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Sleep deprivation is a pressing problem for many Nigerians, according to Dr. A. Adefemi, who gave a lecture on World Sleep Day in to warn Nigerians of the importance of sleep for their physical and mental health. As noted by Dr. Adefemi, sleeping the recommended number of hours (between seven and nine hours per night) is necessary to keep heart disease, obesity, and fatigue at bay. Resting well ensures more than our own health; it also reduces the likelihood of road and other accidents, which can occur more frequently when we are tired, sleepy, and unfocused. If you find that you aren’t sleeping as much as you should, or you wake up feeling fatigued instead of refreshed, ask yourself if your bedroom might be the problem. How can you optimise its design, to enhance the feeling of sleepiness and sleep in line with your body’s natural circadian rhythms?
How Comfortable is Your Bed?
One of the most important features of a well designed bedroom for sleep, is a comfortable bed. Not any old mattress will do. You need to pick one that is the right firmness for your sleeping position. For instance, if you sleep on your back or stomach, a firm mattress will keep back pain at bay. If you are a side sleeper, a bed made of memory latex foam will ensure all your pressure points are equally supported. This will stop you from waking up frequently to change positions. If you already have back or shoulder pain, a topper mattress will provide extra support and pressure relief. Clearly, buying a mattress is not a decision that should be made impulsively. Research and professional advice are key.
Why is Darkness Essential?
Your room should be completely dark and cool, since your body’s circadian rhythms help you feel sleepy in dark environments. Moreover, as you begin to fall asleep, your body temperature drops, so staying cool can help you nod off more quickly. If light is entering your bedroom from the street or from other areas of the house, the solution is the use of blackout curtains, which will ensure complete darkness in your resting space. These curtains come in a variety of colours and styles, so you can easily find the perfect match for your design tastes.
Silence is Key
If you live in a noisy area or your bedroom is in a noisy part of your home, consider making a change to your set-up. In order to feel truly rested, you need to reach all the relevant stages of sleep, including deep sleep (the most restorative phase, during which the body produces Human Growth Hormone – which is important for building and maintaining healthy tissue in the brain and other organs of the body). To reach deep sleep, you need to stay asleep, waking up no more than once during the night. Noisy surroundings can make you wake frequently, which interferes with your natural progression through each sleep cycle.
A well designed bedroom for sleep is one that is dark and silent. A comfortable mattress is also important, as is avoiding stimulating foods before bedtime. Design is important but it isn’t everything. You should also aim to follow a strict bedtime routine, keep gadgets outside the room, and consider relaxing exercises or meditation before sleeping. Not only will you feel more vital every day, but also avoid the health problems caused by sleep deprivation.
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