Top Factors and Environmental Stressors Affecting Your Sleep and Top Tips for Perfect, Healthy Sleep

Sleep scientists agree that sleep (and especially deep sleep) is THE most essential part of sleep cycle for rejuvenation, DNA repair, feeling rested and staying healthy
Sleep make us healtier, happier, less stressed, learn better, remember more, be more productive and much more. There are hundreds of factors affecting your sleep. Sleep is considered now as the most important health factor, especially deep sleep when you rejuvenate and reboot your health systems and immune function. For example, wakefulness is associated with mitochondrial stress and without sufficient sleep, neuron (DNA) degeneration sets in, which can lead to dementia and other health problems. There are now thousands of studies about the importance of sleep and the researchers agree that sleep is THE most important aspect of overall health and lower your risk of diseases.

Call your feng shui consultant to feng shui your bedroom now

Call your feng shui consultant to feng shui your bedroom now

There are three areas that are important for good, healthy sleep:
1) lifestyle (everything you do during the waking hours and building rest time into your daily schedule),
2) your sleep environment,
3) the state of your mind when you go to bed.
Below there is a very comprehensive list of environmental and lifestyle factors that can affect your sleep and top tips to remedy these adverse factors.

Low melatonin – light and electrosmog affect melatonin production – these are the most important environmental factors which need to be reduced

Here’s almost a complete list of the top lifestyle factors and environmental stressors affecting your sleep. The list focuses not only on things that can go wrong or are harmful but also what you can do to remedy them. If you’re already having problems with sleep and that is affecting your life, you know how important sleep is, so employing as many of the positive behaviours and minimising environmental stressors will greatly improve your sleep. If you’re not sure, feel free to contact me.

The complete list of environmental factors and lifestyle behaviours that can affect your sleep or are NOT good for you (and what to do about them)

