Do you toss and turn at night? It can be beyond frustrating to lie there and you just can’t fall asleep. You try rolling over, then fluffing the pillow, adjusting blankets and… nothing! Maybe you’re the type that your mind is racing. You’re thinking of your “to-do” list for tomorrow and all the items you missed completing today. Trust me I understand. I’ve struggled myself with sleep off and on. Anytime I feel this, I do a review of my bedroom. What is it that’s preventing me from sound sleep?
In the list below I highlight my top 6 Things Preventing You from Restful Sleep. I have found these to be some of the top culprits. Before bed tonight I invite you to take inventory of your space too.
6 Things Preventing You from Restful Sleep
1. Bedding - Do you feel just oh-so comfortable when climbing into bed? If your bed is lumpy and old or pillows are the thickness of pancakes, you’re definitely not going to get a great nights sleep. Begin by thinking about HOW you sleep. Are you a side sleeper? Back or belly sleeper? Be sure to have pillows and a mattress good for your sleep style. Regarding the bed linens, I always recommend that you buy the best that you can afford. Get bedding that feels REALLY GOOD when you climb in. You’re spending hours in the same space. Would you buy the cheapest pair of shoes if you knew you’d be walking in them for 6+ hours a day?
2. Lighting – Lighting in your space can greatly affect your sleep. Is there a blue glow from an alarm clock? Maybe a red blinking light of a television in the corner? These both can prevent you from sleeping. Turn the clock so it is not facing you. You can even place a small piece of black tape over a blinking light too. If the moonlight or nearby streetlights affect your sleep look into room darkening or blackout blinds or shades.
3. Sounds – If you’re not a deep sleeper and sounds keep you awake, consider a sound machine. Years ago, we lived on a rather busy street and every Saturday night I’d be woken up at 2AM by motorcycles speedy by. Even though I began to know it was coming, it would startle me awake and then I couldn’t return to sleep. Some white noise in the background can make a huge difference if you live in a noisy area or on a busy street.
4. Textures – What textures feel good to you? Consider textures of your bedding, décor and even pajamas. Make sure they’re all a material that feel good. Natural bamboo bedding is really comfortable. Hemp sheets are also gaining in popularity and I also know of a company that makes comforters using milk week in place of down for those that are sensitive. Search out natural materials and textures that feel cozy and you’re sure to melt into bed.
5. Colors – Of course colors are important! You can find a Pinterest post of soothing bedroom colors almost daily. In Feng Shui we like to use colors that are either close to your skin tone or colors that compliment the bedroom placement in a Bagua Map. Either way, opt for a soft and soothing hue. Neon’s and bold reds are not the best when trying to rest.
6. Cell Phones/Tablets – Many people admit that the first and last things they look at each day are their cell phones. While it may be fun to read on a tablet or play a game on your phone just before turning the lights off, I encourage you to do this much earlier in the evening. I recommend to my clients that they have at least 1 hour between screen time and sleep. The lights and sounds of our phones in combination with keeping your brain active up until sleep time is not so great at helping you wind down at the end of a day.
Bonus: Here’s my bonus for a great night’s sleep. Before going to bed take a yoga pose called Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani. This is a restorative yoga pose that I do almost every night before bed. I also often cue this pose at the end of a yoga class to help everyone relax before the final resting pose. To do Legs Up the Wall, you simply lie down and take your legs straight up the wall with your back and head resting on the floor. Your body will form the letter “L”. Don’t worry about your body making a perfect L, just move your bum and hips somewhat close to the wall. I do this right in bed by turning around and placing my legs against the headboard and wall behind. This way I easily spin around and hardly have to move between the pose and getting snuggled in bed. This pose is wonderful to help the body relax and prepare for sleep. Try it out for a week by spending 10 minutes in this pose just before bed!