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Are You Sure Your Bedroom is The Best Setting for Your Sleep?

Are You Sure Your Bedroom is The Best Setting for Your Sleep?

The bedroom used to be a place where you would simply turn in at the end of the day and not visit again till the next night. These days we’ve turned them into full entertainment centers with T.V’s, phones and tablets all thrown into the mix.

If you’re not making your bedroom the best setting for your sleep you may be neglecting yourself the true restorative rest that you need and deserve.

How Sleep Enhances Your Health & Productivity

There’s no other way around it, sleep is the true way to repair and rejuvenate your body. When you deprive your body sleep you’re basically telling it that some sort of external trauma must be happening or other wise you would be asleep. This brings stress hormones into play specifically cortisol.

When stress hormones are elevated over the long term they can cause a lot of pretty nasty effects in the body including:

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  • Anxiety
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Digestive disorders
  • Depression
  • Immune system dysfunction

This is only scratching the surface as stress really hammers your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sleeping because of some disaster or enviornmental trauma or you’ve just been up all night watching a House Hunters marathon your body will respond with this increase in stress hormones.

When you do start to sleep better you can see all areas of your health improve. You begin to have stronger immunity, less pain, better memory and improved cognitive function that can lead to better productivity.

How Your Environment Affects Your Sleep

Our environments affect so much of our lives and you might not always be aware of that. There are many factors that impact our ability to get decent sleep including:

  • Temperature
  • Noise
  • Light
  • Bed comfort
  • Electronic distractions

Even just the occasional car honk can cause more sleep disruption than continuous noise. Studies have found that people who live in an urban areas may actually be chronically sleep deprived.

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Key Elements That Create An Ideal Bedroom For Sleep

As I mentioned earlier the mistake most people make is turning their bedroom into an entertainment center that lights up more than Times Square. It may seem boring but a bedroom should not be a pretty simple set up to optimize sleep. Here are 5 key elements you’ll want to focus on.

    1. Lighting

    If you can get dimming lights that makes it easier to decrease the brightness later into the day. If you don’t have this you’ll want to turn off overhead lights and just use a small bedside lamp with a soft glowing bulb. You don’t need to turn your room into the red light district but the warmer the bulb glow the more conducive to sleep it will be.

    2. Curtains

    You want to get your room as dark as possible. Darkness stimulates melatonin production in the brain and the more it’s exposed to light the more melatonin is suppressed. This is why avoiding electronics late in the day is important as they emit blue light which prevents this melatonin release.

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    Your best bet is to get blackout curtains which a lot of hotels use to eliminate outside light. You can usually find these at places like Walmart or on Amazon. They also can help block out sound which is important for better sleep.

    3. Room Color

    You want to create a sense of calmness and color can help with that. Before we talk about colors this is why you may be better off removing things like computers or exercise equipment from your room if you have them. These things tend to not be related with being calm and you want to avoid reminders of stress. Color wise the most soothing type colors to create a good environment include:

    • Lavender
    • Pale grey
    • Cool blue
    • Aqua
    • Pale pink
    • Beige

    4. Temperature

    It may seem appealing to have a warm room as that may make your drowsy to sleep better but that’s actually not an ideal temperature. Your room should be on the cool side. Your body temperature naturally drops as your drift off to sleep so keeping a cooler room can help jump start the process, make it easier to fall asleep, and help you get a deeper sleep.

    Sleep experts say your room should be 5-10 degrees cooler than you average daytime temperature. If you need a simpler rule to follow your sheets should feel cool to the touch when you first lie down on them.

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    5. Mattress

    There are so many options out there for mattresses and while you may want to go for the most super soft one you can find your best bet for ideal sleep is still a medium-firm mattress or a firm one with a softer “pillow top”. This will help give your spine the ideal balance of support and cushioning.

    You spend a third of your life asleep so it’s in your best interest to create the best sleep environment possible to help achieve this. Hopefully here you’ve learned why you don’t want to neglect your sleep and also ways that you can create that ideal bedroom to make it happen.

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    Jamie Logie

    Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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    Last Updated on May 15, 2019

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

    As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

    “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

    When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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    Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

    We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

    But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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    So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

    It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

    1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

    Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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    2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

    This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

    You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

    3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

    This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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    4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

    How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

    So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

    If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

    And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

    Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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