It’s a commonly known fact that adults between 19-55 years old need about 8 hours of sleep every night. It’s less known that sleep deprivation causes 20% of all car accidents, increases chance of depression ten-fold, and is even correlated to weight gain (source). But regardless of all the facts and figures, we know deep down that a good night’s sleep is just plain good.
There are a lot of ways to improve your sleep between managing your schedule, changing your sleep position or adjusting to disturbances from your partner – but here are a few quick Do’s and Don’ts regarding the space around your bed and how you can improve your sleep and start your day off a little bit better.
DON’T: Keep anything near your bed that gives off light. According to the National Sleep Foundation, ‘exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide-awake.’ This is especially the case with ‘blue light’ – commonly given off by electronics (source). Most people these days use their phone as their alarm clock, but be sure your cell phone screen display is off if it’s next to your bed and any sounds are off that would wake you and prompt you to look at your phone. Most smartphones do have a sleep setting that you can set hours and exceptions according to your schedule and important people who might try to contact you for emergencies.
DO: Keep your habit items on your nightstand. I often forget to take off my earrings before I sleep and I only realize this as my head hits the pillow, so I keep a little jewelry dish on my nightstand to put them in so I don’t have to get back out of bed in fear they roll off and get lost. Think about the things that get you out of the bed when you should be sleeping or winding down for sleep. If you often wake up at night and need water, need to blow your nose, or if your ritual is to read before falling asleep, be sure your item is at your bedside and readily accessible. The goal is to keep your body still and calm before and while you sleep each night and to avoid getting out of bed.
DON’T: Neglect your To-Do list. Counting sheep is better than counting your list of to-dos, but it’s easy to get caught lying awake at night thinking about all the things you need to remember the next day. Be sure to have everything written down and prioritized before you go to sleep, but then put your list away so you think about it no more. Rest easier knowing that in the morning you’ll have your action plan to tackle the day and accomplish everything that you need to accomplish.
DO: Make sure clutter visible from your bed is put away. Stress is a common cause of insomnia (source), so you want to make sure your physical sleeping space is in order. If the first and last thing you see every day is a pile of unfolded laundry or a bunch of paperwork that needs attention, one can feel a lack of control or order, which can hinder a relaxed mindset that’s needed for a good night’s sleep. Take the five minutes before bedtime to clear away the clutter. When you awake, you’ll appreciate a little peace and order and feel that much more prepared to take on the day.
About this blog: Space. Finding more of it isn’t always easy. That’s why each Wednesday at Bneato Bar, we try our darndest to give you more space all while helping you K.I.T. (aka keep it together).