  1. Electromagnetic pollution – electrosmog will affect melatonin production – reduce electro-smog; check the levels of electromagnetic pollution in your bedroom
  2. Wifi radiation – switch off wifi for the night!
  3. Dirty electricity – electrosmog will affect melatonin production
  4. Metal beds – any metal near your body can amplify electro-smog
  5. Metal spring mattresses – any metal near your body can amplify electro-smog
  6. Smart meters – unnecessary electrosmog
  7. Lack of total darkness when sleeping – sleep in total darkness if possible; but stress, not feeling safe at night can be linked to darkness, so if you don’t like darkness use the red/orange light (or a small Himalayan salt lamp) which will NOT affect melatonin production
  8. Air pollution – get an air purifier and negative ions generator
  9. Humidity – get a dehumidifier
  10. Noise pollution – get double glazing windows or earplugs
  11. Geopathic stress – Schumann Resonance (the Earth’s frequency) is disturbed by geopathic stress – get Helios3 device to boost the levels of Schumann Resonance 
  12. Temperature (too hot or too cold) – get the temperature right your body. Some people sleep better and deeply in a cooler room. Find out what’s the optimum temperature for you.
  13. Lack of support ie a solid headboard – get a sold headboard so you feel safe and you have extra protection behind
  14. Bed not in the power/commanding position ie withe the back to the door or window – place some reflective objects to see what’s behind you
  15. Energy-saving lightbulbs – don’t have any, use traditional, incandescent or LED warm lighting
  16. Cactuses – they produce positive ions which can make the air heavy
  17. Alarm clocks and other electrical devices near your bed – unnecessary electrosmog and most likely the alarm clock might wake you up in the middle of deep sleep and you may feel groggy; time your sleep according to 90-min cycles of sleep, NOT how many hours of sleep you think you need. Sleep is devided into four or five 90-min cycles of three main phases: light sleep, deep sleep (which is the most restful and rejuvenating – the holly grail of health) and rapid eye movement (REM).
  18. Mirrors reflecting you in bed – can bounce light which will affect your melatonin production
  19. Lack of negative ions – air rich in negative ions is good for us – get a negative ioniser
  20. Heavy shelves or cupboards above the head – anything above your head can create an oppressive feeling
  21. Pictures behind you – read above
  22. Not feeling secure in bed – security and feeling safe in your bedroom are essential for good, healthy sleep – organise your home so it feels safe
  23. Dust mites – check for these
  24. Mold – a big health hazard, get rid of it as soon as possible
  25. Not sleeping naked – research suggests that sleeping naked can be beneficial because of low body temperature – it’s also a preference
  26. Mobile phones, tablets, computers – completely unnecessary electro-smog – don’t have any near bed
  27. Using loud alarm clocks – noise pollution in the morning – see if you can learn to wake up without the alarm clock, naturally, according to your sleep cycle
  28. Wrong, unergonomic cushions or uncomfortable mattresses – your mattress is probably the most important part of the furniture in your home – invest in a good one ie organic, foam, latex mattress
  29. Synthetic bedding – get natural bedding
  30. Work-related things – clear the bedroom space from work-related things
  31.  Lack of magnesium malate or glycinate – bananas are packed with magnesium, which relaxes muscles and boosts melatonin; also our levels of serotonin – a hormone which is essential in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone – can be boosted by eating certain foods, including chocolate; or get a magnesium spray
  32. Not reserving your bed for sleeping ie watching TV – bedrooms ideally need to be for sex and sleep
  33. Lots of blue light before going to sleep – light will affect your melatonin production
  34. Not having separate bedrooms – some people need separate bedrooms, if possible
  35. Lack of a window (yes, some bedrooms have no windows) – in the morning, you need to see daylight to regulate your melatonin production
  36. Not going to bed as early as possible, ideally between 9 and 10 p.m. – going to sleep before midnight has health benefits; “In the first part of the night you tend to have more deep sleep, which makes you feel strength rested, and in the second part you have REM sleep, which is dream sleep, where you lay down memories. Ensure you have eight hours to get both. For most of us, this means going to bed at about 10pm,” says Dr Hare, sleep expert; “The 90-minute phase before midnight is one of the most powerful phases of sleep, because it’s the period where the body is replenished,” “It’s rejuvenated on every level – physically, mentally, emotionally and, I believe, spiritually as well. There’s a lot of healing that takes place in that first phase of sleep.” says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep expert and author of Tired But Wired: The Essential Sleep Toolkit
  37. Changing your bedtime – bedtime routine is good for good sleep; Dr Alanna Hare, a sleep consultant recommends, “Try to get up at the same time every morning – even on the weekend.”
  38.  Not having an established and relaxing bedtime routine – read above
  39. Drinking fluids within two hours of going to bed so then you have to go to the toilet in the middle of the night – you don’t want to get up during the night, organise your liquid intake accordingly
  40. Caffeine – is good for the morning routine, not night
  41. Excess weight – but if you regulate your sleep, you can actually lose weight
  42. Not going to the bathroom right before bed so again you need to get up in the middle of the night – use common sense
  43. Eating at least three hours before bedtime, particularly grains and sugars – ideally, you shouldn’t eat after 6/7pm; “Eating right before we sleep can cause acid reflux, which will wake you up,” says Dr Hare. “Our bodies struggle to digest and sleep at the same time. Have your last meal about three hours before bed.” Dr Hare, sleep consultant
  44. Stress levels, not using any natural techniques for stress reduction or for insomnia –  use tapping / EFT (emotional freedom technique), mindfulness, coherent breathing to optimise your HRV (heart rate variability)
