4 Simple Tips To Create A Sleep Sanctuary
Millions of Americans suffer every single day from the health consequences that come with not getting enough sleep. From a short cold to chronic illness, the detrimental side effects of being overworked and under rested are real, and we are feeling them.
Sleep is your body’s time to rejuvenate and heal, and without ample sleep, your body cannot heal itself, repair damage, and properly digest. According to Sleep Expert and ITN Faculty member Shawn Stevenson, in order to get the best quality sleep, we need to turn our bedroom into a “Sleep Sanctuary” for that exact purpose.
In his book, Sleep Smarter, Shawn says, “When you picture a sanctuary, what do you think of? Fresh air, flowing water, beautiful plants and a serene environment. The good news is that these are all things you can re-create in your own private sleep sanctuary.”
Below are four simple tips from Sleep Smarter that you can implement to create a sleep sanctuary and begin improving your sleep.
4 SIMPLE TIPS TO CREATE A SLEEP SANCTUARY
1. IMPROVE THE AIR QUALITY IN YOUR BEDROOM
Get at least one houseplant for your room and move your air purifier into your bedroom at night. Don’t have an air purifier? Consider investing in one! You can’t control the pollutants in the air you breathe all day outside and at work, but this is one-third of your life where you can.
Respiration (aka breathing) is also one of the primary ways your body detoxifies and cleanses itself of toxins, so making sure you’re breathing in clean air is an important way to support this process!
2. CREATE A NO WORK ZONE
For the average person, work is the number one cause of their daily stress, and it’s important to draw a boundary for yourself and not allow that stress to bleed over into the sanctuary you’ve reserved for sleeping and resting. If you share the bedroom with someone else, come to an agreement about designating another space in the house for work activities, and keep it out of the bedroom.
3. LIMIT BEDROOM ACTIVITIES TO TWO THINGS
Many experts agree that the bedroom should be reserved for two things and two things only: sleep and sex. Relaxation and sexual intimacy can lead to the release of hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, vasopressin, and prolactin, all of which play important roles in sleep, pair-bonding, and our overall response to stress. Working to keep the good moods in the bedroom (and keeping stress out) is an important step in training your body to feel comfortable and rested when you lay in bed each night.
4. GO DARK
The two most common culprits for keeping our brain stimulated and in a state of unrest are sunlight and blue light. One study from Cornell University even showed that illuminating a patch of skin the size of a quarter was enough to affect the subject’s body temperature and melatonin secretion! Can you believe it?!
This means that black-out curtains and removing technology are a must if you want your brain to understand that it’s time to sleep. Phones, laptops, tablets, and anything else that produces blue light should be turned off or silenced and put away at least an hour before bedtime.
It’s important to remember that humans are creatures of habit and habitat, and our bodies react accordingly. If you immediately begin to remove stress-inducing activities from the bedroom and create a space of calm and connection, you will see immediate improvements.
And eventually, you will begin to feel a sense of calm just by being in that space.
Have you already implemented some sleep-friendly changes in your bedroom? What differences have you noticed? Share with us in the comments below!