Create a Relaxing Bedroom Oasis to Promote a Better Sleep Cycle
We all understand just how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. And yet many of us struggle to get in those precious eight hours.
In a constantly, outstanding, sleep deprived culture, I’m making it my mission to figure out how I can sleep the best way possible because I used to be a sound sleeper.
Key phrase being: used to be.
But something changed when I was in college and now I wake up when I hear the tiniest sound and I struggle to fall asleep constantly.
And this is an issue because good quality sleep is essential for our health.
Why is good sleep is important for our health?
- Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity
- Sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- A review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7–8 hours per night
- Quality sleep helps improve your immune system and can help fight off the common cold.
- Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of depression
Through tried and true experimentation, I’ve found that these 6 tips have helped me fall asleep quicker and stay asleep. I know it’ll help you too if you’re struggling like I was.
Decorate with Plants
Plants - the trend of the season. And I hope it sticks because plants are awesome to look at while also cleaning our air.
During the late 1980’s, NASA began studying houseplants as a means of providing purer and cleaner air for space stations.
What they learned is that there are many different houseplants that can help to purify the air. Its results suggested that, in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air
I will say that the study suggested that efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet. While for some that might seem a bit drastic for their space and caring ability, my suggestion is to include as many plants as you like! Having a few is better than none!
Now for the actual plants, you should bring in.
If you have good light, like with a South facing window, the world of plants is pretty much your oyster! You're a lucky duck and I'm very jelous.
But if you have small windows or a room with little natural light, not all hope is lost.
Low light & low maintenance plants:
- Golden Pothos
- Snake plants (these are practically indestructible)
- Spider plants
Caring for plants has made me a lot happier, in addition to helping me sleep better. It's amazing to see something I've cared for thrive! So if you haven't gotten bit by the plant bug yet, I definitely recommend bringing in a couple of the low maintenance plants. So enough, I know you'll be hooked and growing your own urban jungle.
Soft Cotton Sheets
We spend (hopefully) a minimum of 8 hours on our sheets. While we aren’t fully conscious of us laying in our sheets all night, having scratchy, ill-fitting sheets can cause uncomfortable sleep.
I personally love cotton sheets because they're typically really soft and provide breathability which is essential for keeping me cool at night.
So when Sol Organics reached out to me to test out some sheets, I was ecstatic.
At a high level, they’re great because their products are organic, fair-trade use no plastic packaging for shipping, and \$7.50 from each sale goes to one of the 4 charities they’ve partnered with!! Big fan.
But more specifically, they’ve won over my heart for a couple of different reasons:
- Organic Cotton: They have a transparent supply chain from farm to factory to fabric, using only non-GMO, certified raw 100% organic cotton, manufactured in a FLO-certified factory.
- Ethical production: they pay their workers a living wage and they don’t allow child employment.
They're SUPER comfy.
I spent one night in them to give them a whirl and I felt like I was sleeping in a luxurious hotel bed.
But then I washed them and gifted them to my parents because they're awesome and served some new luxurious sheets.
In comparison to conventional sheets you’ll find at Target or BBB, they are admittedly a little expensive.
However, for the quality (organic cotton), and production ethics, they’re the best deal I’ve found!
They're an investment I think it worth it if you have a little more disposable income to treat yourself with.
Burn Natural Candles
I personally love coming home, turning on my salt lamp, and lighting at least 5 candles to add a warm glow to my room. It feels so cozy, especially in the winter when the sun sets at 4:30 pm.
While I used to love conventional candles such as those from Bath and Body Works, I discovered a few years ago that these kinds are laden with toxic chemicals. These l tradition paraffin candles are made from leftover residue of the final petroleum refining process. They’re terrible for you and the environment because:
- Paraffin candles are made from petroleum oil, which when burned contribute to more CO2 in the atmosphere
- By lighting them in a contained room, you will be inhaling those fumes.
- They have a dirty burn, meaning they produce soot with lit. If you burn a lot of candles, over time it can discolor your walls & furniture and stain the edges of your carpet
- Paraffin candles release a petro-carbon soot that stains your walls, furniture and is circulated through your air ducts. This soot, according to the American Lung Association, contains 11 documented toxins, 2 of which are known carcinogens — toluene and benzene.
- In 2009 a study by the American Chemical Society concluded that paraffin-based candles were an unrecognized source of carcinogens such as toluene and benzene in the air at home. Alternatively, soy-based candles did not emit these toxins.
Now I opt for candles made with natural wax, like soy, beeswax, or coconut.
Some of my favorite candle companies are:
- PF Candle Company (they are also zero waste in their offices!)
- Goodlight Candles
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Candles
You can also make these if you’re feeling crafty! Check out this blog for instructions.
Turn on Soft Lighting
Perhaps a personal preference, but overhead lights are terrible for relaxing lighting. Really bright lights also affect your melatonin production, which will lead to trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.
I prefer to have a few lamps scattered about my room to decide how much light I want on. (If you have a dimmable overhead light, you are a lucky person!)
Whatever you decide, make sure that you’re choosing an LED lightbulb over an incandescent.
Why are LED’s better than incandescents?
Did you know that the electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself? That's insane and totally inefficient.
Other LED benefits include:
- Better for the environment: According to the US Department of energy, rapid adoption of LED bulbs would save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. The rapid adoption of LED bulbs would collectively save \$265 billion over the next 20 years. This switch would also help eliminate the need to build 40 new power plants and save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. - Source
- Long-lasting: LED bulbs last up to 10 times longer than compact fluorescents and 40 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
- More efficient: LED light bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of Incandescent or CFL).
- Mercury free: No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs.
- Cost Efficient: The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself.
I was initially hesitant to invest in LED light bulbs because I thought the lighting would be too bright, white, and remind me of sitting in a doctor’s office.
But I was so wrong!
LED’s have come such a long way in the last couple of years.
In 2012, it was mandated that lightbulb be marked with lumens, which represent the amount of light emitted by a light source. So you can find the right amount of brightness for you and your space.
To help you figure out what lightbulb is right for you, I recommend reading this guide and then heading to a hardware store to test them in person!
Keep it organized
A cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind - elimination any possibility that I sleep well. So I try my best to keep my room as organized as possible.
The main ways I do so are by:
- Owning less stuff (which means less stuff to put away)
- Utilizing thrifted baskets
I will pay about \$1 a cute wicker basket at GoodWill, which I’ll then use to store socks, cables, laundry, etc.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Create a Tranquil & useful Side Table
Having everything I need before bed in arms reach keeps me sane.
For me, the things I keep on my table are:
- Notepad & pen
- Hair brush
Right before bed, I’ll brush my hair for 3 minutes to stimulate my scalp to promote hair growth. Then I’ll take a big gulp of water and slather on chapstick and lotion and tuck off for the night.
If I do think of anything I need to remember the next day, I’ll jot it down on my notepad so I won’t worry about forgetting it.
Wrappin' it up!
Thank you to Sol Organics for sponsoring this post. Sol Organics believes in providing luxury sheets at affordable prices without compromising the environment or their ethics and I’m happy to partner with them on this very important topic. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Hi, I'm Taylor
Amateur adult. Zero waste zealot. Personal finance fiend. Spicy food supporter. I’m an mid 20’s gal living in Denver, Colorado. My love of the outdoors has cultivated my zero waste lifestyle, which inadvertently fueled my passion for personal finance. Cheers to everyone interested in lessening their footprint while growing their wallet!