Drew & Jonathan Scott, Hosts of HGTV’s Property Brothers, weigh in with advice on reducing trouble-making sleep disruptors in your bedroom
Binging on Netflix, tossing and turning from the stressreel rerun in your brain or a symphony of snoring from your partner – all can add up to a grumpy you in the morning. And when you don’t get the sleep you need, night after night, short and long term health can be jeopardized. To be honest, not getting enough sleep regularly can cheat you out of more than a healthy, vibrant life. It can actually shorten it.
When it comes to how long you’re going to live, there’s a lot of truth in the saying that genetics are a loaded gun. But lifestyle and environment are the triggers. You may carry genes for a multitude of diseases, but whether you get them or not is largely dependent on how you live your life.
Are you giving your body the ammunition it needs to aim for a faraway finishing line? “If you’re not sleeping well, it’s time to reconsider your sleeping habits – and begin making changes,” say Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s Property Brothers. “You’ll be amazed how a few positive tweaks can improve sleep and boost your feeling of overall wellness.”
Healthy lifestyle tweaks your future grandkids will thank you for!
1. Smart bedroom design from Drew & Jonathan Scott. “We’ve often talked about how important it is to create a bedroom that’s an oasis of calm and tranquility. Investing in a few key items will truly transform your bedroom into a high-performance sleep room.
- Storage bins will help tuck away things you don’t use on a regular basis.
- A handy laundry hamper will keep surfaces free of dirty clothes until wash day.
- Room darkening blinds and curtains will ensure your sleep isn’t interrupted by neighborhood streetlights or sunrise.
- Also, think about paint color. We often use soothing shades of blue, green and gray to help with relaxation before nodding off to dreamland.”
2. Electronics before bedtime. There’s a growing body of research that shows the blue light from laptops, tablets, televisions and smartphones interferes with sleep quality. That light sends wake-up signals to the brain – the opposite of what you want as you prepare to turn in for the night. Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor, advises people to set an electronic curfew. “Try limiting your use before bedtime and put the computer and phone to bed in another room and see if that helps. If you have a teenager in the house, try to limit their use of their cell phones as much as possible before bedtime.”
3. Alcohol & caffeine. While an after-dinner cup of coffee or a late-night nightcap might feel relaxing, both alcohol and caffeine can seriously affect the quality of your sleep. For starters, the stimulating effects of caffeine can linger in your bloodstream for up to 6 hours. And though alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, it’s a short-lived benefit. Alcohol is a diuretic, depleting your body of the hydration needed for all the overnight repair going in your system. Waking up to use the bathroom or because of a blazing headache are just a few of the side-effects that will wreak havoc with your sleep. Instead, opt for a cup of chamomile tea, glass of warm milk or a nighttime smoothie (with sleep enhancing ingredients) to help you unwind before bed.
4. Mattress advice from Drew & Jonathan Scott. “A lumpy, bumpy mattress is your cue it’s replacement time. Most mattresses last approx. 7 years – though that depends on the sleeper’s body size and sleep hygiene. Hanging onto an old mattress too long will not only impair your sleep, it may also create or exacerbate back and joint pain. If your mattress has done it’s duty, it’s time to go mattress shopping. Getting the right mattress takes time but follow a few simple tips in this mattress shopping video and you’ll be rewarded with the best sleep of your life. Worth it, right?”
5. Noise disturbances. Traffic sounds, barking dogs, squeaky floors or the whirr of an air conditioner may be robbing you of your best sleep. After all, even when we’re sleeping our ears are still working hard to protect us from danger. While earplugs are a surefire fix, your choice of furnishings can also help absorb ambient noise. Consider an area rug, thick curtains or shutters to make your bedroom quieter. Some people also find that a white noise machine or small fan, which can sit nicely your nightstand, also improves their sleep environment.
6. Exercising. Physical activity plays an important role in good health, but timing is key. If you’re working out close to bedtime, expect to struggle to fall asleep. High-intensity exercise revs up all your internal systems, instead of helping you wind down. Plan workouts for earlier in the day and switch to yoga or gentle stretching in the evening.
7. Temperature of your bedroom. You might like to be cozy under a mountain of blankets in the wintertime, but your bedroom temperature should be on the cool side. The Better Sleep Council recommends 65 F (18C). Also, quality bed linens made of breathable, natural materials, such as cotton, will help regulate your body sleep temperature.
8. Stress. If your mind is doing the monkey jump – hoping from vine to vine – while you’re trying to fall asleep, it’s going to be a long night. Set yourself up for success and begin unplugging from the rest of the world an hour before you want to go to sleep. Turn off the television and do something that will reduce stress and calm you, such as writing in a journal, reading, meditating, doing a crossword puzzle, taking a bath or sipping a tea in a quiet area of your home. Make these kinds of activities part of your nightly ritual and stick to a regular bedtime for best results.
Wishing you all sweet dreams!