Week Three: Creating Your Sleep Sanctuary

In 

THE CHALLENGE

To the best of your ability, take control of the light, temperature, comfort and sound in your sleep environment.

Your bedroom is your own personal shelter and a safeguard from the stresses of everyday life. The four main stimulants in your sleep environment that you can control are noise, light, temperature and comfort.

NOISE

Living in the city means that noisy neighbours, sirens and barking dogs are all too familiar. While we often can’t control the source, it’s important to find ways to minimise those outside noises in order to have as few interruptions to sleep as possible.

Noise during the first and last two hours of sleep as well as unfamiliar noise has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle. Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even when you don’t wake up.

Block out noise

Use ear-plugs to block out external noise or white noise that might come from objects in your room, such as a fan.

LIGHT

Your body sets its internal clock according to the natural rhythms of the day and night, with darkness triggering the release of the hormone melatonin that triggers your body’s need for sleep. A two-hour exposure to light from electronic displays suppresses melatonin by about 22% (melatonin is the chemical in your body that promotes sleep).

Make it dark

Cover flashing lights, alarm clocks and phones or move them out of the room all together. 

TEMPERATURE

The optimum temperature range for sleeping is 18-22 degrees celsius. When your sleep environment is warmer or cooler than this, you increase the chance of restless sleep. High temperatures can also cause vivid nightmares.

Overcoming the heat of the night

Wear breathable nightwear (or none at all!) and make sure your bedding is also suitable for the climate.

OVERALL COMFORT

Many people suffer from poor sleep due to the state of their mattress and pillow. Your mattress should be giving you the correct support and postural alignment, if not, it might be time for a new one.

It’s not a hospital bed

Your pillow needs to be firm enough to support your head and neck and maintain spines natural curve. It doesn’t matter if the mattress is classified as soft, medium or firm as long as it provides a good foundation. When it comes to bedding material, it should be lightweight, healthy and breathable.

Get involved in the discussion

  • Teresa

    Took out all things that omit light and it makes the room a lot more relaxing

  • Scotia

    I went back to ear plugs to knock out any noise and it helped me this week

  • Natasha

    Ok been a bit difficult to make major changes this week however I know what needs to happen. New blinds that close properly and good pillows. I have this week been making sure I make my bed as it’s always nicer to get into a made bed at night and have been lighting a scented candle the hour or so before I go to bed. I usually have the ceiling fan on when it’s a bit warmer to keep the temp down and the air circulating. Eye mask is also a good help to block out the light.

  • Cassie

    I’m loving this idea though my bedroom has always been my sanctuary!

  • Natasha

    Definitely something in improve this. Immediately I think I need new pillows! I have started wearing my eye mask recently as too much light creeps in between the timber venetians in the morning. This should be a fun week

    • TamaraK

      It’s amazing what pillows do Natasha. I stayed at my mum’s recently and wondered why I had such issues going to sleep. When I got back I realised how hard her pillows were, because the ones I was used to were so soft and fluffy and I slept like a baby that first night back!

      • Natasha

        Yes I have always thought pillows very important but never invested in expensive ones. I always notice when I stay at a good hotel and they have great pillows. Time to invest!

  • Danichi

    I truly believe lighting scented candles for a few hours and then taking it out of the room an hour before you sleep helps…as well as making sure you have a clean room.

  • Petra

    How do I stop my husband from snoring. It’s one of the things which will prevent me from sleeping. I do ear plugs, but some of the noise still gets through.
    Getting a new husband is out of the question. I like this one :-)

  • Deb Adams

    Living in a warm to hot climate and having menopausal symptoms hasn’t helped my sleep pattern. I usually have the air conditioner on low but still wake up between 2 to 5 times a night. When I wake up I instantly start thinking of work????

