleep better. This solves the problem of playing tug of war with the sheets if one partner keeps the duvet to himself. One-third of American couples say their sleep is disturbed because of their partner. Getting your own blanket helps you adjust to the room’s temperature especially if you don’t agree on the thermostat.
- Make your bed every day
I also recommend you get in the habit of making your bed first thing in the morning. I’m not your mom but even experts have found that this is a good habit to develop for better sleep. They’re not sure why this is exactly but I think getting the chore out of the way leads to less stress at night. Seeing your perfectly arranged pillows and sheets when you enter your clean room is definitely a good way to end the day.
Tune Into the Right Temperature
Your body temperature rises and falls throughout the day. When it’s closer to bedtime, your temperature decreases. That’s why it’s important to make sure the room temperature is conducive to relaxation. If there’s too much heat, it disrupts your body temperature. Experts recommend 65 degrees.
- Invest in a quiet fan
If you sleep hot, you may want to buy a quiet fan to increase airflow without disrupting your sleep. You’ll appreciate this especially if you live in a humid climate and wake up with sweat beads on your forehead. Even light sleepers won’t be awakened by the nearly silent whirr of a high quality fan.
- Open a window
Allow fresh air to enter your room by opening the window for a few minutes in the morning. This can clear out stuffy air so you sleep better.
Consider a Sleep Mask
Sleep masks aren’t just for long haul flights. They’re underrated tools for a good snooze. This eye mask is comfortable because it doesn’t press on the eyes too much. It’s made of breathable silk and the mask covers almost half of your face, so the light won’t get in. The strap is adjustable so you can get the right fit for your head.
These are some changes I made that turned my bedroom into a sanctuary. All the little details do make a difference. Once I realized what I was doing wrong, I slowly turned things around, making tweaks here and there. I’m definitely closer to sleep nirvana and feel more rested every day.
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