Room temperature is probably the most overlooked facet of sleep. It’s true, your room can be too cold or too hot for a perfect night’s sleep. When our bodies prep for sleep, our brains subconsciously lower our body temperature to a “set point” (programmed by our internal thermostat).
If it’s too cold or too hot, our bodies struggle to get the ideal set point for slumber, keeping us up. By adjusting your room’s thermostat, you can quickly achieve a high level of comfortability. Now, comfort differs from person to person so I would suggest doing a little A/B testing to find what works for you.
Ralph Downey III, Chief of Sleep Medicine at Loma Linda University suggests 18- 22 degrees C as being the ideal temperature.
2- Less Tech
It’s not just your phone, it’s your tablet and TV too. Minimizing the use of smart devices before bed can exponentially increase the quality of sleep. It’s 2020 and we’re grateful to be so well connected, heck, I’m on my phone for an average of 4 hours a day. Crazy, right? If you’re like me you probably keep your phone on your nightstand, use it as an alarm clock, and mindlessly scroll until you fall asleep.
Why is this bad?
Using your phone just before bed stimulates the brain and increases the neural network activity, by emitting blue light. Blue light is the kryptonite for the human eyes. Our minds stay active and engaged long after we’ve finished scrolling, thus keeping you up. Getting into bed should be peaceful, comfortable, and happy. Using our devices so closely to bedtime can impact those emotions negatively.
Be like a bat. Bats sleep for an average of 18 hours a day and they achieve this simply because of their environment. Bats sleep in caves that are dark, cool, and quiet and your room should be similar. (I’m not suggesting that we all go sleep in caves like our ancestors, but you get the point).
The absence of light sends crucial signals to the brain that is time to slumber and light exposure at incorrect times will alter our body’s “internal clock” making it harder to fall asleep. This is probably one of the first times in humanity that we have had to seek out darkness. My go-to is a foam eye cover that completely eliminates the surrounding light.
Try these 3 steps to better sleep and let us know what’s worked for you!