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The ULTIMATE Sleep Environment

The ideal sleep environment is a complicated thing. It can't be reduced to just the temperature or lighting, but it also isn't just about your mattress or pillow. The perfect sleep environment is something that takes everything into account—including your sense of smell, sight, sound, taste and touch. If you're looking for ways to improve your sleep quality, here are five things you need to consider before going to bed at night:

The sense of smell

  • Research has shown that a person's sense of smell can have a significant impact on sleep quality. One study found that chemical compounds released when essential oils are burned or diffused can help improve sleep in people with insomnia. If you're wondering which scents to use for this purpose, try lavender or frankincense — both of these classics have been proven to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. I love to use my Calm Botanical Essence in the evening which is a blend of lavender, frankincense and eucalyptus. Great to help with sleep and open the nasal passages to help you breathe easier.

  • Along with essential oils, herbal teas are another great way to promote relaxation and improve your chances at getting quality shuteye. For example, Lemon Balm is known as a natural sedative that helps with insomnia and other sleep-related issues like stress. Other herbs like chamomile tea also provide calming benefits when consumed before bedtime. Both these herbs are in my Tsui Apothecary Time Out Tea to promote a good night's rest.

The sense of sight

When it comes to the sense of sight, you can think of your bedroom as a stage. What you see on that stage will help determine whether or not you're able to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest.

If it's nighttime and you're still awake, try turning off all lights in your room except for one small lamp—the dimmer the better. Most people are comfortable with a dark room when they go to bed, so make sure there aren't any bright lamps shining directly at your face while you sleep. If necessary, use an eye mask like my silk eye mask to block out any light coming from other sources (like streetlights). This will help encourage melatonin production which is key for quality sleep—and who doesn't want more quality sleep?!

I always have my salt lamp on as well in the evenings and use this as my reading light. We need to try and avoid as much blue light as possible in the evenings so use your salt lamps and keep your screens off at least an hour before bed.

The sense of sound

You can improve your sleep environment by adding sound, too. The choices are almost endless: white noise, nature sounds, music or the hum of a fan. If you’re having trouble falling asleep because of intrusive noises in your home, invest in a sound machine. If you have trouble falling asleep when traveling or even staying at someone else’s house then try ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones to block out distracting noises like rustling papers or loud voices that may wake you up during the night.

I also love to put this playlist on in the evening if I'm doing meditation or if I wake in the middle of the night.

The sense of taste

You've got a direct line to your brain through the sense of taste. That's why it's so important to use food as a tool in your sleep environment. When you want to get better sleep, try eating foods that are high in magnesium and melatonin (like bananas and sunflower seeds), or foods that support your digestive system (such as ginger). When you wake up ready for adventure, start the day with a cup of matcha for a slow release of caffeine without the disrupted night's sleep.

The sense of touch

Touch and temperature are very important to sleep, so keep the room cool. You want to be able to feel your body temperature rise when you take off a layer of clothing and get into bed. The same is true for blankets: they should never be heavy enough that they restrict blood flow through your body (think “light as a cloud”). A good rule of thumb is to avoid using more than one blanket when possible, especially if you tend to run hot during the night.

As for pillows and mattresses, always choose something soft—think down or feather pillows; memory foam mattress with at least 4" thickness; plush, soft duvets or blankets. Avoid anything that's too stiff or too hard in any way!

I couldn't be without my silk pillowcase. It doesn't absorb my products off my skin, my hair doesn't get as greasy or knot the same either - plus it's also anti-ageing because it doesn't drag or pull my skin. Absolute win win in my opinion.

Creating a good sleep environment is a key part of good sleep practices.

In order for you to get the best possible sleep, it is important that your environment is conducive to this. Using all five senses is a great way to trigger all aspects of getting a good night's sleep. Try and hit as many as you can before you go to bed to help give you the best possible sleep.

I hope this guide has been helpful in understanding how each sense is related to sleep and how to create the best environment for yourself. If you want to learn more about sleep, why not have a look at some of my previous posts on sleep and also visit my social media where I've been talking about it a lot too.

Thanks so much for reading,

Emmaline x


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