About Devin Burke
Sleep and health coach Devin Burke has a simple mission: to help people sleep. The founder of the Sleep Science Academy, Burke is passionate about providing poor sleepers with personalized sleep coaching and education to help them wake up feeling peaceful, powerful and present so they can conquer their day — and their life — with everything they’ve got. A best-selling author and TEDx speaker, Burke has been named one of the Top 25 Health Coaches in America. City Mattress is proud to partner with Burke to help our customers get the best sleep of their life.
Despite the fact that sleep is linked to virtually every aspect of our health and wellness, many of us can’t seem to get into a good, restful groove at night. In fact, studies show that 75 percent of older adults report insomnia symptoms, which leads to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Lack of quality sleep has also been linked to serious health concerns, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
What does this mean? In short: We need to take sleep seriously. Our lives quite literally depend on it. But getting consistent, quality rest isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for those of us who live in disruptive environments. That’s why we turned to Devin Burke, the founder of the Sleep Science Academy, to help us create a bedroom that’s more conducive to deep, quality sleep. The reality is that the environment matters greatly when it comes to rest, and a few small upgrades can really make a massive impact!
Burke is here to teach us how to improve the quality and depth of sleep simply by improving the place where we hit the hay. From switching to a high-quality PranaSleep mattress to wearing wool socks to bed, Burke has all the key tips required to help you make the most out of your time at rest. Read on and watch the video for everything you need to know about designing a five-star sleep sanctuary.
Note that, regardless of environment, you simply won’t get a good night’s rest without a quality mattress. This is especially true if you’ve been sleeping on an old mattress or one that doesn’t suit your current needs. Consider upgrading to a premium mattress by PranaSleep, Beautyrest or even Serta if you want to improve your environment starting with a new bed.
Why Temperature Matters
If you’ve taken time to research the best sleep environments, you may already know that temperature is a big piece of the puzzle. The experts say that your sleep space should be somewhere around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, although the ideal sleep temperature differs from person to person. And that’s not just because cooler temps feel better. It’s because they tell our bodies when to enter snooze mode.
“Temperature is so important when we’re talking about sleep,” says Burke. “Our body temperature needs to drop two to three degrees Fahrenheit for sleep to happen.” Although the experts still don’t know exactly why our bodies cool down at bedtime, evidence suggests that it’s our way of conserving energy to prepare for sleep. Regardless of why it happens, a forced cooldown is a simple way to tell the body it’s time to get into a restful state.
Tips for Keeping Your Space Cool
One of the best ways to signal to the body that it’s time to settle into your cooling Beautyrest black mattress for the night is to get chilly (but not too chilly). There are a few things you can do to get yourself to the perfect temperature before rest. Here are Burke’s top tips for keeping you and your space at the ideal sleep temperature.
- Take a Hot Shower or Warm Bath — It sounds counterintuitive but taking a hot shower or warm bath before bedtime can help lower your body temperature. That’s because when you get out of the hot water your body temperature dips, preparing you for a good night’s rest. A warm bath or shower can also help relieve stress and soothe achy, stiff muscles, which can prepare you for relaxation mode and help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep for longer.
- Wear Wool Socks to Bed — Another great way to help the body regulate temperature at bedtime? Add some wool socks to your sleep set. Socks help pull heat from the core of your body to the extremities, dropping the core body temperature and improving circulation, which gives the body the tools it needs to stay at the right sleep temperature. Studies show that wearing socks to bed in a cool sleep environment can shorten sleep onset, lengthen sleep time and prevent you from waking up too early, all while helping to keep your body at the right temperature.
- Reduce the Temperature in Home — This is the simplest and most obvious way to ready the body for sleep — turn the thermostat in the bedroom to 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to turn the temperature down too much, as an environment that’s too cold isn’t good for your sleep health, either. The key is to keep your space in that comfortable Goldilocks zone so you’re not hot and not cold. If you don’t have central air conditioning, consider installing a ceiling fan or window unit. The low hum of an appliance may also help mask other noises and soothe you to sleep (more on this below).
