At day’s end, do you look forward to climbing into your bed and drifting off to sleep quickly, or do you dread the bouts of tossing and turning? A simple change to your bedroom could help you wake up feeling refreshed while improving your relationship with sleep.
While proper lighting is often associated with waking hours, you can use bedroom lighting to support better sleep. There’s no denying light exposure’s effects on slumber, and you can do more than wear a sleep mask to control the amount of light entering your eyes. Use these tips to turn your bedroom into a sleeping oasis.
Sleep With the Right Light On
If you have trouble falling asleep without a light on, consider changing your light source. For instance, cover bedside lamps with silk lampshades that direct light down or up out of your eyes. You can also use accessories like chandelier shades and blackout blinds to control the amount and direction of light when you’re about to fall asleep.
Salt lamps gently light up your room at bedtime. The soft light creates a soothing atmosphere that can make it easier to drift off to slumberland. If you prefer traditional night lights, choose one with an orange light or a light of a similar temperature that won’t make your brain think it’s time to be up and about when you’re ready to go to bed.
Move the Computer and TV
While convenient when you’re about to fall asleep and when you first wake up, computers, TVs, and similar forms of entertainment can make it hard to drift off. The noise levels, artificial light, and flickering images can stimulate your brain and keep you awake.
Move your TV into the living room or entertainment space and out of your bedroom. If you have a computer in your bedroom, shut it down a few hours before bedtime to keep the ambient screen light from bothering you.
What if you aren’t quite ready to remove these devices from your bedroom? Set a time limit for how long you watch TV, use your computer, or play a gaming console when it’s close to bedtime. That way, you still enjoy the devices, but they don’t erode the quality of your sleep.
Install Red Light Bulbs
While great for saving money, bright white LED light bulbs are lousy for improved sleep health. The main problem is they emit blue light, a light spectrum that can delay or disrupt sleep cycles.
Alternatively, red light may promote melatonin production and make it easier to fall asleep. If you get into the holiday spirit, you could already have a string of red lights somewhere around your house. String them up and use them as part of your sleep routine.
Use Specific Lights for Specific Purposes
You may have several light sources in your bedroom, such as a bedside lamp, a string of lights in your closet, and an overhead light. Rather than have all these lights on at the end of the night, think about how to maximize light for different tasks. For instance, you can install a motion-activated night light in your bedroom to help you see if you need to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
If you want to light up your entire bedroom before bed, use string lights. Not only do these lights softly illuminate spaces, but they make your bedroom look whimsical and dream-like. Your mind may already think you’re asleep in a room lit by soft string lights, which may make it easier to drift off.
Rather than turn off all the lights in your bedroom to promote better rest, use the power of light to your advantage. See whether these tips help you drift off faster and enjoy better sleep quality.