GOOD

Sleep Better: Create the Ideal Sleep Environment #30DaysofGOOD

Creating a good sleeping environment is critical for better rest. Here's how:


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Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for May? Sleep better.

How well you sleep depends a lot on where you sleep. These days, our bedrooms often double as workspaces. Or they're packed with glowing gadgets. Or they sit above busy urban streets. Creating a good sleeping environment is critical for better rest. Here's how.

Make sure it's dark: This might be obvious, but when you're going to bed, your room should be dark. If there's a streetlight outside your window, for example, consider investing in some heavy curtains or blinds. If that's too much trouble, pick up a eye mask.

Get rid of the gadgets: If you have glowing alarm clocks or phones or other gadgets within eyesight of your bed, move them elsewhere or cover them up. Even low levels of light (especially blue light) can suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep.

Find the right temperature: Experts suggest your room be between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. But the ideal temperature varies from person to person, so go with what works. As a general rule, however, your sleeping environment should be cooler than your average daytime temperature. And it's nice to have fresh air circulating, so crack a window or, if it's too cold for that, get a fan.

Your mattress matters: Mattresses are supposed to last for as long as 10 years if they're well taken care of. That said, you may need to replace yours if you notice you're not sleeping well, or if it's uncomfortably lumpy or saggy. If you don't have the cash for a replacement right now, flip it over or put a board underneath it (and maybe hit it with some Lysol while you're at it).

Create a sleep sanctuary: It's important that your bedroom—and especially your bed—be a place you associate with relaxation and comfort. To preserve it as a refuge, consider removing computers, work, the TV, the treadmill, and other things that remind you of the stresses of the day. Your bed itself should be for sleeping and sex only. No sitting up in bed answering work emails on the laptop or iPad.

Once you have your ideal sleep environment set up, make sure you dim the lights, stop working, and begin to relax about 30 minutes before bed.

Is there anything we missed? How do you make your room conducive to sleep?

Photo via (cc) Flickr user booleansplit

Articles

This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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