  • Janelle

    I must admit to being a bit dubious about this weeks challenge. i have always had the blinds open so that I can wake to natural light. I have closed the blinds this week so the room was completely dark. I live near the train line so blocking all noise is difficult. I did find this week that i didn’t notice the trains as much….. maybe the blind is blocking the noise? I have been feeling much better within myself and finding i have more energy during the day to get things done. This morning i woke up well and then discovered it was only 5.30am… which was actually 4.30am with the change of daylight savings! . So much for the extra hours sleep today! :-)

  • debra

    My mattress is orthopedic mattress and my room is mostly dark and my alarm clock doesn’t bother my sleep

  • Jeni

    Everything’s been going well – I’m a shiftworker, so my bedroom is already optimally set up as a “sleep sanctuary” – I’ve been sleeping great, haven’t had a sleeping pill for three weeks (that’s my major goal, sleep better and reduce my use of sleeping pills to occasional only) – until my monthly stint of night shift rolled around this week.
    Couldn’t fall asleep in the middle of the day for anything – consequently, sleeping pills came out, but not until I’d wasted a couple of hours trying without them, so ended up going to work last night quite sleep deprived.
    This morning, fell asleep just fine, but as usual, awoke in the middle of the day, and can’t get back to sleep. Have just had the next sleeping pill, and am heading back to bed to try for another couple of hours.
    Been taking melatonin religiously half hour before bed, turning off devices etc. Might have to resign myself to needing the drugs for a few days every fourth week.
    Hopefully when I finish nights, my nighttime sleeping habits might kick back in more easily though – usually takes me a week of insomnia to get my diurnal rhythm back on track.

  • Margaret

    My difficulties lie with menopause. Keeping cool is a disaster. I now have no Doona and just use a cover as my blanket and that works ok. Cooler weather is a blessing. I do not have a tv or gadgets in my room to disturb. I love the piece and quiet to sleep. Last couple of days I have managed really good sleeps without to much tossing and turning.

  • Emilia Berra

    I find it really hard to relax and get to sleep if I’m not under a doona all snuggley and warm… even in the height of summer! I sleep under a feather down Dona.
    I wear breathable PJs (although sometimes my birthday suit suffices!) and my bed is relatively new and offers the support I need.

    Given that I am uncomfortable without my blankets, should I still try to lose them?

  • Tracey

    The sleep sanctuary is a great idea. I prefer black out room but my partner likes the curtain open a bit.
    No tv but never had one in the bedroom.
    Calm environment, very comfortable air bed, so perfect pressure.
    Good colours in the room.
    I do look at my phone but not long that is my only vice.
    I sleep very well.

    Wonderful program
    Thank you BH Beard

  • Wendy Darcy

    I pretty well have all the bases covered the only problem is noise and unfortunately it comes from my husband

  • Deborah

    I can definitely relate to sleep difficulties if I’m hot. And I sleep much better if I can leave a window open all night for fresh air circulation. Clothing wise is usually a light-weight sleep shirt. I’ve recently invested in a new woollen blanket and I’ve found that the warmth is not stifling like a duvet can be. I always keep earplugs in my bedside drawer however, will get sore ears if I use them too much.

  • Jenny

    I already wear earplugs, no TV, room dark, light bed cover and light pjs. I don’t like window open because I hear every noise even with earplugs and also breeze makes blinds bang. Sleep better if fan blowing air around as I am having night sweats at moment. Hubby not too impressed as he gets cold. Guess I will compromise and give him an extra blanket lol

  • Lori

    It is a few years old. I never know how to look for the best mattress

    • AH Beard

      Hi Lori,

      Check out our ranges on our website and you can use our find a retailer function to find a store close to you. If you have any questions about the ranges, you can contact customer sales and they will gladly point you in the right direction: serviceteam@ahbeard.com or call them at 1300 654 000.

      Hope this helps!
      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Lori

    I don’t have a tv in my room trying to keep cool is my most difficult task. There is not much light in my room and no noise except for when and if bubs wakes during the night and I can not say much for my mattress as I wake up with a sore back nearly every morning

    • AH Beard

      Hi Lori!

      Thank you for sharing with us! Is your mattress fairly old? If so, it might be time to replace it for a newer mattress with better support and technology. Let us know if you need any help finding the right one for you!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Linda Wyncoll

    Some resistance at first but gradually cut down then quit coffee.
    Decided sleep depredation symptoms are much worse than a slight
    headache from coffee addiction.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Linda,

      Good on ya for committing to the challenge. Have you noticed a difference at all? Let us know how you are going now without the caffeine!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Diane

