How your sleep environment affects your actual ability to sleep
We all know people who can fall asleep almost anywhere (on the beach, on a plane etc). When your sleep cycle is robust and you are relaxed about it, you will find you can sleep in all sorts of circumstances. Many shift workers are able to do this. They just learn to adjust the start of their sleep cycle to the hours that they need. If your sleep cycle has been disrupted, you must make sure that your sleep environment is as helpful as possible.
What is your sleep environment? Your sleep environment is simply the space in which you attempt to sleep. It may vary as our lifestyle dictates but it is extremely important that you feel comfortable within your sleep environment and the places and time that you associate with sleep.
The human mind is very sensitive to association when it comes to sleep. For example, nearly everyone has a favorite comfortable spot within their home that they associate with relaxation. I have a sofa that is so easy to sink into that I relax as soon as I sit in my favorite spot. I look forward to coming home from work and sitting in that spot and it's very easy for me to drift off to sleep in that spot.
When you remove the sleep disruptions in your life and create positive sleep associations, everything begins to change.
It is vital to associate your bed with a relaxation zone. Never do any type of work or anything else that may trigger tension in your bedroom. That is a relaxation zone only. This is vital. It is easy to forget how powerful that our everyday habits can be because we are so used to doing it that way. There are so many things that people do in their bed because they can't sleep. This just makes things worse. There are only two things that you should do in your bed and they are sleep and make love. That's it. No TV, no eating, no reading your favorite books til late in the night. Turn your alarm clock away from you so you cannot see the time. Yes, watching the clock can keep you from falling asleep. Lots of people who suffer from sleep issues keep opening their eyes and looking at the time. This causes you to obsess over sleep. Your alarm will wake you up in the morning. You don't need to look at it all night long. This may sound simplistic but trust me when I say that associations are very powerful.
Build the association between bed and sleep. If you lay in bed for more than 20 minutes and can't sleep. Get up and leave the bedroom until you feel sleepy. The unconscious mind is particulary sensitive to association and will increasingly associate your bed with sleep. No, this wont happen in one night but if you practice it consistently, your sleep habits will improve.
Your bed is your sleep environment and that is crucial to keep in mind.
Physical comfort is also extremely important within your sleep environment. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Many people keep their mattresses and pillows for far too long. All of them get worn out eventually and they become less comfortable. How can you obtain good sleep habits if you are not even comfortable? Your bed is an investment in your health. Don't go out and buy a cheap mattress. You are only harming yourself. Splurge on your mattress. Most of the furniture stores have those one year, same as cash deals. If you can't afford to pay for it all one, finance on one of those plans and pay it off within the year. You will pay no finance charges. Never skimp on your bed.
To wrap this post up- Keep 3 things in mind
* Make sure your sleep environment (AKA the bedroom) is dark, cool and quiet.
* Make sure your bed is comfortable
* Only sleep and make love in your sleep environment