What is the Ideal Sleep Environment and Conditions for Quality Sleep?

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The relationship between sleep environment and quality of sleep is closely related. To get a good night's sleep, you need to be in an environment conducive to sleep, which means having the right sleeping conditions and creating a sleep environment that is dark, quiet, and cool.

It's no wonder that getting a good night's sleep is crucial for our well-being because it's the time when our body repairs and restores itself. Sleeping in an environment that's not conducive to sleep would lead to low sleep quality. Changing how your sleeping environment looks can have a big effect on your quality of sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until the morning.

But what is the ideal sleep environment and conditions for quality sleep? Changing a few things regarding noise, light, and temperature may help you drift off faster and stay asleep until the morning.

What are the Environment Conditions that Affect the Quality of Sleep?

The environmental conditions that affect the quality of sleep are listed below.

  1. The Temperature of the Sleeping Area
  2. Noise in the Sleeping Area
  3. Lights in the Sleeping Environment
  4. Bed and Mattress Quality for Sleeping
  5. Colors of Room
  6. Clutter in the Room
  7. The Smell in the Room
  8. Air Quality of the Sleeping Area
  9. Electronics in the Sleeping Environment

1. The Temperature of the Sleeping Area

The temperature of the sleeping area can affect your quality of sleep. A bedroom that is too hot or cold will not allow you to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed.

Adjust your heating or cooling to find a temperature that works the best for you. The best temperature to sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve a good night's sleep. If you don't have any air conditioning, you can leave the window open to allow the fresh air to cool the sleeping area.

The negative effects of having the wrong temperature include struggling to fall and stay asleep. A room that's too cold or warm can affect the quality of sleep. Temperatures that are too high or low will allow you to fall asleep faster but tend to hinder a deeper, more restorative sleep. This means you may find yourself waking up several times during the night.

2. Noise in the Sleeping Area

The noise in the sleeping area can make it difficult to fall asleep. A combination of noises that are too loud will affect your quality of sleep by making it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep.

Although some people sleep better in a noisy environment, sleep and sound don’t go well together. An ideal sleeping area doesn't have any noise at all. Noise in the sleeping area can come from the outdoors, the street, your neighbors, or even inside the house. You should consider whether there is any noise that’s affecting your quality of sleep and find an appropriate solution.

Noise in the sleeping area can be manageable by using earplugs or setting up a white noise machine. You may also consider changing the location of your bedroom if that will help to minimize noise.

White Noise Machine Working While a Person is Asleep

3. Lights in the Sleeping Environment

The lights in the sleeping environment can also affect your quality of sleep. An ideal sleeping area should have no lights because it will make it difficult to fall asleep. Even if you fall asleep with the lights on, the effects of lights on sleep quality will have you wake up during the night or in the morning, feeling tired and in a bad mood.

People afraid of the dark can choose dim light specially designed not to disrupt your sleeping. Using a warm-white light bulb for a nightlight can help you reduce your fear of dark rooms while still creating a good sleep environment. You can use blackout shades or curtains to make the sleeping environment dark, especially if your neighborhood is well-lit during the night.

4. Bed and Mattress Quality for Sleeping

The ideal sleeping conditions require a good bed and mattress because it can make it easier to fall asleep at night. You may struggle to find a comfortable position if the mattress is too soft or firm for your weight and preferred sleeping positions. The quality of the bed and mattress should be consistent with your weight, or both the bed and mattress will be uncomfortable.

An ideal sleeping environment should have a bed with perfect firmness to support your body. People wondering if a good mattress improves sleep should try changing their old mattress for a new and more comfortable one to notice the difference. The mattress material should provide comfort while being durable enough to last for several years. Depending on what you find the most comfortable for quality sleeping, you can choose between memory foam, latex, or spring mattresses. It's important to consider your sleeping position when choosing a bed and mattress because what works for side sleepers may not be the best for people sleeping on their back.

5. Colors of the Room

The colors of the room affect the sleeping conditions. An ideal sleeping environment should have gray, cool colors because it will help to reduce the stress that can prevent you from falling asleep. Warm colors can disrupt your sleep because they are active colors, lighting up the room and keeping you up. It will be difficult to fall asleep if you have a room filled with vibrant colored walls and furniture.

