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Why You Need To Get The TV Out Of Your Bedroom

Plus other tips to make your room more sleep-friendly.

15/06/2017 7:26 AM AEST | Updated 15/06/2017 7:30 AM AEST

Trouble sleeping? Having your TV in your bedroom is just one environmental factor which could be keeping you awake at night.

Similarly, having your phone nearby, ready access to the internet or even too much light could also harm your chances of sleeping well.

In short, when it comes to getting a good night's sleep, your bedroom could be key.

"I think the bedroom is always an important place to be aware of, and I think people ignore that fact and don't put any thought into the bedroom environment," Dr Dev Banerjee, sleep specialist at Integrated Sleep Health, told HuffPost Australia.

"The bedroom should be for sleep, and therefore should be a cosy sort of place, removed from all the hullabaloo of the day. Because our lives are so busy, with so much stuff going on, you want to have a timeout zone.

"Bringing all those daytime thoughts and busy brains into the bedroom is not going to be conducive to a good night's sleep."

Want to know more? Here are some easy ways you can get started.

Get the TV out of the bedroom

In fact, this goes for all screens. Get 'em outta there.

"It amazes me what people have in their bedrooms. They have their TV in there, their laptop, their iPad and Xbox... meaning the brain is obviously thinking this is a place of high activity," Banerjee says.

"And this is providing you with all sorts of temptation. I actually think it's a mixture of being tempted to switch something on and the lack of the ability to switch something off.

Your bedroom is not a Hoyt's, and it shouldn't be treated as such. Dr Dev Banerjee

"If you go to bed and put the TV on, the next thing you know, you're watching a playback of 'The Voice' that you missed, and then you obviously want to watch to the end to see who was eliminated.

"Before you know it, it's 1.30am, and then you can't get to sleep because your brain is wired up."

Adrianna Williams
Does it look like this man is going to fall asleep any time soon? No. No, it does not.

But it doesn't stop there.

"Then, because you can't sleep, there's temptation to go on your laptop or the iPad," Banerjee continues.

"In fact, if you are doing to do that, you're better to go back in the lounge. Otherwise the brain gets confused. Is your bedroom a place of trying to connect with the world? Or is it somewhere you want to switch off and go to sleep?

"Your bedroom is not a Hoyts, and it shouldn't be treated as such."

Room temperature

"Temperature is very important to a good night's sleep," Banerjee says.

"I think as human beings, we are very sensitive to cold and heat. Obviously, in winter time, we will see a lot of people waking up because of things like having cold feet. Our brain doesn't like cold feet. Although it's the furthest part from the brain, you can't settle with cold feet.

"Conversely, in summer, in order to get to sleep your body temperature has to drop by half a degree of centigrade. So if you are hot and bothered and can't cool down that could be a reason why.

"If you are particularly heat sensitive, I'd recommend spending a bit of money on a bedroom cooling system. It's always a good investment."

jeangill
Something tells us these guys should splash out on a heater.

Install some blinds

If you don't have some good quality curtains or blinds (or blackout blinds if you want to get serious), now's the time to make an investment.

"Particularly in the summer when the sun starts coming up around 5.30am, if there are gaps in the curtain, it will wake you up," Banerjee says.

"Similarly if you are a night owl and haven't got decent curtains, it can be problematic, definitely."

No pets allowed

Despite a 2015 study from the Mayo Sleep Clinic suggesting pets in the bedroom might not be detrimental to sleep, this certainly isn't the case for everyone.

LeePeers via Getty Images
Cute and cuddly? Yes. Good for your sleep? Not so much.

"How many people have been woken up in the middle of the night by a pet jumping on their bed? Or off your bed? They don't slide quietly off, they jump," Banerjee says.

"That's not to mention potential allergies. Lots of people are allergic to saliva in dog or cat fur. So having them in your sleeping environment isn't ideal."

Other things to think about

With recent research suggesting some kinds of houseplants can help you sleep better, you might want to invest in some indoor greenery such as a peace lily, gardenia plant or even an aloe vera.

It might also be worthwhile taking a lot, hard look at your bed itself. Are you sleeping on the right mattress? Using a pillow that's most comfortable for your preferred sleeping position?

And finally, make sure it's not allergies keeping you up at night, with these tips on keeping your bedroom as healthy as it can be.

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