How to Make Your Bedroom Healthier

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As I mentioned in my article “One of the Best Health Tips of All-Time”, changing your environment plays a key role in your health and it makes sense to change the environment of places you spend the most time. In this particular article, I will be covering the bedroom. A place we all spend time because it’s primarily the place we go to sleep for the longest amount of time. Unfortunately, many do not use it as such or optimize their bedroom for such activity.

Lack of sleep can lead to memory issues, mood changes, weakened immune system, weight gain, low sex drive, risk of heart disease, increase risk of accidents, poor balance, high blood pressure, and risk of diabetes (1). Does any of the above sound like something you deal with? Lack of sleep may be the culprit.

Now, allow me to make some recommendations on how to make your bedroom a healthier place. Primarily for you to get better sleep and rest. I’ll even provide some products for you to consider.

Mattress

Let’s start with the very thing you sleep on, the mattress on your bed. Sleeping on a bad mattress can affect your health and ability to have sound sleep in several ways. A bad mattress can cause you to wake several times a night to try to get comfortable. It may cause aches and pain in your joints from more pressure on your joint from the layers breaking down. It may also cause alignment issues with your back due to a lack of proper support.

Other issues of a bad mattress include excessive heat due to the material its made out of, the buildup of allergens from the improper air flow, and/or dust mites which are attracted to dead skin cells that can cause sneezing, watery eyes, sinus pressure, and a runny nose.

To fix this, invest in a new mattress from companies such as Plush Beds, Saatva, or Naturpedic. It’s an investment that’s well worth the price to increase your quality of life and health. Get the proper foundation to support the mattress and allow airflow. Finally, get a washable mattress cover to reduce allergen buildup.

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Pillows

Next, find a pillow that suits your comfort level. You do not want a pillow that bends your neck forward or to one side. That’s a common mistake that can lead to neck pain and stiff neck.  Add hours of sleeping in an awkward position on top of all the other strain you put on your neck throughout the day when on your phone, using your laptop, looking at tv, and so forth. It’s a recipe for disaster. Your pillow should keep your neck parallel to the mattress for proper alignment.

Consider getting a pillow that adapts your position; cervical contour pillows are a great option. In addition, choose a material that does not cause you to overheat and still provides support such as latex foam. Finally, select a pillow cover that is breathable and remains cool as you sleep. Classic cotton, silk, or bamboo cases are viable options.

Sheets/Comforter

Just as with the pillow cases you want to use a material that’s breathable and keeps you cool such as cotton, silk, or bamboo. Other options to consider would be linen since it’s breathable and moisture-wicking and wool surprisingly, wool inside a comforter can actually help draw heat away from your body.

Now, some people just like the weight of something on their body to help them sleep and this is where a weighted blanket comes in handy. Weighted blankets provide several benefits such as providing a sense of security and comfort for some helping to manage stress and anxiety to sleep better. There are two types of weight blankets to choose from, duvet-style which use other materials such as beads, plastic, bearing, or other material to add weight. Finally, there is a knitted style where dense yarn or material is used to for weight.

Before purchasing a weighted blanket, make sure it’s appropriate for you. Some people have health conditions that may be more harmful than good. Conditions such as asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and low blood pressure are a few. You also want to be strong enough to get the blanket off you if need be. Blankets can weigh anywhere from 7 pounds to 25 pounds. Be sure to speak to your physician first if you have any concerns.

Lighting

This is one many people tend not to think about especially considering the technological era we live in where devices emitting light are constantly around us. This is not the natural amount of light we’re supposed to be exposed to throughout the day which can affect your circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm, also called the circadian cycle, is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours primarily responding to light and dark. (3, 4). By design are to be awake during the daylight hours and asleep during night hours due to certain hormones and genes to meet the needs of the body to survive.

Therefore, one of the major things you can do to make your bedroom healthier is to make the room as dark as possible once it’s bedtime. You should gradually start winding down just as the sun gradually begins to set in the evening and it gets dark.  If there’s too much light coming in through your window, get some nightshades to block it out. Instead of being up on your phone or laptop, read a paperback book until you fall asleep since it doesn’t emit any light. If you must use electronics, use them in night mode and dim the lighting. Again, ideally, you want it as dark as possible when it’s bedtime.

Air Quality

If you’re one that struggles with allergies or any respiratory issues, poor air quality can make it worse. This can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. You be surprised how polluted the air is in your home, especially if filters aren’t cleaned regularly. Now you can’t make the air quality 100% pure but you can help to minimize the pollution in the air to improve the air quality.

You can do it by investing in an air purifier and changing the air filter in your home regularly. Two, reduce the number of chemicals brought into your room, especially ones that off-gas or emit chemicals, so be mindful of the pain, furniture, and other things you bring to your room. Four, buy some air purifying plants for your room and let nature do the work. All in all, do your best to keep everything as natural and pure as possible.

Temperature

I somewhat mentioned temperature earlier when speaking on the sheets and pillows but staying cool helps with sleep as well. It’s not comfortable to sleep in sweat-drenched sheets and be overheated. One could simply turn the air condition on if they have one for their home although some prefer not to cut it on to save money. Therefore, other options could be to turn on a fan, open a window, simply remove a layer or two of sheets, or sleep naked. Finally, just to toss out there, there is a company called Chilisleep that makes a product that makes sleep systems that can cool your bed all from your phone or remote they provide depending on the system one gets. It’s based on temperature-controlled sleep. You might want to check them out.

In summary, your bedroom is primarily for sleep and rest. Therefore, build an environment that is conducive to sleep. Sleep plays a key factor in your overall health and well-being. You’ll feel so much better after getting quality on a regular basis. Think of it this way, if you sleep most of the time in your bedroom, why build an environment that’ll take care of you while sleeping?

Be sure to share this with your family, friends, and co-workers. I know there are plenty of people that can use this, don’t keep it to yourself. I hope that you found it useful yourself and that it further motivates you.

Be sure to check how to make these other environments in your life healthy:

Kitchen

Living Room

Workplace

Bathroom

Car/Truck/Van

If in need of more assistance with your fitness and nutrition, consider my services, read more of my blog, and visit my healthy lifestyle resource page.

Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You

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