You can’t force sleep, but you can make sure that your environment promotes healthy sleep.  Let’s look into the factors that affect sleep and how can you optimise your bedroom.

Light, noise, temperature, bed comfort and aroma are the factors that affect all your senses – your whole body – and hence, your sleep.  It is crucial to be aware of these factors impact on your sleep.


Keep your bedroom dark

Too much light before going to sleep can affect our biological clock, as it reduces our natural sleep drive. The most important light to avoid is the blue light, which comes from electronic devices. The blue light messes us with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Indoor sources of blue light include:

  • Televisions
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Gaming systems
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs
  • Computer monitors

It’s best to avoid using any electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.

To create the ideal circumstances, you can ensure switching the lights off and only keep small table lamps on right before you go to sleep. You can use dimmed lights or use local lights.

If you are especially sensitive to the light and quickly wake up in the morning with the first sunlight, you can use blackout curtains or even consider using an eye mask.

A great device to use as your night table light is a wake-up light (Philips has many options). These lights not only imitate a sunrise to wake you up in a gentle way; they can also mimic a sunset, slowly preparing your body to sleep.


Keep your bedroom quiet

One of the major distractions to sleep is noise. Although background sounds may relax some people, the volume level must be low enough. Otherwise, waking up often during the night might prevent you from going into deeper stages of sleep. So, if you have a lot of street noise, it would help close the windows or use earplugs. You could make custom made earplugs for maximum comfort and effect.  You also might use a noise-cancelling machine or music to soothe you.


Keep it cool

Research shows that the ideal temperature range for sleeping varies widely among individuals.  People sleep best at the temperature that feels most comfortable. Your body’s temperature decreases during sleep, and a cool (not cold) room will help you settle into and maintain sleep throughout the night.

Extreme temperatures in sleeping environments tend to disrupt sleep. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is commonly more sensitive to temperature-related disruption. For example, in very cold temperatures, we may be deprived entirely of REM sleep.

So make sure to keep the temperature comfortably cool—between 12°C and 22°C—and the room well ventilated. Also, your bedroom should be humid but not too much, with a humidity level of approximately 30- to 50%.

A great way to become sleepy is to take a warm bath (or shower) before bedtime. After that, your temperature will drop and make you sleepy.


♥ Use aromatherapy

Aromas in your bedroom can make a big difference to your sleep quality. Essential oils have many benefits, and promoting sleep is one of them. Essential oils from certain plants are known for their soothing effects—using them at bedtime may help tackle insomnia and promote better sleep.

Lavender is one of the more popular essential oils and is most commonly used for relaxation and sleep aid. Studies have shown that lavender oil can help you fall asleep and improve the overall quality of rest when used before bed.

Other oils that are sleep-inducing are camomile, bergamot, sweet marjoram, clary sage, valerian, sandalwood, Jasmin, ylang-ylang, peppermint.

Begin diffusing lavender oil an hour or so before turning in for the night. You can also rub 1-2 drops on your pillow or apply directly to your feet, temples, and wrists.

When using essential oils, be careful and read the instructions on the label. Misusing essential oils could be harmful.


Keep it comfortable

Your mattress and your pillow’s quality is of high importance when you want to improve your sleep.  The age of your bed and your pillow gives a good indication; when your mattress is older than 10 years, it might be time for a change. It is also good to consider whether your mattress and pillow fit your body well. To know whether it is time for a change, you can again ask yourself whether you often feel stiffness, discomfort or maybe even pain in your body after a night of sleep.


♥ Other ways to improve sleep

One of the most effective ways to improve your sleep is changing your habits before going to sleep. Yet, this is not easy. When it comes to sleep, the change won’t happen overnight. It is essential to be consistent with implementing new patterns.

It takes time for your mind and body to get used to these changes. To make these changes long-lasting, they should also fit your life. Try experimenting at the beginning with what works best for you. For some people who need to work late nights or shifts, the schedule might differ from people with 9 to 5 jobs or people with small children.

You can find more tips in the How to Fall Asleep in 10 Minutes guide.  I  teach three proven relaxation techniques that you can do right before going to sleep or whenever you wake up during the night. Download the guide below.