Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sleep Better - How To Make Your Bedroom a Better Place To Re-Charge

We spend a third of our lives in bed, but no one teaches us how to orchestrate our bedrooms to help us sleep well! *smile* Here is a photo of our master bedroom. Studies show that good quality sleep (not just quantity) benefits parents of families of any size...


There is usually a huge drain on Mom (and dad as he supports the family) over the course of a day especially - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - and she needs not just quantity but the highest quality of sleep at night that she can get.  In a larger family, there may be older children helpers - but there's still a lot of children. *smile*.  Now I don't say this in a negative or victimization type of mindset at all.  I'm just addressing a fact that needs our attention if we are to to function at our best. From my experience, sleep can truly make or break a person's ability to be successful on a daily basis.  Let's look at how our bedrooms can effect that.

Having a bedroom that is too messy or too mentally stimulating can actually rob you of good quality sleep.  I've known this to be true for myself, but a while ago I came across an article in The Costco Connection magazine, July 2011 issue, that had good documented proof of this concept.  The article is called, "Better Bedroom, Better Sleep", by Malia Jacobson.  The information from this article goes hand-in-hand with what I emphasize so much in my own life and writing, and encourage in the lives of thousands of other women - order, cleanliness, and simplicity to improve life.

The author, Malia Jacobson, points out four easy-to-address contributors to the quality of our sleep in our bedrooms, the last two being of particular connection to organization and de-cluttering one's home.  They are,
  • The amount of light in the room
  • The temperature of the room
  • The amount of stimulation
  • The messiness of the room

1.  The amount of light in the room

Light in a bedroom actually regulates our biological clock which tells us when it's time to sleep; too much light messes us up.  This article mentions that it's good to minimize our exposure to natural light, and artificial light including TV, computers, iPhones and the like a few hours before going to bed.

Bob and I have actually practiced this for years.  Here in Washington, we really only face the issue of light at bed time in the summer months, so during those months we clothes the blinds in our home a couple of hours before it's time to go to bed.  This has greatly helped our children and ourselves mentally prepare for, and begin winding down to be ready for going to bed soon.

Also, the type of light in a bedroom apparently makes a difference.  The blue lights often emitting from cell phones, computer screens, TV's, and alarm clocks, have an especially strong impact on our sleep quality, negatively effecting our sleep patterns and depth of sleep.


2.  The temperature of the room 

Sleeping too warm can prevent us from sleeping well. It's better to have a cooler room.  A drop in body temperature is actually a physiological cue, triggering sleep.  The ideal temperature for the bedroom is between 60-68 degrees, so if we open a window a little while before we go to bed, or turn on the air conditioning if you have it, or use a fan to push heat out of the room this will help us slip in to peaceful and easier sleep.  Also, again, having a darker room helps it stay cooler.


3.  The amount of stimulation 

Here is great evidence of the value of de-cluttering and organizing our bedrooms!  Unfinished projects, "to-do" piles, too much reading material on the night stand, these types of things can send our mind whirring, instead of moving us to relax.  Also, our bodies crave routine and repetition (read more on how to do this in one of  my post on scheduling and routines), so when we do daytime, mind-stimulating activities such as working, watching the news, or surfing the internet, this causes our minds to kick in to action instead of settle down.  So what should we do?  We can make our bedrooms a place of rest by banning laptops, cell phones, video games, TV, and work.  If you love to read in bed, like I do, this article suggests choosing light reading material such as a magazine instead of a suspenseful novel. Here is more information on my personal bedtime reading choices if you would like to read more.


4.  The messiness of the room

I have to directly quote this part of the article as the statistics are so amazing to me. 
"According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their beds daily are 19 percent more likely to sleep well every night.  And 71 percent of Americans say they sleep better in a fresh-smelling bedroom... Climbing in to a clean, fresh bed will help you relax and set aside your cares, while a messy, unkempt room may provoke stress by reminding you of unfinished chores."
As a side note:  I agree with the author's suggestions to close bedroom and closet doors at night, to create a sense of calm and order, although her suggestion at the end of the article that we follow these habits out of feng shui inspiration (Chinese mysticism) are NOT what I would encourage of course.  *laugh*  There is only one, true source of peace - the Lord Jesus Christ.

In our opinion, we should all do our best to create a peaceful, restful, stress-free environment for our bedrooms and our children's bedrooms; and we should seek refuge, comfort, and emotional and spiritual protection, from our Lord and Savior to bring peace and restful sleep at night while He lovingly keeps watch over us.  This is done by looking outward to the Creator of the universe not inward to ourselves.
"He will not allow your foot to be moved: he that keeps you will not slumber.  Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps."  ~ Psalm 121: 3, 4

Blessings on your efforts for better sleep,


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