Researchers warn that lack of sleep is becoming a public health crisis. According to the National Statistics Institute, almost three million people living in Spain have less than six hours of sleep per night.
A growing collection of brain research has demonstrated that sleep is critical for cognitive functioning, and a lack of sleep is not only neglectful, but is actually dangerous.
Sleep is believed to be especially important for sustaining good memory, concentration, and the ability to effectively learn. Some studies suggest that poor sleep increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while others have linked sleep deprivation to anxiety and loneliness. Further research outlines that failing to get sufficient sleep can lead to increased risks of diseases such as diabetes or cancer.
It seems clear that prioritising quality sleep is paramount to support a happy, healthy lifestyle.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your home provides a healthy sleeping environment.
Choose your bedroom furniture wisely
A good mattress is an important part of ensuring a good rested sleep. Selecting the right mattress can prevent backache and other problems associated with poor posture while sleeping.
Aside from the mattress, choosing a breathable duvet, a supportive pillow and an appropriate bed style all play a big role in determining the quality of your sleep.
When choosing a pillow for example, IKEA suggests that it is best to opt for an ergonomic style, such as IKEA’s klubbsporre pillow, which is made from visco-elastic foam and has a gel layer that is designed to help encourage restful sleep.
Other factors can also influence your ability to sleep, including lighting and noise level.
When considering noise level, choosing thick curtains can help to reduce background street noise, along with helping to absorb unwanted sounds within the bedroom. Intelligent lighting can also improve the sleeping environment, with options such as LED bulbs with dimmers, which are believed to be kinder to the eyes. This means there’s no need to change your whole lighting system - just the bulbs.
To help prepare you for quality rest, we’ve drawn up ten helpful suggestions that will help create the right environment at home to embark on a good night’s sleep.
Ten tips to help you get a good night sleep
- Avoid using electronic devices (phones, laptops, tablets, etc…) at least two hours before your usual bedtime.
- Sleep in the dark, do not leave the light or the television on. If you cannot avoid light pollution from the street, wear an eye mask.
- Keep background noise to a minimum. Ideally the room you sleep in should be soundproof.
- Regulate your bedroom temperature, keeping it between 18°C and 21°C.
- Choose a medium-firm mattress, and try it out before you buy it: lie on it for at least a few minutes to make sure it’s comfortable.
- Avoid sleeping with numerous pillows - stick to one offering good support for the neck.
- Remove devices from the bedroom that have no relation to sleep, such as televisions, computers, radio, mobile phones etc.
- The bedroom is the room for sleeping - nothing else. Remove work related items, if this feasible.
- Turn off your mobile phone and leave it outside your bedroom during the night.
- Paint the bedroom in pastel tones (blue, green, yellow, lilac for example) avoiding garish or harsh tones.