Why a Christmas tree in your bedroom means better sleep

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4-min read
How a Christmas tree in your bedroom could  help you sleep better. (Getty Images)
How a Christmas tree in your bedroom could help you sleep better. (Getty Images)

From burning the festive twisty candles at both ends to stressing about finding, and financing, all the presents, Christmas brings with it many factors that can mean sleep takes a hit at this time of year.

But the experts at Hayes Garden World have uncovered a surprising sleep hack that could help you to clock up some more shut eye: bringing your Christmas tree into the bedroom.

Read more: Have you got BNB (Busy Night Brain)? Here's how to reclaim sleep

As well as sprinkling the magic to another room in your home, putting a tree next to your bed can have a surprising impact on your ZZZs.

Here's how decking the halls (of our bedroom) can improve our sleep.

It offers a calming reminder of nature

Not only is green a soothing colour, but having a Christmas tree in your bedroom offers a calming reminder of nature.

Our brains collect information from our surroundings and this translates into chemical signals, releasing different hormones in response," explains Carl Wash, sleep expert at Bed Guru.

"In this instance, melatonin and cortisol as they’re the hormones that control your sleep cycle. That’s why it's good to consider what colours you’re using in the bedroom to ensure your brain is telling your body to release the right hormones that will put your body into a sleepy state."

Wash says green, especially softer shades, is a non-stimulating colour which is good for relaxation and promoting good quality sleep.

We know that being around nature can be good for our mental and physical health – even a short walk in a green space can have tangible benefits – and Christmas is an opportunity to bring those benefits right into our bedrooms.

As well as making your bedroom look festive, having a Christmas tree could promote better sleep. (Getty Images)
As well as making your bedroom look festive, having a Christmas tree could promote better sleep. (Getty Images)

Read more: How to get back to sleep when you wake up feeling stressed

A tree conjures comforting feeling of nostalgia

For most of us the run up to Christmas, including the decorating of the tree and the day itself is a key memory from our childhood.

"So although Christmas can be a pretty stressful time of year, taking part in Christmas related activities takes people back to their childhood, where they had no responsibilities, and in that moment they forget about all the other stressful things," explains Wash.

And feeling less stressed is always going to be good for your sleep.

"All the Christmas festivities give you a reason to step away from your responsibility, become a child again and just relax and have fun. Clearing your mind in this way will help you sleep more soundly at night,” he adds.

Watch: 'Holidays at the White House': Jill Biden unveils Christmas decorations

The natural chemicals in a real tree can help promote sleep

As well as making your room smell amazing, the natural chemicals which are responsible for a real tree's fragrance have other calming plus points.

"Numerous health benefits have been found to be associated with terpenes and esters that are commonly released by Christmas trees,’ Kim Lahiri, aromacologist for Trelonk Molecular Wellbeing told Metro.

"These chemicals like alpha-pinene are prevalent throughout the world of essential oils and have been used traditionally for treating various ailments for centuries.

"Alpha- and beta-pinene are renowned for their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Alpha-pinene has also been shown to help improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Meanwhile, beta-pinene has properties which alleviate everyday aches and pains."

There are many reasons having a Christmas tree in your bedroom could lead to a better night's shut eye. (Getty Images)
There are many reasons having a Christmas tree in your bedroom could lead to a better night's shut eye. (Getty Images)

The bright colours produce hormones which make us feel happy

As with colours in the bedroom, our brain responds to our visual surroundings. So, when you’ve decorated your bedroom for Christmas, the bright colours can help promote the release of happy hormones.

When it comes to the lights on your bedroom tree it's best to use warm lighting, that's because blue light, such as the light found in LED lights blocks the release of sleep hormones and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

Yellow, orange, or red-tinted lighting may be best for a restful night's sleep, although opting for the lighting that speaks to you could also help you drift off. Previous research found that participants fell asleep faster in a room with lighting in their preferred colour.

Read more: Bad night's sleep linked to feeling 'decades older'

Reap the sleep benefits without the allergies by going fake

Just as summer time allergies can impact sleep, people can have a similar reaction around the festive period if they are allergic to Christmas trees.

For those allergic to Christmas trees, Wash recommends ditching the real tree and opting for a fake tree instead.

"Artificial trees can look just as good as real ones, and no one wants sleepless nights during the festive season,” he adds.

Watch: Supermarkets expect early rush for real Christmas trees as demand spikes

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