You slide your phone into airplane mode and limit your screen time as much as possible before bed. Good for you! But your bedroom has a sneaky way of keeping you awake. Temperature, humidity, clutter and a number of other environmental contribute to insomnia. To ensure you're not be sabotaged by your space, here are some sleep-sapping culprits to consider.
1. There's No Moisture in the Air
It’s winter, which means the windows are closed and the radiators cranked. Sure, it keeps the cold air from entering, but it also saps your bedroom of moisture, making it drier than Norm Macdonald. This not only leads to stuffy noses, chapped lips and dry skin, but also fosters the growth of the flu and other such viruses. Needless to say, all of these contribute to an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Investing in a quality humidifier will help balance out the moisture.
2. You've Cranked the Thermostat Too High
You may instinctively crank up the thermostat before you turn it, but a cooler bedroom is more conducive to rest. While it’s tricky territory (what about sleep isn’t?), many agree that the ideal temperature falls somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees. The reason? Our brains love the cold and a lower temperature triggers the body’s conk-out mechanism. Give it a try. If it doesn’t work for you, adjust a few degrees here and there.
3. The Dust Buster Has Been Dormant
Dust does more than establish a haunted mansion vibe. An accumulation of pollen, pet dander, dust mites and other airborne pollutants can seriously affect your sleep. For instance, microscopic mites that live in mattress and pillows are a major cause of seasonal allergies and can trigger everything from runny noses to coughing fits in more than 20 million people. Your best defense? Bust out the swiffer once a week and vacuum both the floor and your mattress regularly. A whisper-quiet air purifier will help, too.
4. You Allow Fido to Cuddle with You
A recent survey from the Mayo Clinic found that people generally reported sleeping better when they snoozed with pets, because having their animals in bed with them gave them a sense of security. Many animal owners, however, may be under the false impression that their fur babies are helping them snooze: Dogs and cats take up mattress space, serve as unwelcome alarm clocks and trigger allergies.
5. It's Not Dark Enough
Artificial light needs to be avoided as much as possible during the evening. While the obvious first steps are to shut off laptops, cell phones, televisions and anything else with a bright screen, be sure that more subtle lights — like the glow of the alarm clock or the light from the hallway — aren’t also causing disturbances. Best practice is to pony up for some blackout curtains, as they’re make your room sarcophagus-dark.
6. The Clutter is Out of Control
Listen, your bedroom is your domain. So go right ahead and surround yourself with Pokémon characters, framed pictures of Tom Selleck or whatever the hell you want. But just keep it within reason: A recent study from St. Lawrence University found that hoarders are more likely to have sleep problems. The reason? Clutter creates more stress, which contributes to poor rest.