With severe weather warnings for later today and throughout the night, the sleep experts at MattressNextDay have shared their top tips for a successful night’s sleep.
The fact that the outdoors may be trembling should give you even more incentive to make your bedroom a source of comfort and feature the right conditions to fall and stay asleep throughout the storm.
1. Protect your home so you feel less anxious before bed
It’s hard to switch off at night when there’s a severe weather warning so to help feel as secure as possible, you should take all the right precautions to protect your home. This includes keeping your car parked in your garage or at least away from any trees that may fall. You should also put away any patio furniture, and make sure that all doors and windows are closed and locked during the expected time of the weather warning.
2. De-clutter your bedroom to help you de-stress
Cleaning your bedroom is the perfect way to prepare your bedroom for a storm outside. Research shows that a cluttered bedroom can worsen your anxiety levels, which could keep you up at night. What’s more, decluttering can keep you preoccupy your mind off the storm given that it is due to start in the afternoon (around 3 pm).
3. Switch to fresh sheets to help you fall asleep faster
Use tonight to turn your bed into as much of a sanctuary as possible. Change your bedding and bedsheets as it’s a well-known fact that you feel more comfortable in fresh beds. You should also spritz some watered-down fabric conditioner onto your sheets, as not only will this eliminate any creases, but the scent could provide sedative properties to help you drift off faster.
4. Surround yourself with pillows to make you feel subconsciously safer
You should consider forming a thick pillow and blanket barrier around your bed, as this will subconsciously make you feel safer throughout the night. Plus, you’ll feel even cosier surrounded by a cushion cocoon.
5. Spray some lavender oil for its sedative properties
The calming powers of lavender are well-known for lulling people into a peaceful slumber, so much so that many people purchase pillow sprays in this scent as this also has sedative properties. Further studies have shown that lavender can improve sleep quality and lower anxiety as effectively as a low dose of the sedative, lorazepam.
6. Stay off your phone for at least three hours before bed
You should also consider making your bedroom a no-phone zone tonight. Not only is it distracting before bed because of the blue light emitted on your screen, which signals to your brain that it’s daytime despite it being outside – but reading the news and social updates about the weather can make you more anxious about what’s happening outside. You should, therefore, use the night mode feature on your phone at least three hours before you go to bed, or ideally, avoid your phone altogether.
7. Use noise-cancelling headphones to block out the outdoors
Ideally, we recommend using a wireless pair to prevent any issues with wires as you roll around throughout the night, however, any noise-cancelling headphones will do. We also recommend that you listen to relaxing pleasant sounds for sleeping, such as ASMR or a podcast made specifically for sleep.
8. Alternatively, use earplugs to initiate an extra deep sleep
If you don’t have noise-cancelling headphones or struggle to sleep with sounds in the background, then earplugs will work just as well as these help block surrounding, scary noises. These are also a more budget-friendly option.
9. Sleep in a hoodie for extra soundproofing
Another way to block out any loud noises is by wearing a hoodie. The bigger, the better as ideally, it should cover both ears to help shield you from any sounds outside. Plus, if you place the hood over your eyes, you’ll be able to protect your eyes from any lights outside which can keep you awake for longer. Light is the most important external factor affecting sleep. It plays a central role in regulating our body’s internal clock, otherwise known as our circadian rhythm. This signals when to be alert and when to rest. That’s why it is important to start dimming your lights at night-time (or using more ambient lamps instead of your ceiling light) so that by the time you get to bed, your bedroom is virtually black.
10. Try this deep breathing exercise
Deep breathing exercises are a tried and tested way of calming the mind for effortless sleep. We recommend the 4-7-8 method as it releases endorphins into the body, creating a calming effect:
• Take a few natural breaths and close your eyes.
• Keep your lips tightly sealed and inhale through your nose.
• As you exhale, make the sound of the letter M. Keep humming until you feel the need to inhale again.
• Repeat by inhaling through your nose and humming as you exhale.