When renovating and painting your bedroom, it’s important to know the best and worst bedroom colors for sleep. Choose dark and cool colors that will help create a dark sleeping environment. If you don't like the idea of a dark room, you can combine cool and vibrant colors by painting some walls in a cool color and others in a warm color. Think about the color of other things like your furniture and floors. It's best to have everything in a cool color to create the best sleeping environment. The best and worst bedroom colors for sleep are important to know when decorating your sleep space.

6. Clutter in the Room

Clutter in the room will make it difficult for you to sleep. It's best to remove all the clutter from your bedroom because it can cause stress and anxiety that disrupt your sleep. Clutter can consist of clothes, toys, books, or personal items. Not only will clutter make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night, but it can also increase stress in your life. Too much clutter can make you nervous once you wake up, causing you to dread spending time in your bedroom. You should only keep the things you use daily in your bedroom and remove everything that can cause stress.

Think about what items don't belong in the bedroom. The only things that should be on your nightstand are the items you use before bed, such as a book or alarm clock. The rest you can store somewhere else to create a calm and relaxing sleeping environment. Try to find a place for every item so that the environment in your bedroom is more suitable for sleeping.

7. The Smell in the Room

The right smell in the room can help you fall asleep faster, but a bad smell can keep you up. Bad smells can make it difficult to fall asleep, so it’s important to know how scents can affect sleep. Citrus scents and heavy perfumes can irritate you and keep you up without you even realizing it. Some scents may even give you a headache or make you nauseous if you spend too much time in the room. A bad smell in the room can wake you up at some point during the night.

The best smell for sleeping is lavender because it has calming effects that help you sleep. The scent of lavender reduces your stress hormones, helping you calm down and relax before bedtime. You can buy an essential oil diffuser or place dried lavender in the room to create a calming and soothing sleeping environment. Chamomile and peppermint oils are good choices if you don't have lavender. Both can help you relax and sleep better.

A Woman Smelling Lavender Aroma Illustration

8. Air Quality of the Sleeping Area

The air quality of the sleeping area can help you sleep better or prevent you from sleeping at all. Bad air quality can make it difficult to sleep at night. It can make it difficult for you to breathe, resulting in headaches, nausea, coughing, and sneezing.

Things that affect the sleeping area’s air quality are bedroom cleanliness and outside air quality. The cleanliness of your room is important because dust and other particles in the air can irritate you when trying to fall asleep. The quality of the air outside is crucial if you leave the window open while sleeping. If it's bad, it can result in dust and smoke entering from the outside.

The best thing you can do for better sleeping conditions in your bedroom is clean it regularly. Vacuum any dust in the room and remove loose dirt by using a damp cloth to wipe down objects in the room. You can replace or wash your bedding when you feel like it needs cleaning. Ventilate the room regularly to allow fresh air in, control the humidity, and change your AC filter regularly.

A Young Man Laying in Bed Next to an Alarm Clock Illustration

9. Electronics in the Sleeping Environment

You should keep electronics in the sleeping environment to a minimum if you want better sleep. All electronics should be off two hours before bedtime. TV, computers, cell phones, and even alarm clocks can all interfere with your sleeping habits by giving off light that keeps you up. Light from these devices simulates sunlight, which keeps you up at night. If you need an alarm clock in your bedroom, choose an old-school one that doesn't emit any light. All electronics can affect quality sleep and will disturb your sleeping habits if you use them in the room before bedtime.

How to Design the Ideal Bedroom for Sleep

Improving your sleeping environment is easy. Follow these steps to creating the perfect bedroom for sleep.

  • Remove all reminders of work
  • Choose dark walls and furniture
  • Remove warm lights
  • Use curtains
  • Remove clutter
  • Keep the electronics away
  • Have a comfortable bed and mattress
  • Use comfortable pillows and sheets

How Effective is the Sleep Environment for Sleep Quality?

Sleep environment is effective for sleep quality because it affects how well and how long you sleep. A high-quality sleep environment can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. If the sleeping environment is not right, it can make it difficult to drift off, keeping you up for a longer time and hindering your sleep quality. An unsuitable sleeping environment can result in low-quality sleep and frequent wake-ups during the night. A bad sleeping environment can cause nausea, headache, grogginess, and possibly insomnia.


Jill Zwarensteyn is the editor for Sleep Advisor and a certified sleep science coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.

She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.

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