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How to Design a Bedroom Oasis for Better Sleep

Bright bedroom oasis

Bright bedroom oasis

Falling asleep or staying asleep is one of the more difficult things for many Americans. The Center for Disease Control released a report in 2016 that said almost one in every three adults don't get the proper amount of sleep. This lack of sleep contributes to a variety of conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.

So how can you make your bedroom a place of calm and relaxation? A place that you want to spend time getting better sleep? A bedroom oasis? Here are some tips to get you on the right path.

Temperature Control

For anyone who shares a bedroom, one of the hardest things to agree on is the temperature of your bedroom. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that your thermostat is around 65 degrees. The reason for setting your thermostat so low is because, during the evening, your body temperature rises and falls with your sleep patterns. Keeping it low will ensure that you remain asleep as your body temperature increases.

White Noise: Yes or No?

Will the sound of the ocean's waves pounding against the surf lull you to sleep or keep you asleep? Is the sound of rain that calming sensation you need to go to bed? Sound machines are often used for babies and toddlers to help them sleep, and Prevention Magazine says that as many as 5% of Americans are using them too.

The scientific community is still undecided as to whether they genuinely help lull you to sleep or keep you asleep but think of it as insurance against what could happen. If you are in an area with high traffic and outside noises, a sound machine could provide the right amount of background sound to drown out any of those disturbances.

Blackout Shades

Blackout shades, shades that keep all the light out of your bedroom, provide a dual purpose. First and foremost, they keep the sun out. However, unlike room darkening shades, they also keep the temperature stable in your room. Since one of the first rules to consider is maintaining the temperature at around a chilly 65 degrees, this could help with your cooling bills in the summer and heating bills in the winter. Installing room darkening shades is most important in the summer months when the sun may not set until late in the evening and sunrise comes sooner than you think.

Keep the Electronics Out of the Bedroom

As we bring more and more of our work home with us and our tendency to send those last minute emails about carpools and to do lists increases the closer we are to bedtime, we tend to bring our tablets, phones, and other blue light products with us to bed. A recent WebMD article reminds us that as humans, our body clock tends to wind up and down with the sun. If we start to interfere with the natural rhythms of our body clock, we make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. The article suggests that you should get about three hours of "darkness" before falling asleep. While darkness doesn't mean sitting in the dark, it does recommend removing or dimming any products that give off light. It helps our body wind down just before bedtime.

The Best Sheets for You

As you think about the sheets you put on your bed, be reminded that you want to maintain a comfortable temperature in your bedroom oasis. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you look for sheets with a lower thread count. Higher thread count sheets tend to trap the heat. Cotton, bamboo, and linen are surefire bets to keeping you on the cooler side when you sleep.

Stay away from human-made materials like polyester or rayon and other materials like satin or sateen. While these fabrics may look and feel nice at first touch, sleeping on them can make you sweat.

Consider Concepts of Feng Shui When Possible

Feng Shui is a Chinese belief that takes into account the positioning of objects around them to encourage a good flow of energy. One of the first and most important rules of Feng Shui when it comes to sleep is to be sure that your headboard is against the wall. It's thought to provide stability and security to the sleeper. If you can keep your bed away from facing any doors, this is optimal. If you face the entrance way, it is reminiscent of the old phrase, "they'll have to take me out of here feet first." Also facing the bathroom door is not ideal either for obvious reasons.

Where should you place your bed? It is different for everyone and should adjust according to your Kua number. Check out this article for more information on how to arrange your bedroom and your home according to Feng Shui.

Keep Your Space Free and Clear

How do you feel when you walk into a space that is full of clutter? You might feel overwhelmed or have the urge to clean. Whatever emotions it conjures up in you, think of that when you enter your bedroom. You may look at it and think, "There is so much stuff in here I feel trapped." Or maybe you think about all the laundry you need to do when you see a week's worth of clothes on your chair or floor.

Keeping your bedroom space clean helps to free your mind of clutter. It keeps your mind from racing about all the things you have to do over the next few days. And it preserves your sleep space as a bedroom oasis rather than a storage closet.

Make Your Bed in the Morning

If you haven't already had the chance to read Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) book entitled, "Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World", this is a must-read. In this book, he states that the simple act of making your bed in the morning can provide you with a more positive attitude and a feeling like you are ready to take on the world. Sleep experts agree that making your bed in the morning can lead to a better night's sleep. Combine this with the idea that reading a book before bedtime is a great way to unwind and take this book to bed with you to help inspire better sleep.

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