If getting rejuvenating sleep is a high priority for you, then you need to take some essential actions to treat it as such. The bedroom should be for two things primarily… 1) sleep and 2) we’ll get to in just a moment.
Stop making your bedroom the entertainment hub of your house. And, never bring work to bed with you. Humans are creatures of habit and habitat. My two-year-old son knows that when we go into his bedroom at night, good sleep is about to go down. He actually gets upset if he can’t get into his bed to go to sleep right away. Crazy, right?
If you create an environment where miscellaneous activities can take place in your sleep area, then you are not creating a neuro-association that it’s time to sleep when you go in there. You may think that you are a big grown-up” adult, but we are all just super-sized babies with the same basic programming.
Bringing your office work into bed with you is one of the most offensive sleep crimes you can commit. Not only is it creating a negative association with sleep, but it can also spell serious trouble for your love life if you’re not careful. Cut the cord and don’t allow work to enter your sacred relaxation space.
Now, when you picture a sanctuary, what do you think of? Fresh air, flowing water, beautiful plants, and a serene environment may come to mind. The good news is that these are all things that you can recreate in your own private sleep sanctuary.
Fresh air is very important. Did you know that the ions in the air you breathe can become “stale” and less energizing? The air you breathe carries more than just oxygen into your cells, it also carries other ionic elements that are vital for your health and well-being. As the air inside your home becomes stagnant, the ions in the air start to lose their (negative) charge. To fix this, you simply need to get the air moving again. Something as simple as opening a window or turning on a fan can re-energize the air in your bedroom.
Upgrade Your Breathing Space
If you are in a crazy situation where you don’t have a window, or it’s 20 below zero outside, you can use a high quality air ionizer to revitalize the air in your home. Negative ions are present in abundance near waterfalls, ocean surf, rivers, and mountains. Many of us have experienced breathing the “fresh air” in those environments and experientially know the healing benefits. You can actually simulate some of those positive effects by utilizing the right air ionizer.
Negative ions impact our health in three significant ways:
- They make the air more energizing by providing free electrons.
- They oxidize odors, fungi, mold, parasites, and toxic chemical gases.
- They bind to dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, and pet dander to form larger particles (which make them much easier to remove from your home).
Air ionizers are not just good for your sleeping space, they are good for your home in general. There are several air ionizers out there on the market, so do a bit of homework to make sure that the one you choose is the right fit for you.
At minimum, if you’re in a situation where fresh air can’t flow through your room via a window or fan during the winter months, try using a basic humidifier. Not only can this improve the air quality and help you sleep, but it can also help prevent your mucous membranes from drying out and making you more susceptible to an infection.
Humidifiers bring a bit of moisture back to the air, providing that water element we’d find in a sanctuary environment. In addition, some people find that tabletop fountains or “mini-waterfalls” are great for relaxing and sleeping better at night. Studies show that both your heartbeat and breathing slow down after listening to running water. Obviously, I’m not talking about the drip from a leaky faucet, but the sound of running water can have an impressive effect on people who have a history of sleep problems.
Garden of Paradise
One of the things synonymous with paradise is plant life. There are so many great benefits that you can get from having plants in your home that it’s just too much to ignore. Now, you don’t have to have plants dominating your crib like Little Shop of Horrors, but having an intelligently chosen houseplant or two can really do wonders.
Take the English Ivy for example. NASA listed it as the number one air-filtering houseplant. It has an unmatched ability to absorb formaldehyde (a known neurotoxin), which most of us are exposed to in our highly industrialized world today. It’s incredibly easy to grow and it’s adaptable. You can have it as a hanging or a floor plant, and it requires moderate temperatures and medium sunlight.
Another great plant for your sleep sanctuary is the perennial Snake Plant. It doesn’t require much light or water to thrive. What’s most impressive about it is that it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do this during the day), so it’s the perfect plant to keep in your bedroom for an air quality boost.
Not to be negated, the sight and smell of certain plants also having calming effects on the human body. Take the viney plant, Jasmine, for example. According to a study by the Wheeling Jesuit University, Jasmine has a positive effect on the quality of sleep, decreasing anxiety and improving the attitude one has after waking up. The smell of Jasmine wasn’t found to make people sleep more, but instead, improve the quality of sleep by reducing interruptions in normal sleep patterns. Though Jasmine hasn’t been a traditional houseplant, it’s now starting to grow in popularity. Additionally, the essential oils of Jasmine and other plants have been shown to have many of the same positive effects; just something to consider.
Whether it’s plants, the soothing sound of water, or improving the air quality, do whatever it takes for you to feel relaxed and comfortable in your sleep sanctuary. Make your bedroom a sacred place where peace, calm, and relaxation are overflowing. When you walk into a sleep sanctuary, it’ll be easy to peacefully drift off to your dreams.
Sleep Sanctuary Power Tip # 1
Get at least one houseplant to improve the air quality in your home and go from there. If you don’t have a green thumb and can barely take care of your own personal grooming (let alone a plant), then get a really low-maintenance plant, please. The pros of having a houseplant are simply too good to pass up; just make sure that it’s something that suits you and not an additional stressor. If you don’t have a good resource for houseplants, simply check out etree.pk for many of the most popular varieties.
Sleep Sanctuary Power Tip # 2
If you share a sleeping space with someone else, make an agreement with them to keep office work out of the bedroom. This is a sacred space for the both of you, and usually it just takes a heart-to-heart conversation to make sure that everyone is on the same page. The biggest person to hold to the agreement is yourself, so have the discipline to keep your bed reserved for sleep