Creating a Sleep-Friendly Space

A well-planned sleep environment can be the secret to a good night's rest. Regardless of where you sleep, the right setup can greatly increase the amount you sleep as well as your sleep quality. Consider these suggestions when designing your sleep-inducing space.

Temperature

The slight rise and fall of body temperature signals your body to feel awake or drowsy. Lower body temperatures cue your body for rest, so keeping a cooler sleep environment can enhance your sleep. Typically, experts suggest temperatures around 65°F for greatest sleep quality, although it is important to discover the temperature that is best for you.

Noise

Loud noises can affect the quality of your sleep regardless if you remember waking up to them. Heavy curtains, waxy earplugs as well as "white noise", such as fans or softly playing relaxing music, are great ways to block out unwanted noise.

Technology

Removing electronics from your bedroom can help you associate your bed with relaxation rather than alertness. In addition, exposure to artificial light from technology use can stimulate brain activity. Try turning off electronics at least an hour before bedtime.

Light

Light and dark cues signal our body when to rise and when to rest. Controlling the lighting in your bedroom can greatly enhance your sleep quality. Keep light to a minimum at night, using darkening curtains or shades when necessary, and limit exposure to artificial lighting such as the glow from television or computer.

Comfort

Whether you prefer firm or soft sleeping surfaces, it is important that your bed and pillows keep your spine in alignment. Some experts recommend memory-foam mattresses and ergonomic pillows for optimal spine support. Also, try to replace your mattress and box springs every 8-10 years to decrease your likelihood of neck and back pain.

Fine tune your sleep environment to create the perfect conditions for a great night's sleep—every night!