Sleep. We all want more of it, but for some reason it seems to be really hard. Sure, it could be the hectic schedules, the kids who had a bad dream, or because we just had to watch one more Game of Thrones episode. We get it. Even better, we’re here to help.
And you might just be surprised to hear the solution. Turns out, it’s not you should have in your bedroom to create a dream escape. Actually, it’s about what you should NOT have to start getting better rest. Read on for the top five offenders to kick out of the bedroom.
1. Say Bye to the Television
We know, this one hurts us too. There’s nothing we love more than falling asleep to reruns, but the light emitted from the TV suppresses melatonin. This is the hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to start feeling sleepy, which is why it’s crucial to leave the tube to the living room. But if you really must, set a sleep timer to go off 30 minutes after you get in bed, so you can sleep the night away in peace.
2. Remove the Carpeting
If you don’t have allergies you can skip to the next one. However, allergy sufferers unite—and then go ahead and rip out that carpet. This might sound drastic, but soft materials like carpet attract dust mites. For those with allergies, that means congestion that can lead to snoring and poor sleep (not to mention waking up stuffy and with a sore throat). The good news is that area rugs with a low pile are allowed, so you don’t have to sacrifice your personal style. Just be sure to vacuum often.
3. Leave the Smartphone Alone
What? Okay, now we’re just getting out of hand. But seriously, studies show that people who use smartphones in bed are at a higher risk for insomnia. This is mostly because the temptation to reach out and check Instagram or check email is just too great, and the extra stimulation keeps your mind too alert. And just like the TV, it will also suppress your melatonin, sending more signals to the brain to stay energized.
Now we know most people use smartphones as an alarm, so if leaving it out of the bedroom just isn’t an option, try a different solution. At the very least, place it out of reach so your mind can focus on just going to sleep.
4. Avoid Sheer Curtains
We love natural light as much as the next person, but when it comes to the bedroom, darkness is critical to your REM sleep. That means saving the gauzy curtains for the rest of the house, and opting for dark, sturdier fabrics in the bedroom—or even try blackout curtains. Even at night, light pollution from nearby homes or streetlights can interrupt your sleep rhythm, so you won’t feel rested when you wake up. Plus, during the times of year when the sun rises early, this will also draw you out of a deep sleep too soon.
5. Get Rid of the Clutter
A clean room is a happy, well-rested room. Your bedroom is a space that should be pleasing and calm, and clutter is the exact opposite of that. In fact, reports show that a messy environment can have negative effects on your mental wellbeing, and increased anxiety will surely take a toll on your sleep. So that means getting rid of all clutter, from the laundry on the floor to the overcrowding of decorative items on your dresser.