The surrounding environment can have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep. And considering how important sleep is to our health, optimising your sleep space should likely be a top priority. This is particularly true if restorative sleep is something that often eludes you.
We all have our own unique preferences when it comes to the environment we sleep in. Some prefer absolute silence while others a background of calming ocean sounds. Some like to keep temperature down and nestle into thick blankets all year round while others prefer to let natural air circulate. Regardless of these specific partialities, there are a few universal tips that you can employ to foster a healthier sleep space.
The vast majority of us feel anxious about clutter and disorganisation. So, if you are looking around your bedroom and only seeing things you need to pick up, it is likely detracting from the quality of your sleep. Take some time to declutter your sleep space and notice how much calmer you feel in a clean and tidy environment. Consider what you actually need on your bedside table and what can be put away. You may even like to spring clean your wardrobe at the same time.
2. Consider lighting
Light affects melatonin, our sleep hormone production. Ideally you want to keep bright lights to a minimum through the evening and keep any light at bay through the night. Swap your white light bulbs (which emit a blue light) for warmer bulbs. You may even like to try a red or amber light which simulate a more relaxing, natural light akin to fire or candlelight. If there is light pollution that shines through your window, you may benefit from installing blackout blinds to ensure your room is as dark as possible while you sleep.
3. Keep your room well ventilated
Regardless of the temperature you prefer, air flow is incredibly important through the night. A fan can help to keep air circulating and is a wonderful addition even if you prefer to sleep with the air conditioning or heating going as well. Ideally, have a window open—even just a crack—to allow natural air in through the night. And make sure that you open everything up to encourage optimal ventilation throughout the day.
4. Make your sleep space a ‘technology free’ zone
The backlighting from our devices emits a blue light which, as we’ve already shared, suppresses melatonin. So, try to avoid devices and televisions where you sleep. If you rely on your mobile to wake you up in the morning, you might like to invest in an old school alarm clock to put on your bedside table. Otherwise, putting your alarm on in another room (where you can still hear it) can be the perfect incentive to get out of bed in the morning!
5. Invest in an eco mattress
Conventionally made mattresses are made from synthetic materials that can emit what is known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—toxins that include formaldehyde, naphthalene and benzene. In addition, the synthetic materials used to make these mattresses are highly flammable so chemical fire retardants are applied to reduce their flammability. Both VOCs and the chemical fire retardants can cause problems with our health, from minor irritations through to more considerable issues such as a disruption to thyroid function.
Eco mattresses, on the other hand, are comprised of only natural materials. Primarily using substances such as pure latex, Tencel®, wool or cotton, these organic compounds are naturally resistant to mites. Since they are not highly flammable, they also do not need the application of fire retardants. An eco mattress can significantly improve the health of your sleep space by reducing the amount of potentially harmful substances you might be breathing in while you sleep.
6. Choose your sheets wisely
In the same way that sleeping on an eco mattress can positively impact the health of your sleep environment, so to can the sheets you sleep in. Sheets are also often treated with flame retardant chemicals meaning that organic may be the only way to avoid this too. Choose natural fabrics over synthetic and, where possible, opt for natural or organic as these materials offer natural breathability to help you regulate your temperature through the night. Our sheets sets are made with 100% Tencel® which is an environmentally sustainable fibre made from the pulp of Eucalyptus trees.
7. Dust your room regularly
Run your finger over a surface that has not been cleaned in a while and it will come away covered in dust. While this is something that cannot be avoided, the accumulation of dust can irritate sinuses and cause reactions. Keep your sleep space regularly dusted to ensure it’s as clean as possible.