Alaska Sleep Education Center

Environmental Elements that Affect You and Your Quality of Sleep

Posted by Ainsley Lawrence on Jul 26, 2021 9:28:00 AM

Man getting good, quality sleep

Is it common for you to wake up feeling like you didn’t get enough sleep? Or, do you wake up tired from tossing and turning all night? If so, you’re not alone. But, it’s easy to resign yourself to thinking that’s just “the way it is.” In reality, there could be more impacting your quality of sleep than you realize.

The good news? That means there are things you can change to improve your sleep quality and get the rest you need.

Everything from temperature, energy sources, and medical issues can impact your sleep quality. Your environment plays a bigger role than you might think. Understanding how those things can affect you makes a big difference when it comes to the positive changes you can make.

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. By doing what you can to improve your surrounding elements, you can make sure you’re on the well-rested side of that statistic. With that in mind, let’s look at how temperature and other factors can affect you and your quality of sleep, and what you can do to create the ideal sleep environment at home.

Taking Care of Temperature

Finding the ideal room temperature isn’t as hard as it might seem. Are there nights you find yourself kicking off the covers or waking up hot and sweaty? You could have your thermostat too high.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal bedroom temperature for getting a good night’s sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. But, you might not want to have your whole house – or even your room – set to that temperature 24/7. That’s especially true depending on the season. After all, no one wants their house to be that chilly during the winter!

One of the best solutions for keeping your room cool and the rest of your house comfortable is to install a smart thermostat. Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular for a reason, and a smart thermostat has many benefits to consider, including:

  • Its ability to learn household temperature patterns
  • Many models can be controlled from your phone
  • Energy efficiency and reduced heating/cooling costs

 

By using a smart thermostat, you can even control different areas of your home to fit your needs and those of your family. Not only is it a convenient way to save energy, but you’ll be able to set your room to the ideal sleeping temperature that works for you, no matter the season.

It’s also important to note that if the temperature in your room is already cool and you’re still waking up drenched in sweat, there could be other factors at play. Certain medical conditions can cause night sweats, including infections, congestive heart failure, or even specific types of cancer. Even certain medications can contribute to night sweats. Make sure to make your health a priority before you consider external factors that could be impacting your sleep. It’s only when you’ve ruled out any underlying health issues that you should start looking at external factors and environmental elements.

Evaluating Energy

How many times have you fallen asleep with your phone in your hand? Do you ever turn off the television in your bedroom minutes before you try to close your eyes? Or, maybe you have a reading lamp next to your bed that you flick off each night before you settle in.

Unfortunately, not all forms of energy and light are the same – especially when it comes to your sleep health.

Most electronics manufactured today give off a blue-white light. That includes:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Televisions

This type of light reduces the production of sleep-inducing hormones inside your body, which can make it difficult to fall asleep after using them. A good rule of thumb is to turn off all electronics at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep. If you struggle to do that, make it easier on yourself by removing the television from your room, and keeping your phone away from your bed.

That doesn’t mean all lighting is bad. Using “cool white” bulbs in your bedside lamp can reduce your sleep time by several minutes. But, warmer lighting, including LED lights, shouldn’t have much of an impact. So, if reading a book before bed helps you to relax, make sure you’re avoiding cool lighting, and opt for something warmer and dimmer, instead. Even if you are using warmer lights, it’s a good idea to turn them off at least a few minutes before bed. Your mind and body still need time to fully adjust to the darkness, so your brain can “signal” that it’s time to sleep.

Dumping Distractions

A good rule of thumb is to only use your bedroom for sleeping. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. Many people utilize their room as a space for entertainment. Now that more people are working from home, you may have even set up your office in a bedroom corner.

Having a cluttered and disorganized sleeping area can cause problems in more ways than one. First, it can contribute to extra stress and even anxiety. Those are issues that can make it difficult to get in the right frame of mind for sleeping. If your office is in your bedroom, you might even start thinking about work, deadlines, and end up getting more anxious.

Clear out as much clutter as you can from your bedroom and dedicate it solely to sleeping. When it’s clean and organized, you’ll have less to distract yourself while you’re trying to get to sleep.

Clearing things out – especially electronics – can help to make your bedroom quieter.

If you’re not sure how to tackle organizing your room, a good place to start is by moving things into a different area of your home. For example, there’s undoubtedly another place you can move your home office. Utilize a closet, under the stairs, or the corner of another room to get your work done. Doing so will immediately eliminate that distraction while you’re trying to sleep.

As for other types of clutter, invest in different ways to keep things neat and stored away. Maximizing the use of organizational tools will make you feel better about the state of your room so you can sleep more soundly.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it’s important to consider your environment. There are so many things that could affect your quality of sleep. But, with a few simple changes and a commitment to adopting new habits, you can have more control over some of those elements and improve your overall sleep health. Call the Alaska Sleep Clinic today @ 907-770-9104 for help with your sleep problems.

SLEEP APNEA QUIZ

 

Topics: environment, sleep quality

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