All humans need sleep, but studies have found that about 30% of the population suffers from insomnia or disrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation negatively affects the quality and enjoyment of life. Your sleep environment, your bedroom, needs to be a place that helps, not hinders, your sleep.
The right bed
Most people sleep on a bed, and it has to be right for your individual needs. Your bed should be as wide as possible, even if you sleep alone, and if you are tall then it needs to be at least six inches longer than you.
Your mattress should feel comfortable, which usually means not too hard or too soft. One way to test a mattress is to lie on your back, then slide your hand under the small of the back. A too-hard mattress will mean that your hand will move freely. If the mattress is too soft, you won’t be able to slide your hand in at all. If the mattress is just right, your hand will slide in and fit comfortably.
Mattresses wear out with age, so they need to be replaced every 10 years or so. You also need a pillow that supports your head in a comfortable position.
Your sleep area needs to be a safe and comfortable sanctuary where you can relax, unwind and sleep. Ideally, your bedroom should only be used for two functions, which means it should not double up as a home office or a place where you watch lots of television.
Clutter is the enemy of sleep, so it helps to have few items in the bedroom. This means that clothes and toiletries should be stored out of sight.
Choose a color
Color has a huge effect on our moods, so it’s important to paint your bedroom in shades that make you feel calm and relaxed.
Blue often represents a warming colour, which means it is not restful and best avoided as a bedroom hue. Light greens are restful, but darker greens can feel oppressive. Reds are stimulating colors and do not promote restful sleep. Purple is a harsh color, but lighter shades, lilacs and mauves, are restful and good choices for the bedroom.
Yellow, meanwhile, is an active hue more suitable for kitchens than bedrooms, while light browns and beiges are popular bedroom choices. Warm pinks and peaches are restful and good choices for the bedroom. All this is just a rough guide, of course, as it really comes down to personal taste.
Lighting is another important consideration in the bedroom. You do not want the sun to shine directly on the bed, as this could wake you up too soon. Windows should have heavy curtains that block most of the light. Bedside and wall lights that point up are better than those in the centre of the ceiling.
Your bedroom needs to be as peaceful as possible. If you are near a road, a bedroom at the back of the house is better so that passing traffic does not disturb you. Double glazing will lessen outside noise while helping to maintain a warm temperature. Heavy curtains can also act as a noise barrier.
Some people find that listening to relaxing music or white noise sounds can help them get to sleep.
Many people report that they sleep better when their sheets are freshly laundered, using detergents that make the them smell fresh. Lavender essential oil has relaxing qualities. A few drops on your pillow can help promote sleep.
The perfect bedroom
You spend around a third of your life in your bedroom. If you try to make your sleep environment as harmonious as possible, this will promote deep, restful sleep.
Steve Hall writes for http://sleeptrackers.io . He also loves hockey and binge-watching Dr Who.