November is the perfect time to start thinking about your sleep environment. For one, you’re going to need plenty of it after your Thanksgiving feast. On top of that, November is known by some as “Sleep Comfort Month.” Coincidence?
Sleep plays a vital role in your overall health. Not only how much you sleep, but also the quality of that sleep. You may already have your pillow game down and your favorite flannel sheets put on for the winter, but what about the air you’re breathing in while you sleep?
In an ideal sleep environment, your Indoor Air Quality would be a top priority–right up there with quietude and light-blocking.
You can begin to prioritize your air with an Aprilaire whole-home air purifier that removes allergens and irritants, helping you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed.
By programming an “Air Cleaning Event” for about an hour before bed, you’ll be able to breathe fresh air all night and wake up without a stuffy nose or itchy throat as part of your morning routine.
Of course, everyone has a preference when it comes to their perfect sleeping temperature, so do what works best for you. In general, a cooler temperature is better suited for a good night’s sleep.
Our bodies’ temperatures normally fluctuate throughout the day, so we are naturally cooler by nighttime. Creating a cooler sleep environment, somewhere between 60-70°F, helps increase natural feelings of tiredness and allows you to fall asleep faster.
Other Smart Sleep Environment Strategies
Beyond the air you sleep in, add any or all of the following tips to your sleep routine for optimal comfort and rest:
Get in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night
- Don’t sleep in on the weekends
- Avoid napping for longer than twenty minutes
- Expose yourself to natural sunlight as close to waking up as possible to kick-start your body’s natural rhythm
- Try to spend time outside during the daylight or work next to a window with lots of natural light
- Try a light therapy box if none of these are possible for your living or working atmosphere
- Avoid any screen time for at least 30 minutes before bed (1-2 hours is even better)
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible for sleep and keep the lights down if you need to get up during the night
Make wise choices when it comes to what you put in your body.
- Reduce the amount of sugar and refined carbs in your diet as they can cause wakefulness at night
- Avoid big meals at night
- Limit caffeine and nicotine after 2 pm as the stimulants in them can really disrupt sleep
- Don’t drink a lot of liquids–especially alcohol–within 1-2 hours of bed
Create a healthy routine.
- Regular exercise as part of your daily routine is beneficial as long as it isn’t within 2-3 hours of bedtime
- Try some light stretching, yoga, deep breathing, or meditation to relax your mind and body for transitioning into sleep
- Don’t wear your everyday clothes to bed. Instead wear dedicated “sleepwear” so your body is prompted that it’s time to rest
- Unload your brain before trying to go to sleep. Make a list of what’s bothering you or tasks you need to complete and set them aside until tomorrow so your mind can relax