We eat, watch TV and work in it, but how much do we actually use our bedroom for sleep?
Truthfully, our bedroom can be a pretty restless place. Your sleeping environment has a huge impact on your quality of sleep, a lack of which can negatively affect your tennis, am I right? That’s why it’s important to create a sleep friendly bedroom so you can improve those Zzzz’s tonight!
The importance of sleep is not something to be ignored – especially for us league players that have early morning matches. Sleep deprivation has been linked with decreased aerobic endurance and increased ratings of perceived exertion. So the more tired you are, the more tired you’ll be – it’s vicious, exhausting cycle. With more than 150 million Americans saying that they are sleep-deprived, it’s obvious that something needs to change! So, let’s start with… your bedroom.
There are many factors to creating a conducive sleep environment, but we’re simplifying it down to 4 simple things: light, comfort, sound, and stress.
Dim the lights
It’s more than just a mood-setter. Dimming the lights can help you get a better night’s sleep. Is your bedroom completely dark, or are there street lights shining in through the window? Invest in window coverings that will block unwanted light. You will be able to fall asleep much faster.
We’ve all had that terrible, sleepless experience of trying to relax on a lumpy, uncomfortable mattress. Not only does it keep you awake, but it can also lead to back pain. Everyone is unique, so finding the perfect mattress will make a world of difference in your sleep quality. The right bedding and pillows create additional comfort as well.
Do you live in a noisy neighborhood? Or maybe it’s dead silent… aside from the creaking of the fan that you can’t seem to ignore. Either way, disruptive sounds are often the biggest culprit for keeping you awake, or for waking you in the middle of the night unexpectedly. Earplugs are great for blocking out noise, and if you’re worried you won’t hear your alarm go off, try “white noise”. I use a small table fan on my night stand pointed so that the air flows toward my feet. It drowns out the noises outside, but still allows me to hear the alarm on my iPhone.
You’ve blacked out the windows. You’ve invested in an amazing mattress. It’s beautifully quiet. And yet… you just tucked yourself in with a social media sesh on your smart phone, and now you’ve got a million thoughts in your head, whirring around and stressing you out. Stress is one of the biggest opponents to leading a healthy lifestyle – it can cause weight gain, lead to binge eating, and keep you awake at night. To reduce stress, put away your electronics and try journaling before bed. Write down everything that you need to do the next day, and then set it aside until morning. Sometimes, it just helps to get it all out of your head and on paper!
Creating your perfect sleep sanctuary requires only a few simple steps, and you’re well on your way to better sleep!