I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two on the blog, but when my mother-in-law referred to her home as her “Sanctuary” – a place she can always turn to for comfort and love – I immediately knew that was the kind of home I wanted to have as well. I believe Ryan and I have created a joyful home environment together and I hope Chase feels happy, secure and loved as he grows up in our house.
For the past few months, I’ve been working with Sleep Number® and sharing various sleep-related posts on the blog that have touched on everything from my sleep struggles and the impact of certain activities and habits on my sleep. Today I thought it might be fun to dive into the idea of creating a “Sleep Sanctuary” in your home. To me, this means cultivating a relaxing nighttime environment that makes you feel calm, peaceful and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Below you will find a few ways I am trying to create a Sleep Sanctuary in our home and I would love to hear about anything you guys may do to help create a calm, relaxing environment that makes you ready for sleep at the end of a long day as well! Since most people out there admit they aren’t getting enough sleep, I think it’s something many of us want to improve in our lives since there’s no denying sleep affects our health and lifestyle.
Creating A Sleep Sanctuary
- Establish A Wind-Down Routine
When I was reading a million books about baby sleep after Chase was born, almost all of them emphasized creating a bedtime routine for your baby. Whether it was a bath followed by story time or saying “goodnight” to all of the stuffed animals in their room together, doing the same thing every night undoubtedly helps a little one learn to anticipate sleep. So why not do something similar for yourself? Though not every night will be the same (life isn’t always predictable!), a similar wind-down routine definitely helps get my body in the mood for sleep.
My routine typically begins after I put Chase down for the night. If I don’t have work to do or something lingering on my to-do list, I’ll head into our bathroom, change into my pajamas and wash my face before joining Ryan in the kitchen to do dishes or a 10-minute clean up around the house before we hang out on the couch together for a little while. Then, we’ll often head upstairs to read in bed before it’s lights-out. The simple act of changing into my pajamas and washing my face almost instantly relaxes me and helps signal my body that it’s almost time for bed.
- Consider Calming Methods
Think about specific things that often calm you down and consider incorporating them into your wind-down routine. Maybe it’s a bath before bed or diffusing your favorite essential oils? (FYI, a bath or shower before bed is actually great for sleep! The water warms your skin, which actually lowers your internal body temperature and a cooler internal temp helps bring on sleepiness.)
Reading at night is one way I prefer to unwind. With the exception of diving into a suspenseful novel, reading a good book before bed almost always helps me relax. I love reading until I feel my eyelids begin to close because it helps me drift off to sleep much easier than when I get into bed and my mind starts racing. Reading truly helps calm my racing mind on days when I just cannot seem to stop thinking, stressing and worrying.
- Keep Your Bedroom Cool
I always say I sleep so well in a hotel because hotel rooms are always so chilly! Ryan and I don’t crank our AC down too low because we don’t want our electric bill to be through the roof but there’s no denying that a cooler room yields better sleep. (The ideal sleep temperature is somewhere between 65 and 68 degrees.) Ever since Chase was born we’ve embraced using our AC more because we want him to be comfortable and not too hot, and I do feel like the cooler temperatures help me sleep better since I’m not sweating and thrashing around in bed because I’m too hot.
- Minimize Clutter
Is it just me or does a cluttered, messy bedroom detract from the calming environment we would all like to have surrounding us when we go to sleep at night? As someone who doesn’t care about making her bed everyday, it’s kind of funny to me that bedroom clutter bothers me, but it definitely does! For our bedroom to be a Sleep Sanctuary, it has to be relatively tidy. This isn’t always in the cards, but I’ve found that on days when I take five minutes to put away clothes and remove clutter from the tops of our dressers, I feel much more relaxed when I climb into bed at night.
- Select A Comfortable Mattress and Pillow
I think it is time for me to change up my pillow because my neck has been bothering me for almost two months now. I’m not sure what’s up but I think my pillow might have something to do with it. There’s no denying that a bad pillow or a mattress that’s too soft or too hard for your personal comfort level can seriously impede a good night’s sleep. Ryan and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye when it comes to the firmness of our mattress (I prefer to sleep on a cloud and he apparently loves sleeping on a rock) so I am a big-time fan of our Sleep Number bed with SleepIQ® technology since the DualAir™ technology inside allows us to each adjust our side of the mattress to our comfort level.
- Keep Electronics Out of Bed
Keep the television remote and your cell phone out of your bed! Before I started charging my phone on a small table across the room from my bed, I’d find myself mindlessly checking emails, Instagram, Facebook, etc. before bed. Before I knew it, a half hour would go by and I would almost always much rather spend those 30 minutes catching up on sleep! I also don’t feel more relaxed after I scroll through my phone (if anything it makes me feel more awake and alert), so this one is imperative for me when it comes to creating a Sleep Sanctuary in our bedroom.
Question of the Day
- What is one thing you like to do at the end of a long day to help calm yourself down before bed time?
- What is one thing you think you could change in your evening routine to help create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom or home?