As parents we worry about every detail of our children's sleep environment. We worry about the crib, light, noise, clutter and we work hard keeping these environments optimal for their sleep. BUT do you do the same for your own sleep?
Screens - Dock technology for the night out of arm's reach.
Watching a TV, computer, tablet or your phone can help you relax but the blue light that is emitted from these devices will keep you awake and interrupt your nights sleep.
Mattress Health. Given we spend so much time sleeping it is important to keep your mattress in good condition. Consider:
The age of your mattress as 10 years is often the life of a good quality mattress.
If you are starting to wake with new aches and pains.
Do you have a noticeable sleeping spot or indentation in your mattress?
Have you started to develop a dust allergy and it's worse in the mornings?
Do you hear creaks coming from your mattress or boxspring?
If you have had significant weight fluctuations since owning your mattress.
Do you no longer feel rested when you wake up?
Bedding. I always sleep best when I get into clean sheets.
Cotton, linen or bamboo are generally best if you are hot or sweat while sleeping as these materials will wick the moisture away from your body.
Wash sheets often for hygiene purposes - I like to do this once a week. Washing sheets in hot water will help remove dust mites, allergens and pollen.(1)
Blankets and comforters will help keep you warm and will need to be adjusted depending on your climate and season.
Light - Just like your kids the darker your room the better.
Light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that naturally promotes sleep. "Even if you doze off, light can be detected through your eyelids—and your brain won't produce melatonin if it's confused between night and day," says Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine. "You want as much darkness in your bedroom as you can handle without tripping over things."(2)
A light and airy bedroom is the ideal environment we want in our households and sleeping areas for many people but the light can come at a cost - your sleep.
Check your rooms temperature.
The ideal room temperature for sleep is 18-20 degrees celsius. This can be hard to maintain in our Calgary climate between the cold winters and warm summers. Be sure to adjust the both your sleep clothing and bedding.
Many parents will start with a white noise machine when they roomshare with their babies. When you reclaim your bedroom, I see many families invest in a second white noise machine. White noise will help drown out outside noise such as birds, construction and even with ear plugs will mask the noise of a snoring spouse.
Tidy Sleep Space.
I hate to nag about the organization or state of your bedroom but a tidy room will also help you have a tidy mind. It is my belief that a tidy room helps you have a tidy mind and thus sleep better.
When working with children i use a similar checklist to ensure that the child’s bedroom is prepared for sleep but the same simple checklist will help for you as well. Join me next month when we discuss the importance of a sleep routine and bedtime.
Please get in touch if you need help with your children’s sleep. This will also help you get a better nights sleep. You can reach me by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to helping you find more quality sleep this year.