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Zzzzz ... How are you sleeping?

Now is a great time to reset your sleep habits—start by making your bedroom a place designed for rest, relax and sleep.

Lately, a lot of attention has been paid to the topic of sleep.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepiness affects job performance and poses safety hazards.  If you are having trouble sleeping, you may want to try these simple tips by making a few changes to your bedroom to create the perfect sleep environment.

First, your bedroom should be a place where you can rest, relax and sleep.  Start by eliminating clutter and any work related materials such as computers.  Keep cellphones in another room to avoid annoying blinking lights. Keep worries at bay by writing down concerns in a “worry” book to address the next day.   Choose calming color palettes such as blues and greens and use drapery panels and area rugs to dampen sound.

Next, check the room temperature.  We sleep best in cool rooms—somewhere between 65-70°F—so turn down the thermostat by a few degrees in the evening. Use a ceiling fan on the low setting to keep your bedroom comfortable in the months where air conditioning is not yet needed.

Lastly, to foil the waking effects of light, your room needs to be dark. Some light sources are easy to control. It is relatively easy to turn off inside lights, reposition your alarm clock or turn off the television. Other light sources like outside street lights, your neighbor’s outdoor lighting and moonlight are best controlled by limiting access.

Your window coverings and the features you add to them are the first line of defense against the sleep-disrupting light.

  • Room darkening liners – Shift workers and urban residents may benefit most from adding these to your window treatments.  These block the most light from entering the room creating the dark environment that’s most conducive to sleep.
  • Routless louvers – If you’ve ever slept in a room with blinds, you may have noticed that light seeps through those tiny holes through which the internal lift cords run. Routless louvers eliminate those tiny little holes, darkening the room so you can sleep.
  • Drapery Panels – If light is seeping in and disturbing your sleep, drapery panels do double duty as decorative elements and functional light blockers. 
  • Cornice boxes and valances – Cornice boxes and valances are decorative touches that are highly effective at blocking light that may seep in through the headrail of a window treatment.   

Conversely, the light you want to avoid in the evening can help you with the waking process in the morning.  Motorized window coverings can be programmed to open allowing the sunlight to naturally start your day. 

These tips should help you acquire better quality sleep, which will lead to higher productivity, better health and a positive attitude throughout the day.  Additional sleep facts can be found at www.sleepfoundation.org.

The author, Elaine Trotter, is the co-owner of Budget Blinds of Greater Tampa located on the corner of 41 and 54 in Land O’Lakes. For more information, visit www.budgetblinds.com/LandOLakes or call 813-909-9000.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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