In this age of the pandemic, emotions run high — worry, fear, anger, confusion, sadness, despair and depression. It is no wonder that we are all losing sleep, yet sleep is critical to our mental and physical health. During sleep, our bodies recharge themselves and repair our crucial immune systems.
In the best of times, 1 in 4 adults has sleep issues. During the covid-crisis, that all-important sleep may be in even shorter supply. Below are some of my tips for preparing and getting a better night’s sleep, derived from 20 years of pioneering “wellness design.”
Preparing for a Good Night’s Sleep (sleep hygiene)
- — Take a relaxing shower or a soothing bath with epsom salts and add a few drops of lavender or chamomile, dial-up the ambiance w/ candlelight
- — Download a “white noise” App. or consider a machine that masks disturbing sirens and outside noise pollution from amazon. Maybe consider a “HEPA” air purifier machine that not only cleanses the air, but improving air quality while providing the desired “white noise”, especially relevant in Urban environments / healthmate by Austin Air manf. provides a good size for your bedroom.
- — Read a soothing book vs electronic media
- — Choose relaxing reading content, no chilling news or financial reports
- — If you are someone, who checks their phone before bed, set your phone to “night shift” for dusk, changing from that blue screen light (that triggers alertness), to the warmer – amber tone, which reinforces your circadian rhythms
- — Meditate or practice calm/conscious breathing exercises just before going to sleep
The Bedroom – design considerations
- — Lower the temperature of your bedroom 3-degrees below your comfortable house temperature, requiring you to sleep with a blanket during both the summer and winter – (like how a bear hibernates – provides a deeper sleep)
- — Your bedroom lighting should reinforce your natural circadian cycle. Warm incandescent lighting with its amber coloration (think- setting sun), helps calm you in the evening, producing melatonin
- — Ensure complete black-out within your bedroom
- — Consider motorized shades, ideally programmed to open and close with the sun
- — Choose soothing natural fabrics and sheets with a high thread count
- — Select a warm, soothing color palette with light neutral bedding and furniture that creates a cocooning environment. I prefer a warm taupe and/or mocha-chocolate wall color.
Sleep WELL…for your personal sustainability…sweet dreams