Bedroom environment for sleep
sleep environment (aka your bedroom)
Annie is an occupational therapist, here the word occupation means anything you find meaningful in your life. There are eight areas in the field that Annie went into and sleep is one of them. So, she kind of had an introduction during grad school with that and then went on and did her pediatric stuff and was working with Pediatric Sleep, and she would have all these parents comment - "Okay, now my kids are sleeping great but now I need to get some rest. Tell me how to get better sleep for me!" That’s when she decided to train further with the parents and really dive deep into the adult sleep world, and she’s been loving it ever since.
Annie is also a Reiki practitioner; she is very much into energy work and how we connect with things in our environment is one of them.
The first thing she talks about with her clients is:
- how do they connect with their sleep and their mindset there
- how do they connect with the space that they are sleeping in
The next thing she does is she has them try to connect with their space/ bedroom. She wants them to give it a deep clean, to look and see do they have lots of clutter around that's going to fill up their head space and create that mind chatter.
Your bedroom should always be giving off energy of intimacy and sleep.
She has her clients look at their decor, if it's not bringing in the power of sleep and intimacy, then what's it doing?
She also recommends for people to just have a little time in their room to connect with the space. You can try saging your room, to cleanse the energy and release any old negative energy and ask for restful sleep energy to come into the space or saying a prayer in your space, whatever you want to do, just spend some time and connect to the space.
Then you want to make sure that your space is dark. Darkness really sets our circadian rhythm upright and any light levels that you have coming in are going to impair that. So, get blinds, blackout curtains; sometimes Annie recommends people to roll up a towel and put it on top of their curtain rod and maybe to take 3M tape and stick it to the windowsill so that they're not having any peaks of light coming through. Another advice that she gives is to take black electrical tape and cover up any of the little tiny power lights in your bedroom, for example, if you still have a TV in your bedroom there is usually a red light on it.
If you have an alarm clock in your bedroom and it has a blue or green display light, and you have to have an alarm clock in your bedroom, switch it for a red one. Because blue and green are the most alerting on the color spectrum, and red is more calming to the central nervous system.
If you have kids, don’t introduce them to night light until they are telling you that they are frightened by the dark. Don't instill that fear of the dark on your kids, try talking about it in a calming beautiful way, that it helps our brain get good sleep. There's actually a research study that indicates that kids who do sleep with a light source in the bedroom have a higher prevalence of nearsightedness.
The next thing you want to make sure is that your bedroom is cool. Experts recommend anywhere between 15 - 21 °C (60 to 70 °F). Annie finds that the “sweet spot” is between 18 - 19 °C (65 to 67 °F). It helps the circulation of your body and you'll sleep much better. Our body temperature naturally needs to decrease when we're sleeping.
Annie also recommends getting a fan in the bedroom to just circulate the air and if you have a bed that is really low on the ground, you want to raise that up as high as you possibly can. Because when you are breathing, you're exhaling so much carbon dioxide and it's heavier than oxygen, so it stays lower in the room. So, if you have a mattress that's right on the floor, you're taking in less air quality that if you were having a mattress that was higher on the floor or in the bedroom.
You also need quiet. You need your bedroom quiet or you need to introduce some kind of white noise machine to give yourself the muffling of the background noises in your home. If you have a white noise machine, keep it on all night long. Because our deeper levels of sleep are in the earlier part of the evening, and then we're spending more time in REM sleep, which we're easily woken from, in the early morning hours. So, you want that noise machine on all night long, not on a timer, so that way it can kind of muffle those early morning sounds. Annie recommends that you go for some kind of static, like white noise, brown noise, gray noise or pink. You don't want the birds chirping in an Amazon forest or ocean waves crashing, because it creates patterns and our brains are constantly trying to pick up on patterns to keep us safe, so if it notices one of them it's likely going to wake up and alert you.
Pay attention to how your bed is positioned in your bedroom in terms of feng shui of your bedroom. You want to have your bed positioned in such a way that it’s facing your door. If you are interested in that do a little research online and figure out which position might make sense for you.
So, before you reach out to anyone, do this first. Try these little tweaks for your sleep environment (bedroom), because they are much more important than anything else.
If you've been listening to the series and you think that Annie is the one for you, you can book a call with her by clicking on the button below.
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