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How to sleep better: Five ways to make your bedroom sleep-friendly

1. Ban technology

It’s boring but true – TV is a stimulant and if you’re having trouble sleeping, you need to do a Keith Richards and throw that telly out of the window. You want your brain to associate your bedroom with total relaxation and nothing else (apart from sex – that’s still allowed btw) and that means no working in bed either. Even reading would be better done on the sofa. You’re getting the picture.

2. Keep it dark

Our sleep cycle is triggered by light and dark, so help regulate your circadian rhythms by keeping your bedroom dark. The blue light in most indoor lighting, LED alarms and screens is also in daylight, which is what encourages the brain to want to wake up. That’s why you need to swerve technology as much as possible before bed and if you wake up during the night. Otherwise your brain will be all like, “Whaaa? Do I have to get up now??”

3. Don’t have the heating on

Your circadian rhythm and your core body temperature are a team. At night, when our bodies are meant to be winding down to go to sleep, our temperature drops, triggering our brains to want to go to sleep. If your bedroom is cooler, you’ll reach your sleep temperature more quickly and your brain will respond accordingly. Lots of scientists believe sleeping naked really helps in regulating your body’s temperature, where pyjamas might keep it too high (you know, that waking up sweaty thing).

4. Be comfortable

It sounds screamingly obvious, but is your bed comfortable enough? A lot of people complain about their mattress being too hard or their pillows being too squidgy. Going to bed with an expectation that you’ll be uncomfortable is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. We spend a whopping third of our lives asleep, so it’s not throwing money away to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible.

5. Be tidy

Remember you are trying to create positive associations for your brain when it comes to your bedroom. Walking into a room with an unmade bed and clothes flung all over the place is not going to make you think, “Mmm! Relaxing!” Keeping things tidy and in order creates a calm environment. A small thing, but it helps.

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