How Do I Encourage Good Sleep Health in the Home?

February 22, 2024 · John Gallagher

6 Ways to Encourage Good Sleep Health in the Home

Good sleep health starts at home. Creating a relaxing sleep environment, minimizing bedroom distracting, setting a healthy sleep hygiene routine — it all contributes to the full night’s sleep you deserve.

Particularly during a busy week, healthy sleep might be the last thing on your mind. However, even a day or two of poor-quality sleep can have a negative effect on your well-being. Alongside a healthy lifestyle and a nutrient-rich diet, it’s important to prioritize nightly sleep on a daily basis.

Let’s explore some of the best ways to encourage good sleep health in the home.

1. Design a Comfortable Sleep Environment

The bedroom is the heart of sleep health in your home. Start by choosing soothing colors for the walls, such as soft blues or calming pastels, that promote relaxation. Check to make sure that the room is well-ventilated to keep fresh air circulating. If it improves the quality of your sleep, use a white noise machine to drown out background sounds.

Creating a comfortable sleep environment also means reducing opportunities for stress. Typically, this means removing work-related materials, technology, and other items that might cause you anxiety. Create a clear boundary between work and rest by reserving your bedroom solely for relaxation and sleep.

2. End Screen Time before Bed

The negative impact of screen time on sleep quality is well-documented. The blue light emitted by electronic devices disrupts our natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

As a first step, establish a specific time each night when you will turn off all screens, smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Set this time at least an hour before you sleep, to give your body sufficient time to wind down and prepare for sleep. You can also designate your bedroom as a screen-free zone, to ensure that your sleep environment remains a place of relaxation.

If you must use your phone or another device in the evening, activate the "Night Mode" or "Blue Light Filter" feature first. These settings reduce the blue light emitted by your phone’s screen, making it less disruptive to your sleep-wake cycle. You can also use sleep-tracking apps for more insight into your sleep patterns.

3. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

The human body has an internal clock— the circadian rhythm — which regulates your sleep-wake cycles. When we adhere to a consistent sleep schedule, we align our internal clock with the natural day-night cycle, promoting better quality sleep and overall health.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate our body's sleep-wake hormones, such as melatonin. A consistent schedule also makes falling asleep easier, and which makes the experience of restful sleep more easy to come by.

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can help combat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the natural balance of our internal clock, making it challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep. By sticking to a set sleep schedule, we can reduce the symptoms of these sleep disorders and improve our sleep quality.

When we have a well-rested body and mind, we are more focused, attentive, and energetic throughout the day. This can lead to increased productivity at work or school, better decision-making skills, and improvement in your daily responsibilities.

4. Limit Daytime Naps

Napping can be quite tempting, especially when you're feeling tired during the day. A short, 20-30 minute power nap can provide a quick boost in alertness, mood, and cognitive performance. These short naps can be beneficial if you need a quick jolt of energy.

However, there's a downside to excessively long daytime naps. When you nap for extended periods, particularly beyond 30 minutes, you risk experiencing sleep inertia, which is that groggy feeling you get after waking up from a nap. This grogginess can take some time to shake off, disrupting your day and sometimes making it more difficult to fall asleep in the evening.

Recurring long daytime naps can also interfere with your nighttime sleep schedule. If you nap for too long, or if you nap too late in the day, you might find it challenging to fall asleep at night. Over time, this can lead to sleep deprivation and create a nap-dependent cycle.

Daytime naps can exacerbate sleep disorder symptoms. Conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea might require more structured sleep patterns, making daytime napping less suitable for managing your sleep issues.

5. Keep Your Bedroom a Comfortable Temperature

A comfortable bedroom temperature is another important ingredient for good sleep. Falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night can be a challenge if your room is too hot or too cold. If the temperature fluctuates during the night, perhaps because of a live fireplace or an open window, deep sleep can also be hard to achieve.

Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, regardless of the season:

  • Use light, breathable pajamas: Just like your bedding, lightweight and breathable fabrics for your sleepwear can help you stay cool during warm nights. Opt for loose-fitting, natural fabrics like cotton or linen.
  • Keep your bedroom well-ventilated: Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your bedroom. Open your windows and use fans to circulate air during the warmer months. If you live in a cooler climate, crack the window open slightly to let fresh air in.
  • Try blackout curtains: Blackout curtains not only block out unwanted light; they also help regulate the temperature in your bedroom. These sleep-specific curtains can keep your room cooler during the summer by blocking out the sun's heat and retaining warmth during the winter.
  • Use a room fan or air conditioning unit: If you live in an area with hot summers, investing in a room fan or air conditioner can be a game-changer. These appliances can help cool down your bedroom to a comfortable sleeping temperature.
  • Use a space heater during winter months: During the colder months, a space heater can provide the extra warmth needed to make your bedroom cozy and comfortable.
  • Adjust your thermostat: If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to lower the temperature slightly during the night. Cooler temperatures are generally more conducive to sleep. If you don't have a programmable thermostat, you can manually adjust it before bedtime.

Keeping your bedroom at the right temperature helps create an environment conducive for lasting sleep. Don’t forget to pay attention to your body temperature as well! Wear clothing and use blankets that help your body remain comfortable at night.

6. Invest in Comfortable Sleep Materials

The right sleep materials can mean the difference between a full night’s rest and sporadic sleep. That’s why it’s so important to use the right sleep materials. Despite a potential increase in cost, investing in high-quality sleep materials means investing in high-quality sleep. Pay attention to the pillows and blankets you use. Make sure to wash sleep materials regularly, particularly the items that make direct contact with your skin.

Using the right mattress might be the most important ingredient in the recipe for high-quality sleep. At Mattress Warehouse, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our patented bedMATCH sleep diagnostic program pairs you with mattress options ideally suited for your body and sleep style.

Take our five-minute bedMATCH sleep quiz, where you’ll answer basic questions about your body and sleep, and we’ll present you with mattress options proven to deliver better sleep. Take the guesswork out of your sleep experience, and earn the rest you deserve, when you find the best mattress for you through bedMATCH.