This guest post was written courtesy of Myles Vives.
From fancy pillows to white noise machines, nothing seems to help you get a better night’s rest. But it’s not what you don’t have that is keeping you from a good snooze. More likely, one or more of the things in your room right now is working against you and your precious slumber.
5 Things to Remove from your Bedroom for Better Sleep
- Your Beloved Pets
Fido and Kitty could be interrupting your sleep at night – even if you’re not allergic. A 2013 Mayo Clinic study found that 10% of pet owners who sleep with their pets experience disturbed sleep. If you think about it, having a pet in the room is almost worse than having another person. You have to deal with snoring, wandering, wimpering… and then there are those late-night bathroom trips. If you have a pet who is afraid of storms, sirens or fireworks that may be going off in the night, sleep is even less attainable.
The wind-down period before bedtime is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, too many of us wind down by turning on the boob tube and turning into snack-noshing zombies. Although this may feel like unwinding, it is probably doing more harm than good. A recent, large-scale pediatrics study found that children who have televisions in their bedrooms simply did not get as much sleep as those who did not. In fact, the mere presence of a bedroom television seemed to shorten sleep by an average of 31 minutes. This was true throughout all ages studied, from infancy through mid-childhood. If possible, remove the television from the room altogether. If that’s not an easy fix, just choose not to turn on the device.
Light that enters your room before you’re ready to wake can send messages to your brain that it’s time to get out of bed, kind of like a natural alarm clock. A Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism study found that a lit room before and during sleep profoundly suppresses melatonin and reduces sleep duration. When the light is peeking in during sleep, the study found that melatonin is reduced by more than 50 percent. Turn all lights off in the room before you go to bed and invest in some blackout blinds or shades to prevent natural light from seeping in before you are ready.
When your room is cluttered, your mind is probably not at rest. Clutter is a visual representation of at least one item on your to-do list: Clean up! And if you’ve ever spent a sleepless night worrying about all the things you have to get done the next day, it’s easy to see the connection. Still, there’s more. Those at risk of becoming hoarders (i.e. those who identify with hoarders) are more likely to have sleep troubles than the general population, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
If you’re consistently having trouble sleeping at night, snoring may be the culprit. There are many reasons why people snore. One of them is allergies. You may not even know you have them, and they can still be affecting your sleep. Try putting on an air filter and letting it run for at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. This should help remove allergens from the air. To remove them from your environment, be sure to wash pillowcases and bedding at least once a week. If you have carpeting in your room, you may want to consider washing, removing or replacing it.
About the author: Myles Vives is an entrepreneur, consultant, and freelance content writer. As a former professional athlete in mixed martial arts, he loves staying active and trying new training programs to stay healthy and fit.