  45. Not take a hot bath or shower before bed – having a warm bath with Epsom salts or magnesium is an ideal way to relax and ground yourself to detox daily stress and electromagnetic pollution and also your body temperature drops after coming out of the bath which will helpful
  46. Not take a sauna followed by cold immersion in an unheated pool or shower, two to three hours before bed – read the tip above
  47. Lack of melatonin – light and electrosmog affect melatonin production – these are the most important factors which need to be reduced
  48. Not wearing socks to bed – some people benefit from warm feet
  49. Alcohol – although it is a relaxant, too much is probably not good because your body will have to work hard to detox itself; “Drinking alcohol stops the breakdown of adrenalin. This is why you wake up around 2am after a drink.”  says Dr Hare, sleep consultant
  50. Not drinking enough water during the day –  “The part of the brain responsible for our circadian timer must be hydrated to work well,” says psychiatrist Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, so drink enough filtered water
  51. Working before bed so your mind is still buzzing – slow down and unwind before going to sleep
  52. Exercising too much bedtime or not exercising enough generally during the day – too much activity before going to sleep is too stimulating
  53. Watching TV right before bed, especially news, etc which can upset you or make you worried about life – do you want to worry about things before going to sleep
  54. Use of electronics, both during the day and in the evening – our bodies run on electricity and can accumulate electro-smog like any toxicity, minimise the use of electrical gadgets
  55. Foods you may be sensitive to – hopefully, you know which ones affect your sleep by now
  56. Having LEDs and fluorescent light bulbs in your home instead of traditional incandescent lightbulbs – avoid unnecessary lighting in your bedroom
  57. Not using blue-blocking glasses after sunset – most gadgets have dimming light sensors now but if you’re having problems with sleep, this tip is worth trying
  58. Not having blue-blocking software on your electronic screen devices – read above
  59.  Your circadian clock out of sync – morning (sun) light is essential to sync your circadian clock so expose yourself to a lot of sunshine during the day
  60. Daytime naps – some people benefit from them but too much sleep during the day can push your circadian clock out of sync. Arianna Huffington built two nap rooms in the New York office which are always booked up. Coffee nap involves drinking coffee just before taking a nap for 20 minutes which is optimal time for a short sleep (after that you go into deep sleep) for the caffeine to kick in 20 minutes later. Sleep clears adenosine, a chemical responsible for tiredness from the brain so the effect of caffein will be even stronger when you wake up.
  61. Lack of relaxation – have a bath with Epsom salt or magnesium – bananas are packed with magnesium, which relaxes muscles and boosts melatonin – read the research below about the benefits of having a bath
  62. Not reading before bed, something spiritual or uplifting – this is a personal preference and if that works for you use it
  63. Not reflecting and journaling to reduce stress and anxiety – read above
  64. Worrying – use EFT (emotional freedom technique) or tapping to reduce stress and worry
  65. Too many drugs – some drugs will affect your sleep so consult your doctor
  66. Adrenals – these play an important role and can affect the quality of your sleep
  67. Menopausal or perimenopausal issues or hormonal changes – research online for solutions; “Research shows that after a poor night’s sleep, the effect of being more anxious the next day is much more pronounced in women than men.” 
    Dr Katharina Lederle, author of Sleep Sense: Improve Your Sleep, Improve Your Health 
  68. Getting out of bed – this will definitely disturb your sleep cycle so find out how you can avoid doing it
  69. Not using controlled, coherent breathing exercises to harmonise HRV (heart rate variability) – learn coherent breathing and use it for 5-20 before going to sleep or when you can’t sleep; get an iTHRVE app for your iPhone. There are other sleep hackers and apps that allow you to monitor your sleep.
  70. Snoring – lots of solutions on the market to remedy it, including taping your mouth and nasal gadgets
  71. Not using natural sleep aid such as valerian root – lots of traditional herbs to calm and relax before going to sleep but don’t drink those herbal teas to late
  72.  Not drinking chamomile tea – classic herb for good sleep
  73. Sleep trackers – long and continuous use of sleep trackers that work on Bluetooth or wifi is not recommended because of unnecessary electro-smog BUT initially, it might be a good idea to check how much deep sleep you’re getting at night

Sleep scientists agree that deep sleep is THE most essential part of sleep cycle for rejuvenation, DNA repair, feeling rested and staying healthy!

Research on sleep
There is plenty of research on the importance of sleep. For example, researchers lead by Prof. Lior Appelbaum at Bar-Ilan University in Israel have discovered that deep sleep is essential for DNA repair and rejuvenation. The research shows, for the first time ever, that a single neuron (a human brain has about 86 billion neurones) needs sleep and clearing daily debris accumulated in their DNA and sleep disturbances affect brain performance, ageing and various brain disorders. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

“Research shows that after a poor night’s sleep, the effect of being more anxious the next day is much more pronounced in women than men.” 
Dr Katharina Lederle, author of Sleep Sense: Improve Your Sleep, Improve Your Health 

Research has shown that a warm bath before going to bed helps with better sleep. The warm water helps to relax you and make you to loosen up your muscles, and it helps your body to raise its temperature. The drop in your body temperature after getting out of the bath, will trigger your pineal gland to begin the production of melatonin, which is the famous hormone for daily cycles of rest and activity.

Watch a short TED talk on the importance of sleep below 

Posted in Feng shui tips for best sleep.