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How to Setup your Bedroom for Restful Sleep

Sleep is a process that helps us recuperate and recover. We know that up to 30% of adults struggle with problems sleeping. And if you have had trouble with sleep, it’s important to remember that sleep can be improved.

Our thoughts and behaviors can have a significant impact on our sleep. We want to ensure that our habits are supporting sleep. And one of the ways we can help optimize sleep is by creating a positive environment to promote restful sleep. Here are some tips for how to set your bedroom up for a restful night’s sleep.

No Clocks in Sight

One important strategy that can help is to keep clocks out of the bedroom. The reason for this is so you can’t see the time. If you are monitoring the time, you may be tempted to start counting the hours until you wake up. This is fuel for worry about not getting enough sleep

If you set an alarm on your phone, keep it out of reach or cover up the time. If you have an alarm clock, turn it around or find a way to make the time not visible. You will wake up on time and you don’t actually need to know what time it is.

Cool, Dark, and Quiet

To prepare for sleep, your body temperature starts to decrease. Your core body temperature follows a 24-hour cycle, that is linked to your circadian rhythm.

This is why it’s so hard to sleep when you are warm. Having your bedroom set to a cool temperature helps with falling and staying asleep. It’s not about feeling cold, but more about lowering your body’s internal temperature.

It is also important to make sure your room is dark. We want your brain to register that it is nighttime and the absence of light signals to the brain that it’s time for sleep. Too much light can interfere with the sleep-wake cycle. So, do your best to keep your room as dark as possible, or wear an eye mask to block out the light while you sleep.

And it’s also helpful for your circadian rhythm to get light first thing in the morning. When sunlight hits our eyes, we register that it is daytime and time to be awake. If you can get direct sunlight in the morning for at least 15 minutes, this can help with sleep.

Do your best to keep the bedroom as quiet as possible. And if you live in an area with a lot of noise, invest in a sound machine or earplugs to help minimize noise disruptions.

Limit Distractions

Keep work, screens, and other distractions away from the bed – practice using your bed only for sleep. This means no reading, watching TV, or looking at your phone in bed. You can do those things until bedtime, but not in bed. Keep your bed as a space used only for sleep (and intimate activities).

If you live in a small space and you don’t have another place in your home where you work, you can set up a separate corner in your bedroom that is designated for work or school. The key is to set up a different area so your bed can remain stress-free and relaxed.

And if you can’t sleep, make sure you have another spot in your home that is comfortable and you can go to for quiet activities. You can go to another room if this is possible in your home. Avoid anything near your bed that will trigger too much thinking or worrying. Remember, the bed is only for sleep.

Remember, Sleep Will Happen

If sleep has been difficult for you, try not to worry. Sleep is something our body needs, and it will come in time. And setting up your bedroom to support sleep can make a big difference in helping encourage restful sleep.

To learn more about sleep therapy and how

you can improve your thoughts and habits around sleep, check out my website.

Cheers to better sleep!


For more articles about sleep, check out A Guide to Better Sleep.

Annie Miller is a psychotherapist and owner of DC Metro Therapy, a practice outside of Washington DC.

Annie helps people reset their sleep and rewire their responses to chronic pain and trauma through evidence-based therapies and nervous system regulation tools.

You can find out more about Annie and her work on IG and through her website.

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