Sleep is extremely important to happiness, and I’ve been doing a lot to try to improve our sleep. According to one study, a bad night’s sleep was one of the top two factors that upset people’s daily moods (along with tight work deadlines). Another study suggested that getting one extra hour of sleep each night would do more for your daily happiness than getting a $60,000 raise. Nevertheless, an estimated 63% of American adults fail to get eight hours of sleep a night.
Lately, I’ve been working to make our bedroom darker. Studies show that even the tiny light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle. We have about six devices in our room that glow bright green; it’s like sleeping in a mad scientist’s lab. Our cable box makes so much light that I have to cover it with a pillow before bed.
I went around the room to move things around, to block out any light. We leave in New York City, and the apartments across the street throw out a lot of light from their windows. I’ve been careful to lower the shades all the way at night; often we’d leave them five or six inches from the bottom.
Whenever my husband and I stay in a hotel, we sleep incredibly well. I always thought that was because we didn’t have our children with us, but maybe it’s also partly because of the super-darkness of hotel rooms.
Have you found any simple strategies to improve the quality of your sleep?
The days are long, but the years are short.