The 7 Pillars of a Perfect Sleep Environment
Health for the soul:
There’s nothing like the comforting feeling of laying in your bed without a care in the world. To come home and rest in a safe, welcoming and safe space is perhaps one of the most fundamental needs we have, and yet so many go without sleep because some aspect of this space has become misaligned. This is why your “sleep environment” is as crucial for your sleep as your circadian rhythm or the supplements you’re taking to help you sleep.
But while mastering your circadian rhythm is the practice of a lifetime, the decisions you make about the place you rest can be made today and yield benefits for years to come.
In many ways, you could say that besides circadian rhythm all there is to sleep is the environment. Of course, “the environment” here has two meanings: external and internal. In this article, we will look at mostly external aspects of your environment that must be accounted for like lighting, temperature, EMFs and a few others. In this article I discuss your internal environment like your hormones and neurotransmitters.
Overall, getting good sleep is a true practice — especially as you age and begin experiencing periods of burnout and physiological change. As kids, most of us would just wait to get tired naturally, hit our comfy beds and then wake up the next day ready to go and totally refreshed. Boy, what a joy that was and how alien it seems these days. Once we hit puberty, go to college, start traveling or working, living in haphazard situations, moving in with a romantic partner, moving out of living with a romantic partner, starting a business or having kids — our circadian rhythm and environments (both internal and external) change so drastically that the comforting days of easy sleep we had in our youth seem like distant memories or fairy tales at best.
One of the biggest sleep surveys in the world, the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire, has collected over 150,000 responses on sleep patterns in people over the years and found that 80% need an alarm clock during working days because their circadian rhythms are misaligned by up to 3 hours with their work life.(1,2) The authors of this study also found that these misaligned rhythms were strongly correlated to other negative consequences like smoking, alcohol abuse, depression and metabolic issues.