Alanna McGinn is CEO, Founder and Certified Sleep Expert of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. Host of the ‘This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and Sleep Expert on Cityline, Alanna has established Good Night Sleep Site as a #1 sleep resource for families. She and her team of consultants strive to help people overcome their sleep challenges and have well-rested smiles in the morning.
Our bedrooms should be escapes to calmness, relaxation, and ultimately sweet sleep. In today’s society, we are spending more and more time in our bedrooms not sleeping. Our bedrooms are becoming our home office, our child’s playroom, our entertainment centre, and the number one place to fall down the TikTok hole. When we are spending a lot of awake time in our bed, surfing, streaming, and struggling with stress and ruminating thoughts we really start struggling to fall asleep.
Something as simple as creating the right sleep environment can go a long way in getting a good night of sleep. You want to create a strong association between sleep and your bedroom and when we are creating our sleep sanctuary we want to focus on appealing to our five senses.
How you feel when you walk into your bedroom will be largely cued by what you see. At bedtime, use blackout blinds or an eye mask to work with your external environment to help prepare your body and mind to sleep by darkening your room as best you can to naturally release melatonin, our natural sleep hormone. Choose wall and bedding colours that appeal to your calming senses and make getting in bed and falling asleep more inviting.
Introducing a white noise machine or sound spa to the bedroom can be relaxing and help drown out any external sounds like a busy street, loud birds, or noisy neighbours.
If you are thinking of sound proofing your room, keep in mind doing so doesn’t have to be a huge expense. A set of earplugs can be an affordable solution to blocking out the external noises keeping you awake. For those that need some soothing sounds you can turn on a bedtime playlist or meditation app on your phone.
Incorporating relaxing scents can be a great way to cue the drift off to sleep. Aromatherapy and essential oils can mimic a spa like experience and restful environment. Look for relaxing pillow sprays, bubble bath, or face oils that evoke calming scents and can be included in your nightly bedtime routine.
You want to avoid heavy meals at least four hours before heading to bed, but certain nutritious foods at bedtime can benefit your sleep. Choosing healthy snacks such as low-glycemic foods that keep blood sugar levels stable, can help you sleep soundly at night. Include snacks like fruit, nuts, yogurt, granola, or oatmeal, and a calming bedtime tea (like warm chamomile) to promote a better night of sleep.
Physical comfort and temperature are key ingredients for a good night of sleep. We tend to sleep better in a cooler environment. Choose a temperature that works best for you, but ideally the air temperature in the room should be between 69 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 23 degrees Celsius). If you sleep with a partner, your side of the bed should be customized to your needs. And if you're a hot sleeper invest in breathable and temperature-regulating sheets and duvet insert fills that help keep you both cool and cozy while you sleep.
You can find out more about Alanna and her team of Good Night Sleep Consultants at goodnightsleepsite.com, and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram and TikTok.