When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? We’re not talking about going to bed and staying there for 8 hours, but proper sleep that has you waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated. Sleep is essential for us to function the next day, and during sleep, our bodily functions wind down, and our minds also take a break for working in over-drive mode.
If you’re waking up feeling more tired than when you went to bed, or you’ve noticed that blissful slumber is something you remember from a long time ago, you may need to take a closer look at what’s in your bedroom. You’re probably asking yourself regularly, “why can’t I sleep?” We’ve found ten things you should never have in your bedroom[i] that are most likely preventing you from getting enough restful sleep each night.
Ever since smartphones entered our lives, we’ve almost become obsessed with checking them every few minutes for the latest juicy bit of news or messages from family and friends. Social media has exacerbated our need to be connected constantly. For one, the blue light emitting from our phones tends to stimulate our brains, making it a lot harder for us to fall asleep, and that’s without the constant buzzing and beeping of incoming messages and other notifications. Keep the phone in the office, study or any place as long as it’s not in your bedroom. While you’re at it, keep all those other electronics out of the bedroom too.
Are you one of those people who likes to fall asleep while watching TV? Some people can doze off in the middle of the day if the TV is on, and while the sound from the TV may lull you into slumber, you most likely won’t e able to stay asleep. What’s worse is that certain sounds coming from the box may awaken you if you finally did manage to nod off. Turn that TV off or, better yet, roll it into another room.
It’s hard enough trying to fall asleep while you’re thinking of what you need to do at work the next day, so why would you want to have your laptop, documents and other work-related odds and ends in your bedroom to distract you? There is a reason why we have working hours, and a little overtime is fine, but once you’re done, put those papers away, power down the laptop and relax. If you have a work desk in your bedroom, move it somewhere else.
Just no! All those TV shows and movies from decades ago romanticised the concept of breakfast in bed, and we’ve somehow turned our bedrooms into a 24-hour restaurant. Think of all those crumbs and spilt beverages under the covers with you. Not only is this unhygienic, but most foods we eat in bed are snacks we eat while watching TV. Sugary and salty processed foods are bad at the best of times, but right before sleeping, they can make us feel thirsty, and this means you’ll be alternating between getting up for a glass of water and getting up to go to the bathroom. People who eat very late at night also tend to gain weight, so there’s another reason to ditch the midnight snacking.
If you must eat before bed[ii], do so in the kitchen and the living room and keep the food light and nourishing. A small sandwich or a bowl of creamy oatmeal is much better for you and may even help you sleep. Better yet, one of the best things to help you sleep is a glass of warm milk before bed. Add some honey and a pinch of nutmeg, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
We all love cuddling with our fur babies, but they do not belong in bed with us. Even the cleanest pets can be infested with fleas and parasites that you don’t want to share your bed with. Animals also have different sleeping patterns to us humans, and you may end up with your puppy waking up to play or start barking at something outside the window. Cuddle your pets before bed, but each of you needs to sleep in your own bed.
How many pillows does one person need? It depends on the person and the pillow. Some people are fine with one pillow, but many like to double up. This is fine as long as you have the right pillows for a healthy sleeping posture. You need to ensure your head is in a comfortable position along with the rest of your body for optimal sleep[iii].
You may be justifying your pile of pillows to prop you up so you can read a few chapters of your favourite book before you go to sleep. Get rid of those pillows and get out of bed to read. A couple of modern tub chairs in the corner of your room should be for reading and once you’re done, take those few steps to bed for the sole purpose of sleeping.
If you’ve been sleeping on the same old mattress for decades, you can probably feel all the lumps and springs poking you in the middle of the night. Even some newer mattress may not be comfy enough to get some decent shut-eye.
Tossing, turning and just not being comfortable are sure signs you need a better mattress. Go to your mattress retailer and test out as many of them as you can before buying a new on.
If your mattress is otherwise in good condition, but you don’t find it very comfortable, you can opt for a memory foam mattress topper.
How close is your bedroom window to the streetlights? It may seem insignificant, but if your bedroom window is too close to the street lights, you need to cover your window at night. The light from the street can fool your mind into believing it’s almost daylight which will play havoc on your sleeping patterns. Cover the windows this thick curations or blinds and block out the light until it’s time for you to get up in the morning.
No one likes to sleep in a bedroom that feels like a freezer, but a room heater is not the answer. Firstly, these small space heaters can be quite noisy, but what is worse, they can also be a fire hazard.
You can improve your sleep by only heating your room for a short time before going to bed but then turn it off. Put on warmer sleeping clothes and get a few more blankets instead of having a heater running all night.
How tidy is your room? If you tend to dump your clothes all over your room and have other things shoved into every corner, you may want to do a bit of a spring clean in your room. Pick up your clothes, throw dirty ones in the wash and tidy up your private sanctuary.
If your room is piled high with clutter, it’s time for a tidy up. We know you don’t see the mess when the lights go out, but that doesn’t mean those piles of clothing and other junk is not secretly haunting you. A tidy room is more serene and peaceful. It also smells a lot nicer when you clear all the clutter, and you’ll feel better in your room.
Now we’re going to move on to something in your bedroom that is stopping you from sleeping, but there’s not much you can do about it. We’re talking about the snoring partner. You can research all the information you want on improving sleep, but if you have a snorer next to you, you might be in trouble.
If your partner snores, try to go to bed and doze off before they do. Believe it or not, most people are only bothered by snoring as it prevents them from actually falling asleep. Once you’re out, you’ll be fine.
Take a bit of time to get the clutter and distractions out of your bedroom so you can get the quality sleep you need. No one needs a phone in their bedroom, and while a TV is cool, it’s also a luxury you don’t need in the bedroom. Keep the décor in your room to a minimum and opt for cool, calming colours that will help you feel relaxed.
Look around your bedroom and if there is anything you’re not happy with, change it as soon as you can. Get the sleep you want and need. You’ll be more comfortable and so the people you encounter every day will be happier too.
Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.