Your bedroom is supposed to be a relaxing, tranquil oasis where you can recharge after a grueling day and wake up refreshed — but if you're like the 60% of people who report weekly sleep problems, it might not be. Look out for these tricky things that might be negatively impacting the quality of your shut-eye.
1. YOUR TECHNOLOGY
That means smartphones, tablets, TVs, you name it. The artificial light that's emitted from these devices results in less melatonin production in the brain (the chemical that helps you fall asleep and regulates your sleep cycle), meaning you'll have a harder time dozing off.
2. YOUR HEAVY (OR ELECTRIC) BLANKETS
Even though a warm and cozy setup might sound like something that would help you sleep better, higher body temperatures disrupt sleep — so you're better off sticking with a lightweight sheet or bedspread.
3. YOUR WALL COLOR
If your bedroom walls are brown, purple, grey, gold, or red, they might be negatively affecting your sleep, according to a study by Travelodge, which investigated the bedroom colors in 2,000 homes and their owner's resulting quality of sleep. Want optimized shut eye? People with blue rooms got the most sleep per night on average. Hey, it's worth a shot.
4. YOUR SNOOZE BUTTON
Even though it feels so good to get an extra 15 minutes after hitting snooze, it actually disrupts your REM sleep (a.k.a. the dream-heavy dozing you do in the few hours before you wake up), which leads to fragmented sleep and makes you feel even more tired.
5. YOUR MATTRESS
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a worn-out, saggy mattress could increase back pain and stiffness, leading to discomfort and (you guessed it) poor sleep. You should look to buy a new one every eight to 10 years.
6. YOUR CHARGERS
You've banned smartphone use in bed (good for you!). But it turns out even charging devices in your bedroom could affect your sleep — especially if they have a little blue light. Blue wavelengths are a "potent" light that affects your circadian rhythm. Charge it somewhere else, or juice up in the morning.
7. YOUR JUNK
It turns out your mom was onto something when she used to make you clean your messy bedroom all the time — an untidy space can lead to anxiety and poor sleep.
8. YOUR PILLOW
Over time using the wrong pillow (too soft? too stiff?) can lead to muscle stiffness, nerve pain, tendonitis, and tons of discomfort while you rest. Depending on if you sleep on your back, side, stomach (or a combination), you might need to invest in a different kind of support.
9. YOUR PET
One study found that 30% of its participants who slept with a four-legged friend woke up because of their pet, 63% had poor sleep quality, and 5% said they had trouble falling back asleep. Unfortunately, it might be time to get your little buddy his own bed.
10. YOUR PARTNER
Yes, because of the many reasons you can probably already think of (snoring, twisting and turning, body heat, blanket hogging). If your bedfellow keeps you up at night, consider whether you need a bigger bed, separate blankets, or a memory foam mattress to minimize motion shifting. As for snoring, consider looking into whether your partner has a larger health issue causing it, so you can learn more about treatment options.