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Audit your Bedroom for better sleep

from Michelle Manksy and the Whole Life Challenge Project...

We all know that getting enough sleep is important for our health and wellbeing. Without it, our bodies are less able to make composition changes, repair cell damage, or regulate mood. We’re also more likely to make poor food choices, skip workouts, and feel run down when we’re tired.

But did you know your sleep environment (i.e. your bedroom) has a big impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep? Given that we spend about a third of our lives asleep, it makes sense to pay attention to our bedroom environment.

If you’re already going to bed early (and turning off your digital devices), a bedroom audit is a great way to take your sleep habits to the next level.

Here’s how: go through the items below, ask the questions, and note any improvements you can make. It’s best to do the audit at night to accurately reflect your true sleep environment.

Your Bed:

  1. How does your mattress feel? It should feel firm enough to support your body, yet soft enough to be comfortable.

  2. Are your pillows lumpy or saggy? They should support your neck while feeling soft and smooth.

  3. What are your sheets made of? Natural fibers (like cotton and linen) give better airflow and ventilation, and are softer on the skin.

Your Room:

  1. How hot or cold is the room? A cool, ambient temperature of 63-68F is ideal.

  2. What does the room smell like? Soft soothing scents help us feel sleepy. Try a natural lavender or vanilla room spray.

  3. Is the room clean and tidy or cluttered with obstacles? An orderly room can help you feel calmer (and encounter fewer trip hazards if you need to get up during the night).

  4. Is there a source of “white noise”? This is a low, continuous sound that covers distracting noises while you’re asleep. Try a ceiling fan, radio static, or a white noise app.

  5. When you turn off the lights are there any remaining light sources? Is there light from the alarm clock, a smoke alarm, bedside electronics, under the door, or gaps in the blinds or curtains? Even small amounts of light can disrupt sleep. Blackout blinds on the windows are ideal, and duct tape is handy for covering small LED lights.

To take your sleep habit to the next level. Conduct an audit of your bedroom and see what changes you can make — and how those adjustments change your sleep.