Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. These are your 5 traditional senses, all of which can in some way affect the way you sleep. As with any action or performance the difference between good (or acceptable) and great is the detail. With this in mind, please consider the way your 5 senses influence how well (or badly) you sleep.
It would be unusual for you to sleep with your eyes open, so you won’t actually see anything. However, physiologically you would normally sleep when it’s dark and be awake during daylight hours. In fact your brain is programmed to perform certain tasks when you’re awake and different tasks when you sleep, so, if you try to sleep during the day or be awake in the dark, your brain becomes confused, your body tries to compensate and your sleep performance becomes impaired. Because of this, you should find that eliminating all light from your bedroom will help you sleep better.
Some loud noises may keep you awake, like being woken by a clap of thunder. Some rhythmic, soothing sounds may help you fall asleep, like singing your child a lullaby. Of course, there are times when you could sleep despite noise and other times when the slightest sound wakes you up. Listen for the sounds in your bedroom and eliminate the ones you dislike. In extreme cases, you may need soundproofing but sometimes simply closing windows and doors can be beneficial.
What you eat and drink, especially just before bedtime can affect the way you sleep. Stimulants, like caffeine or alcohol would more likely keep you awake, so avoid these a few hours before you sleep. (Definitely no energy drinks).
Other foods help you to relax and can be beneficial when introduced into your pre-bedtime routine. One example is eating a banana about an hour before you go to bed. The potassium the banana contains, naturally helps to relax your muscles, but it takes about an hour for that process to start. Other common bedtime beverages include camomile tea and a milky malt drink.
When you can smell something bad, you may find this distracting as you try to sleep. Dampness, has a distinctive smell and is unhealthy. Close windows so that exterior smells don’t penetrate into your bedroom and if your child wets the bed, be sure to clean and deodorise their bedroom so that the smell doesn’t discourage them from returning to their bed to sleep.
Aroma therapists may advise you to introduce pleasant, soothing smells into your bedroom. Lavender for example, is a proven relaxant and pot pouri; a blend of dried herbs, is a common and effective air freshener. Click here to see our lavender aroma pillow.
Getting into nice, crisp, freshly laundered bedsheets is a great feeling. This is because your bed is now clean and dry and the sheets smooth to touch, this is especially noticeable with 100% cotton, or high cotton content bed linens. This feeling diminishes over the next few nights as your sheet absorb your body moisture and become damp and crumpled. Turning back your bedclothes to allow them to breathe helps to keep that fresh feeling. The cosy comfortable feel of your bedsheets and nightclothes can help you sleep well.
Follow the author Jerry Cheshire on twitter @thebeducator