Getting a good night’s sleep is a challenge for many people. Although adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night for good health and well-being, the CDC reports that 35 percent of people don’t. Even among those who do get adequate sleep most of the time, many report they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep a few nights per week.
Try these simple DIY projects to improve your sleep and to fix some of the factors that may disrupt your sleep.
Improving your sleep doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, though. Most people report that a comfortable mattress and pillows are the most important factors in a good night’s sleep, so assuming that you already have that, there are some simple DIY projects you can undertake that will fix some of the other factors that disrupt your sleep. Most of these simple projects can be accomplished in a weekend, and cost less than $50.
Clean Your Room
It sounds simple, but it works. According to a study by The National Sleep Foundation, more than 60 percent sleep better in a neat and tidy space. Simply organizing your bedroom and clearing the clutter can make a big difference in the quality of your space, and best of all, it’s free. Start by making your bed each morning and keeping it free of clutter, putting all of your clothing away, and clearing your nightstand.
Changing your sheets often can also help you get better sleep. Not only do most people report sleeping better on a fresh set of sheets, but note that the prospect of sleeping on clean sheets that smell fresh makes them more excited to go to bed. Even if you can’t keep your home pristine all the time, to help your sleep, at least make your bedroom a clean and pleasant environment.
Make a Pillow Spray
Although washing your sheets regularly keeps them fresh and clean and helps improve your sleep, incorporating aromatherapy into your routine can also help you drift off more quickly. You can find any number of lotions, soaps, soaks, and sprays featuring sleep-inducing scents like lavender for sale, but it’s easy — and cheaper — to make your own DIY linen spray with relaxing scents known to help encourage sleep.
To make your own spray, fill a small spray bottle (6-8 ounces) halfway with rubbing alcohol and then top off with distilled water, until about half an inch from the top. Then add lavender and chamomile essential oils. A good rule of thumb is 10 drops of oil per ounce of liquid, i.e., 60 drops of oil for a 6-ounce bottle. You can add the oil to your own preferences, but a 50/50 mixture works just fine. Before bed, spray a few spritzes on your pillow and sheets for a relaxing, sleep-inducing scent.
Make Some Blackout Curtains
Light can be the enemy of sleep, and whether it’s the position of your bedroom that lets the morning sunshine in or that annoying street light outside, too much light can keep you awake. Turning off your electronic devices — yes, even your phone – at least an hour before bed prevents sleep interrupting blue light from keeping you awake, but blackout curtains can also solve this problem. These special curtains block out 99 percent of the light coming in to help keep your bedroom dark and cool.
Prices for blackout curtains vary wildly, from less than $20 per panel to well over $2,000 (!) for a single curtain, but you can easily DIY blackout curtains by adding blackout lining fabric to your existing curtains or painting the back of your curtains with a mix of fabric and traditional paint. Either way, you’ll keep out sleep-disturbing light and get more rest.
Sew a “Dream Pillow”
Sleeping with a warm or cold rice pillow containing dried herbs not only helps you fall asleep using aromatherapy, but it can also help reduce pain and discomfort. Using a warm rice pack on your neck before bed, for instance, can help loosen tense muscles and help you relax and fall asleep sooner. To make your own pillow, cut a piece of cotton fabric into the desired size; two 16-inch squares will make a good size pillow to rest your head on, or you can fold a 24- inch by 12-inch piece into a tube for a narrower neck wrap style. Either way, sew three sides of the pillow, leaving room for it to be filled with rice or flax seeds and dried herbs, such as lavender. Don’t overfill, but be sure you leave enough space to adjust the filling for comfort.
Even if you already get enough sleep every night, trying some of these projects can only improve how much rest you get. For the cost of a few supplies and a couple of hours work, you can get better, more restful sleep every night.
What are your favorite DIY ways to improve your sleep?
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