- Sleep on a Temperature-Regulating Bed — Upgrading your mattress and bedding is a simple thing you can do to stay cool as you ready yourself for sleep and snooze throughout the night. Many modern mattresses have temperature-regulating technologies. For example, PranaSleep mattresses’s blend ultra-luxurious comfort and support using the Performance Talalay Core, comfort layers, UltraQuilt layer and the patented perimeter wrap so they don’t restrict airflow or trap heat. You’ll also want to make sure you’re choosing the coolest, most breathable materials in your sheets and pillowcases. Bamboo and linen are great options for everyone who loves that cold-side-of-the-pillow effect all the time.
Why Darkness Matters
We sleep at night because the lack of light triggers our natural biological clock, which tells us it’s time to rest. However, many of us have grown accustomed to sleeping in spaces with windows, electronics and lights that confuse the mind when the body wants to sleep. Even a little bit of light in your space can inhibit the release of melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” which helps the body prepare for sleep by relaxing the muscles and boosting feelings of drowsiness.
Tips for Total Darkness
Getting good sleep isn’t just about blocking out light wherever possible. It’s also about exposing your body to light at the right times, such as when you first wake up in the morning. Here are Burke’s top tips for helping us trick the body into better sleep through light exposure and a lack thereof.
- Go Outside as Soon as You Wake Up — “As soon as you wake up, go outside and get some sun on your skin,” Burke recommends. The immediate light exposure helps your internal sleep clock resync so it’s ready to wake up and tackle the day. This is especially important if you tend to spend much of your time indoors or in artificially lit environments where the natural sunrise-sunset cycle isn’t there to signal to your brain.
- Watch the Sunset — In the same way that catching light in the morning helps you wake up, watching the sun melt across the horizon can help you wind down. Burke says that watching the sunset helps the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, the same hormone responsible for helping your muscles relax and making you feel drowsy at bedtime. If you don’t want to venture outside, you can recreate the experience by dimming or turning off half the lights in your home at sunset, Burke suggests. You can also buy a “sunset lamp” that mimics the sunset experience artificially indoors and can even create a sunrise effect when it’s time to wake up in the morning.
- Make Your Bedroom as Dark as Possible — Last, make sure to make your bedroom as dark as possible. The darker the better, Burke says. While most of us don’t have the means to completely transform our sleep spaces into total black holes, there are a few easy things you can do to darken the room, such as wearing an eye mask to bed, investing in blackout shades or removing all the electronics from your space. Burke even suggests putting tape over the LED lights on your electronics in your bedroom.
Why Quiet Matters
Deep sleep can only happen if your environment is free of disturbances that could knock you out of your slumber. Traffic outside, a partner’s alarm clock, a thunderstorm — these are all surefire ways to prevent you from settling into those phases of deep, productive sleep you need to thrive in your waking hours. Those of us who consistently experience a chattering mind may also appreciate the calming sensation of total silence (or not, in which case a sound machine can be useful)!
Tips for a Quieter Sleep Space
Investing in some tools and making a few small changes to help you create the quietest possible sleep space is well worth your while. And it doesn’t take a ton of time, money or effort. Here are Burke’s best tips for creating a peaceful, distraction-free environment for snoozing:
- Use a White or Pink Noise Machine — Consider investing in a machine that plays white noise (noise with equal intensities across many frequencies, such as a humming fan) or pink noise (noise with various intensities favoring low-frequency sounds, such as rain outside your window). These machines, which are surprisingly affordable to buy, can help you sleep by preventing you from hearing disruptive sounds that could jar you from a deep sleep. They may also help quiet intrusive, persistent thoughts.
- Wear Earplugs to Bed — Wearing earplugs to bed can be a great resource if there are environmental factors you can’t immediately change, such as if you live near a loud highway or your partner snores. “If your bed partner does snore, you also want to encourage them to go get a sleep study done, because this could be a sign that they have sleep apnea,” Burke says. If you’re able to create a quiet sleep space, you’ll still want to make sure you travel with earplugs in case your new environment is noisy.
Great Nights Lead to Great Days
As you can see, creating a sleep space that encourages the deepest, most productive sleep is easier than you might imagine. City Mattress is here to help you with the basics, from mattresses that boost sleep quality to bedding that can help regulate temperature. Mix in some of Burke’s amazing sleep tips, and you’re well on your way to better sleep and a healthier, happier life.
“Remember, great nights lead to great days,” says Burke. “Be sure to take action on these simple sleep-supporting strategies to get deeper, higher quality natural sleep.”