Tablets and televisions, laptops and smartphones: They all emit a blue light—and that's what's worrying scientists. While this light boosts mood and alertness during the day, at night it can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle. They recommend avoiding screens beginning two to three hours before hitting the pillow. For many, that might be a hard to pill to swallow, so at the very least, keep light-emitting electronics out of the bedroom.
Related: 9 Ways to Make Your TV Look at Home
Why should pets, especially if they're this cute, be banned from the bedroom? Well, for one, they can disturb your sleep cycle by waking at odd hours and wanting to play. They may even exacerbate pre-existing allergies and asthma or track fleas onto your bedding. Cuddle with your cat or dog on the couch, but don't bring it into the bedroom.
Here's the thing about halogen lights: they get hot—fire-hazard hot! You'll want to steer clear of this bulb, especially if the light source is in a child's room or is covered by fabric or paper. Look to LED bulbs for a safer alternative.
You know how it's nice to live close to your family, but not too close? The same principle applies with family photos. They're perfect for your living room or entryway, but having them in your bedroom is a big feng shui no-no. They can trigger memories of obligations, and all that noise in your head can keep you awake and anxious.
A toasty bedroom in winter is hard to beat. But if you're warming up with a space heater, take care. If you must use one in the bedroom, always be sure to turn it off before you go to bed and never leave it unattended. If you can't trust yourself to follow protocol, maybe it's time to trade in for a warmer bedding set.
Related: 10 Space Heaters We Love
Is clutter really bad for your sleep cycle? There are many who say yes, absolutely. When you turn in for the night amidst piles of dirty clothes and stacks of unread books, your mind may have a harder time relaxing. So do like mom always told you and clean your room; your serene bedroom awaits.
There’s reading in bed, then there’s working in bed. Your bedroom is for relaxation and sleep, essentially a space where you can avoid stressful activities. The first step to a better work-life balance is moving the desk out. Studies show that working in bed actually weakens your brain's association between your bedroom and sleep. Bottom line: Your bedroom should be a work-free zone.
There’s nothing more satisfying than waking up on the weekend and enjoying a hearty breakfast in bed. Sure, it’s comfortable and convenient, but what about the unwanted pests crumbs tend to attract? For sanitation purposes alone, food should be left outside the bedroom.
Related: INFOGRAPHIC—DIY Pest Prevention
Between bolsters, shams, and throws, your bed can easily be overcrowded by a sea of pillows. Save yourself the trouble of having to remove mounds of extra decorative pillows at night by giving yourself a limit. Unless you’re sleeping on a king, cap your bed’s pillow mountain at 6. After all, when you’re sleeping, where are all those extra pillows going to go anyway?
While alcohol is certain to make you drowsy, it's better to lay off the nightcaps. Research shows drinks immediately before bed can actually disrupt your sleep cycle by limiting the deep sleep you'll get in a night, leaving you exhausted the next day.
Natural light is perfect for the morning wakeup, but can mess with your sleep if you let it in before your alarm clock buzzes. Choose dark, thick curtains to block out light that might come through your windows while you're trying to sleep. While you're at it, swap high-wattage bulbs for dimmer ones to complete the serene setting.
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