    I tried wearing lighter PJ’s and only one blanket and did feel more comfortable during the night. I also put the ceiling fan on very low which helped also. I blocked out the light on two alarm clocks. I cant wear ear plugs as they hurt my ears so have opted to put up with the little noises I hear, which only wake me up in the early morning, like birds or cars. Besides my dogs barking at something or my son waking, or my husband snoring occasionally the noise at night is not bad. I havent yet but am looking into thick curtains on my window. We only have vertical blinds and we have a street light out the front its not bad but I do notice that Im not good at sleeping when its light so I do think the blinds will help.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Diane,

      Good to hear you are going well with PJs and ceiling fan on. Keep up the great work during the challenge and let us know how you go with the other weeks!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Shirley

    I took some of the tips that you gave, removed my phone from my room, put my clock upside down so I could not see the time, no radio. I discovered that my preferred sleeping position is lying on my left side. I changed my mattress protector to the summer side. I found going to bed between 10-10:30 p.m. meant that I slept straight through until about 4a.m. Some mornings I made myself remain in bed rather than getting up at that time and doing something. I am feeling that there are already some positive changes. Trying to eat a light meal in the evening is also a help.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Shirley,

      That is so great to hear! Isn’t it amazing what some of these small changes can do for you when it comes to sleep? Keep up the great work and let us know how you go!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • jennifer

    This week was difficult as my room is my only environment due to living in a share house however i took to shutting my laptop in the cupboard and bought a new phone charger that doesnt have a massive blue light on it, i feel it worked well except my issue this week was still lying in bed awake as no noises covering the noise of the neighbourhood was really of putting.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing and we are glad to hear you saw some improvement this week. Have you tried investing in ear plugs to prevent the noise in the neighborhood? These can be very useful, especially if there is a lot of noise that is out of your control. Good luck with the challenge and let us know how you go!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Karen

    After trying to get an early nights sleep 8.30pm and having everything right in my room – dark, temperature, lighter blankets, fresh quality sheets , bed nicely made, electronics off. Nothing has worked, now it’s 12:35am and this has been the story most of the week. I thought it is time I left my comment. I honestly believe my problem all stems back to my mattress though!

    I bought an ensemble from snooze which I believe they delivered the wrong one. Invoice description was different to bed name and I’m sure it looked different. I questioned this, they said sleep on it, I did (1night) hated it and they turned around and said can’t be returned as I’ve slept on it. That was 5 years ago! Don’t think I’ve slept well at home since!

    I really hope you can help me find the right bed. I love your dream bed in Rydes. Can you recommend something similar please? I really need to find the right bed.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Karen,

      We are sorry to hear that you aren’t seeing an improvement in your sleep this week, but you have to remember that every sleeper is different. What might be affecting your sleep can be different than someone else. We would encourage you to stick with the challenge and see what else there is to improving your sleep.

      In regards to your mattress, we would be happy to have someone contact you from customer sales to help figure out which mattress is right for you.

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Tiffany

    I have made my room the only place I wanna be I even bought some nice new sheets and block out blinds it really is my little heaven it’s helped with my sleep but I’ve still had a few horrible nights like last night

    • AH Beard

      Hi Tiffany!

      Thank you for sharing and good on ya for investing in making your bedroom a better place. Hopefully with a bit a practice and following the challenge, you will continue to see some improvement in your sleep. Keep up the great work!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Carolyn

    I still had 3 bad nights this week but I have seen an improvement.
    I’m able to get back to sleep a bit quicker when I do wake in the night

    • AH Beard

      Hi Carolyn,

      We are glad to hear you had a bit of improvement, but hopefully you won’t be getting any bad nights of sleep at the end of this challenge! Keep going with the challenge and see if Week 2 has any affect on the quality of your sleep!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Wendy Ellis

    I did help when i covered my very bright alarm clock but i still found myself tossing and turning throughout the night.I followed your advice and put a lighter blanket on the bed but i found myself feeling cold throughout the night as i am used to heavier blankets.

    • AH Beard

      Hello Wendy,

      We are sorry to hear that you are not seeing much improvement, but the tossing and turning may be caused by other factors. Stay tuned for some more challenges to come and see if your sleep will improve as you continue with the challenge! Good luck in Week 2!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Kylie

    I had thought my insomnia and broken sleep were intractable, having suffered for the majority of my adult life. I didn’t really expect any improvement at all. Having now implemented the strategies most nights for the past week, I am amazed to report three excellent nights sleep! There were lapses, but I expect to have to practice until my habits are reset. I was particulary suprised at how much my capacity to focus for extended periods improved on the good nights. I am now more motivated than ever to try out all the new suggestions each week. Thanks

    • AH Beard

      Hi Kylie!

