According to the American Sleep Association, insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder with 30% of adults reporting short-term insomnia and 10% reporting chronic insomnia. Terry Cralle, RN, is a certified Clinical Sleep Educator and certified in Clinical Sleep Health. She is also the co-author of Sleeping Your Way To The Top as well as children’s book Snoozby and the Great Big Bedtime Battle. She says, “The quality of life you lead largely depends on how well you sleep at night.”
There are many factors that can contribute to sleep issues. But no matter the diagnosis, Cralle believes our bedrooms can be part of the problem and that re-evaluating our sleeping spaces can be a drug-free way to treat insomnia.
Put Sleep First
Cralle believes bedrooms should only have two purposes—sleep and sex. Anything else can potentially affect our health negatively.
The first step of auditing a bedroom for optimal rest is to remove anything we don’t need because clutter can cause stress and anxiety. This even includes items we store under the bed. “Even though it’s out of sight, it’s still distracting. If you are short on storage space, only store sleep-related items there (bed sheets, linens, and pillows),” Cralle says.
Remove excessive books, electronics, unfolded laundry, exercise equipment, stacks of bills and other work. Neaten up any objects that must be left out.
Nightstands also tend to be used for storage. Cralle says to make sure your nightstands have cabinets or drawers to minimize visual clutter. “Limit the nightstand surface to a lamp, photo, book or journal and water carafe.”