Jun. 22. 2021
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

It’s no secret that a good sleep is important not only to how you feel on a daily basis, but also your overall health and wellbeing.

Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases, according to the Sleep Foundation. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly.

Additionally, not sleeping enough can cause cravings, overeating, and not getting the nourishment you need on top of added stress, moodiness, and fatigue to how you’re feeling that day. 

That’s why it’s so important to optimize your sleep routine and your environment so you can ensure you’re getting a good sleep every night. 

How Your Environment Impacts Your Sleeping Habits

Our physical environment plays a huge role in our health and habits. 

There are certain elements your environment needs to both have (or not have) in order to support your health.

In the context of sleep, this can look like having a comfortable bed and avoiding things like the TV that may disrupt your sleep.

Your environment can also support you in breaking some of the habits you’d like to stop doing and create new habits that are more aligned with your needs and goals. Visual cues in your environment can either help or prevent you from achieving that. 

That’s why it’s so important to take a look not only at your nighttime routine itself, but also how you’re setting up your environment to support your ideal routine so that you can create more ease with improving this area of your wellbeing. 

8 Ideas for What to Include in Your Bedroom for Good Sleep 

While having a regular sleep routine is key for being able to wind down and activate a deep sleep, there are also a few products you may consider to help optimize your sleep. These are some of my favorite products that have helped me always get the deep rest I need. 

1. High-Quality, Comfortable Mattress  

One of those pieces I cannot recommend enough is having a high-quality, natural mattress. A few years ago, I was struggling with my sleep, and I swapped out my mattress for an Avocado Green Mattress! I didn’t realize how much my mattress impacted my sleep, but as soon as I invested in a new one, it made a noticeable difference.

Not only is this mattress super comfy, but it’s also all-natural and made with green materials. I’m a big researcher and Avocado Mattress had the most transparent and detailed information about their materials, sourcing, and environmental impact, and it aligned so well with what I value and was looking for. I’m all about brands that have missions to support your healthy lifestyle and that are better for the planet.

(The bedframe and nightstands are also from Avocado Green Mattress as well!) 

2. Essential Oils 

Essential oils are a great way to bring a relaxing vibe to your space. I love the Vagus Nerve Pillow Mist from Osea (you can use NUTRITIONSTRIPPED for 10% off sitewide!) 

The vagus nerve is the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions, including control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate. 

Remember, the parasympathetic nervous system is your “rest and digest” system, so when it comes to sleep, activating that state is key.

This serene pillow mist creates a calming atmosphere just in time for bed. I love having little nightly rituals like this to signal to my body and brain that it’s time for rest and I also love that it smells good too thanks to it’s ingredients including lavender, chamomile and lemon tea tree! 

3. Sleep Mask

If you live with someone who likes to sleep with the TV on or have bright lights outside of your window, blocking that light is important for a good sleep.

Research shows that artificial light at night has negative effects on your quality of sleep. It disrupts your sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to both fall and stay asleep. 

That’s why a sleep mask is a must-have!

4. Wake Up Light and White Noise

Putting my phone out of reach and not using my phone for my alarm clock changed the way I started my mornings and also how I went to bed at night.

I used my phone for my alarm that I would put on my nightstand, but it was an open door for me to scroll on my phone right before bed and after my alarm went off in the morning.

Something I try *really* hard not to do so I switched up this practice and created a new habit byputting my phone on airplane mode, keeping it out of our bedroom, and using this light you see here, which is the Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-up Light

I’ve been using it for months and have been so impressed with all the features from the natural sunrise and sunset, light guided breathing features, and nature sounds.

Another reason why I’m a big fan of this light is the light-guided breathing feature so you can inhale and exhale with the light as it goes dim to bright in cycles of 4 seconds. Just a few minutes of deep breathing can help trigger your parasympathetic nervous system to create space for your body to relax, rest, and sleep. 

Lastly, it also includes a white noise feature which I love to use and can help block out any sounds that may disrupt your sleep. 

5. Wearable Sleep and Activity Tracker

I’ve been using the Oura ring for a while now and it’s helping me track the actions I take and how that impacts my sleep quality and readiness for the next day.

Just like other fitness trackers, the Oura ring connects to an app that gives you so many insights about your readiness, sleep, and activity levels. 

Deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, sleep timing, and nightly heart rate insights help you understand your overall sleep quality and offer personalized bedtime guidance.

Good quality sleep is linked to health, mental wellbeing and even avoiding serious long-term illnesses, so using a sleep monitor to check you’re getting enough rest is a no-brainer.

I also personally love that it’s a minimalistic design worn on your finger as a ring rather than a larger watch which is typical of most trackers.  

6. Sea Salt Lamps and Beeswax Candles

If you have a lot of natural light then utilize it! Natural light can be so peaceful, not to mention more economical versus having lights on all day.

After sunset, we typically turn off all blue lights and switch over to beeswax candles (which seems quite primitive but amazing and cozy!). Or we turn on sea salt lamps which are a beautiful amber warm color which is more conducive to relaxation.

7. Weighted Blankets

Snuggling up under my weighted blanket is part of my daily routine for stress relief. 

Studies have shown that weighted blanks support with anxiety, insomnia, stress, and even autism. 

Weighted blankets come in a variety of styles and weights so you can feel supported and also have a style that matches your aesthetic. I love the Bearaby, which comes in 15-25 pounds and is made with GOTS-certified organic cotton, which is not only better for your health and the environment, but it also makes it more enjoyable to use year-round because it’s not too warm during those hotter months.  

8. Cooling Sleeping Pad

Being the right temperature is essential for good sleep (65 degrees to be exact).

In fact, a study found that the temperature of a room where you sleep is one of the most important factors for achieving quality sleep, and another study showed that most people experienced abnormal sleeping patterns during the summer when it’s more difficult to keep the room cool. 

Tennessee summers are hot and winters are cool so we needed a way to support our sleep with hot summer, and the OOLER Sleep System with Chili Cool Mesh™ has been helping with exactly that.  You can use code chilipad25 for 25% off! 

This sleep pad goes on your bed and you can control the temperature from 55 degrees to 115 degrees to sleep in any season. 

Each person can control their own temperature, so if someone likes it a little warmer or cooler than the other person, that’s totally okay, which is great for us!