It may not always be blindingly obvious, but there are a few oft-overlooked factors that can prevent you from getting a decent night's sleep. Of course, some things are more obvious than others. For example, it's a no-brainer that's it's not a good idea to down a large mug of coffee half an hour before bedtime or get into a blazing row just prior to climbing under the duvet.
Unfortunately, there are also factors outside of the home that are difficult to avoid such as work-related stress and it's not always easy to deal with these if you're feeling overworked and underpaid. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you can control; your sleeping environment being one of the main ones. With this in mind, here are a few tips to consider that could help you get a more restful night's sleep.
1. Blackout blinds
As we're a window blind company, it seems only fitting that our top tip is to consider having blackout blinds installed in your bedroom. If you're the type of person that can't get to sleep or is easily woken by sunshine peeking through a gap or flooding through the thin fabric of your curtains or blinds, then blackout blinds could be the answer you're looking for.
They also come in a variety of types and sizes so you're not tied to a particular style of window blind meaning you can still choose the type that suits your bedroom.
For instance, our Roman blinds are available with either standard or blackout linings and our pleated blinds come with the option of a blackout backing to darken the room. If roller blinds are more your thing, then these have great blackout options too, including our Vision Roller Blinds (also known as Zebra or Day & Night Blinds). These offer an additional solution for controlling light, view and privacy whilst the blind is down. They also come with two layers of fabric to provide a range of positions – open, half-open or completely closed and are operated in the same way as a traditional roller blind, with a sidewinder control chain.
2. Put some potted plants in the room
Our bedrooms can sometimes feel like stale or sterile environments and we can also feel a sense of detachment from the natural world around us. You can remedy this by having a few plants dotted around the room and if you have a window sill or a chest of drawers in front of the window, this will be the perfect environment for them. Of course, make sure you open your blackout blinds if you have them so that the plants can be bathed in natural light throughout the day. Plants create a calming feel to any room and they also act as a natural purifier as they gobble up the carbon dioxide whilst breathing more oxygen into the room via their leaves.
3. Get rid of the clutter
If you're the type of person who never seems to have the time to clear up or you're one of those "I'm always disorganised" types, it may be worth reconsidering this when it comes to your sleeping space. If your physical surroundings are jammed full of bits and bobs everywhere, this can actually be more stressful than you realise. Try to minimise the clutter by tidying up and/or removing a few pieces of decor to see if a tidier room leads to a tidier mind.
4. Cut out unwanted noise
Noise pollution can be as bad as, or even worse than light pollution. If the neighbours are having a get-together or you live on a busy road with noisy traffic, trying using some kind of alternative sound to replace the noise. You can buy dedicated sound machines that can emulate a babbling brook, waves on the beach or even a thunderstorm with torrential rain. Many people already do this and find it really helpful and relaxing (including the author of this post!) and you can try it out for free by looking on platforms such as YouTube by searching for something like "relaxing sleep sounds".
5. Turn down the heat
Aside from saving money on your fuel bills, a room that's even slightly too hot can hinder your sleep. If you leave the heating on at night, try setting it to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) as, according to the Sleep Foundation, this is the ideal temperature for your bedroom at night.
6. Stay away from your phone, laptop and other 'blue' light
Most people are now aware that the blue light emitted by computer and phone screens aren't conducive to a good night's sleep but it's also worth mentioning the light bulbs in the room. If they're the whitish-blue "daylight" bulbs, consider replacing them with warm or soft white alternatives. And, if you really MUST glance at your computer device, it's well worth dimming the screen and using a nighttime screen colour filter.
We hope that you've now got a few useful tips after reading this post but if you want to dig a little deeper and get a more comprehensive list of things to try, I'd recommend this post from Healthline that has a total of 17 tips and is well worth a read.