      That is so fantastic to hear how motivated you are to take on this challenge! It will definitely take you some practice to implement these new habits, but if you are committed to improving your sleep, the results will come. Best of luck with Week 2 and the rest of the challenge!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Natasha

    Getting rid of the electronic devices like you said, helped me to get to sleep quicker.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Natasha,

      That is fantastic to hear! Good luck with Week 2 and the rest of the challenge!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • Lauren

    very helpful thank u

    • AH Beard

      No worries Lauren! Happy sleeping!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • michael gallagher

    Your week 1 tips were helpful. Especially controlled tempreture. Helps with comfort.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Michael!

      Glad to see you are back doing the challenge again and that week 1 is going well for you! Good luck in the rest of the challenge!

      Restful Sleeping.
      AH Beard

  • Michelle

    I tried using earplugs they help with noise, but I still am in pain at night.

  • Robyn

    Great advice thanks. I don’t know if this challenge will help me much as I’m in the middle of menopause & an constantly awoken by hot flushes throughout the night. My snoring husband is also a disadvantage. Occasionally, if he wakes me through the night I have been known to throw my pillow down the other end of the bed so that I’m just that little bit further away from the source of the noise. That helps but I think I’ll try your suggestion of ear plugs:) I have already previously darkened my bedroom with blockout curtains, this also helps to keep the room cooler. Also, I already use light weight bedding & minimal bed clothes.

  • http://AHBeard Linda Wyncoll

    I will now use earplugs when my neighbour has the TV going late
    at night. One blanket less more restfullness.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Linda!

      Thank you for sharing and really great to hear that everything is going better for you! We are glad to hear that we could help you with some sleeping tips! Keep up the great work!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

  • http://AHBeard Linda Wyncoll

    I now have no electronic devices in my bedroom.
    I found that by removing one blanket it has given me prolonged
    sleep, even managing to easily fall back into sleep after waking
    in the middle of the night.
    Thanks a million for your help.

  • Helen Cochran

    Tried a lighter dooner and managed to get to sleep, but still woke up at 4am. I was able to eventually get back to sleep. I even tried a different bedroom that was darker,quieter, newer bed etc, with the same results.

  • Kylie

    I made sure everything was as it should be. I even made sure all my sheets and doona were nice and straight and tucked in (that seems to help me). I covered up the blinking lights on my laptop, closed both blinds so it was nice and dark, left the window open a little so i didn;t get too hot. And all these didn;t do a darn thing. made no difference at all. In fact I think i slept worse because I was worried about the window being open all night. Not sure what else to try.

    • AH Beard

      Hi Kylie,

      We are sorry to hear that you aren’t sleeping well, but just remember that it does take time to improve your sleep. Try to stick with the challenge this week, and remember there are still another 5 to go! over the course of the challenge you will hopefully see some improvement.

      Restful Sleeping,
      AH Beard

  • Shamina

    Tried everything in the first week challenge, can’t get the temperature right. Tried a light weight duvet but because of hot flushes this is too warm for summer.

  • Helen

    Fit screens on your windows.

  • Chrissy

    I know I have issues especially getting to sleep due to temperature..

    My partner can’t sleep without the fan on even when its cold. However I can not sleep with the fan on at all, I have super sensitive skin and when the air pressure hits my neck and face area it irritates and sort of tickles me keeping me awake. The noise of the fan also annoys me. I know this is strange, but it isso annoying because even when its extremely hot and Id love to have a fan on I just can’t sleep. It also quite often leads to an argument just before bed which is not fun.

    Also, our apartment is quiet older style on the outside and there are no fly screens on the window’s so whenever we open them we end up with bugs inside.

    Any suggestions on how to fix the temperature in this situation?

    • AH Beard

      Hi Chrissy!

      Have you tried using ear plugs yet? If the sound of the fan is bothering you, then maybe putting in ear plugs will help with noise of the fan and will allow you to keep the room warm when it is hot. Also, maybe try turning off the setting that rotates the fan and have it angled so it is not blowing directly on you so it won’t tickle you and keep you awake. Let us know how you go with this!

      Cheers,
      AH Beard

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