Trick Your Mind: Slumber Secrets
Need a change of scenery? Trick yourself into falling asleep when it’s that time to crawl into bed.
Falling asleep at night can sometimes be a challenge, especially when your mind is filled with worries for the following day and you room is packed with distractions. However, altering your sleeping space to better promote sleep can help trick your brain into realizing that it’s actually tired.
First, choose the right lighting, sound, and visuals for your bedroom to make it a prime place for slumber. Where you sleep has a big impact on how you sleep.
Make sure your room is as dark as possible to help your brain secrete melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. If possible, get lights that have a dimming setting to gradually ease yourself into darkness at night. In a college dorm or apartment, this isn’t always a possibility. However, using a small bedside lamp while the rest of the lights are off can reduce some of the room’s brightness.
When it is time to sleep, make sure the room is as dark as possible. Close the blinds, avoid using a nightlight, and turn off any decorative lights when sleeping. If there is light you can’t eliminate, use a sleep mask. Consider getting rid of alarm clocks with light-up displays, because even small amounts of light can interrupt sleep. Not only will eliminating a light-up alarm clock reduce light, but it will also help you fall back to sleep easier if you wake up in the middle of the night and don’t have to worry about what time it is. Use a cell phone or a clock that only illuminates the time when you press a button to serve as your alarm clock instead.
Make sure your room is free of any distracting sounds. If you’re having problems with noises outside your window or elsewhere in your apartment building, place a thick rug in the room to absorb some of the sound. If the problem noise is coming from others in your home or apartment, a towel against the bottom of the door can block the noise. If all else fails, consider earplugs.
Decorate your bedroom to be a calm space. Choose a cool and soothing color scheme, such as a shade of blue, green, or purple. Earthy and natural tones also work well to create a serene space. Avoid keeping electronics such as a TV or computer in your room, or at least turn them off at night. Storing any stressful reminders in your room, such as schoolwork or exercise equipment, can make it harder to sleep. Keep these things somewhere else to trick your brain into recognizing that your room is for sleeping. In a dorm or apartment, there can be a shortage of other spaces to store these things. If you can’t find room elsewhere, at least tuck stressful reminders of school away into drawers so they are out of sight when you sleep.
Add a calming scent to your room by lighting a eucalyptus candle or scenting your sheets with lavender. Bath & Body Works has Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist for only $10.
Invest in some comfy pajamas and make your bed as cozy as possible. Add a mattress pad to your bed if choosing your mattress is not an option. Combine soft sheets and blankets with as many pillows as you wish to achieve your perfect sleeping space. Flannel sheets will keep you warmest in winter, while light cotton sheets will prevent you from overheating in warmer months. Consider whether you like your pillow to be fluffy or firm, and even think about what kind of pillowcase will make you most comfortable to ease you to sleep.
Stock your nightstand with things that you frequently need in the middle of the night so that you do not have to get out of bed and make falling back asleep that much harder. Keep chapstick, Kleenex, a glass of water or whatever else you find yourself getting up for within reach of your bed.
Using a combination of any of these techniques that work for you will help you relax and trick your brain into falling asleep at night. A soothing bedroom and calm mind are the perfect combination for sleep. Sweet dreams!