Sleep on it

Postdate: 19 July 2016

Your environment has a big impact on your sleep. The ideal sleeping environment gives rest and comfort, which make the process of sleeping a lot easier. You can achieve this by making small adjustments. For example, light and dark determine your sleep-wake rhythm for the greater part, but you can also play with colours and temperature.

Avoid stimuli
A dark, clean, and quiet sleeping environment is important for a good night's sleep. Ventilation plays a big role as the carbon dioxide level must not get too high. A temperature of around 16-18 degrees is best. Some colours can influence your sleep to some degree, but research has shown that blue is the most relaxing colour. You can help your body by dimming the light before going to bed and by turning off the TV in time: this will increase the release of melatonin, which is responsible for the sleep-wake rhythm. Place your smartphone, laptop, or tablet as far away from you as possible so you don't get the urge to look at them.

Make sure you're comfortable
A good mattress and pillow are also often underrated. Taking your weight, favourite sleeping position, and preference for a harder or softer mattress into account when you buy a mattress, you will probably sleep a lot more comfortably. Try not to do too many work-related activities in your bedroom. When you do this, there is a good chance that your bedroom will be turned into a living room - office, which will result in sleeping less well.

How you get up has a huge effect on the rest of your day. A pleasant, quiet melody is often better than a hard and disturbing sound. Studies show that the alarm clock functions as a sort of conditioning device: it trains you to react to the signal. Your body will get used to it better when you get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off. This will make the start of the day more energetic and you will experience getting up less as a struggle. Snoozing will make your body and mind confused, because when you think 'I can stay in bed for another 5 minutes', you will develop the tendency to remain in bed for another 5 minutes after the next alarm. So your brain will not link the signal to getting out of bed.

'The best way to see what tomorrow brings is to sleep through the night'

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