Have you ever wondered whether you could fix your sleep issues by moving to a different part of the region or nation? Would you get a more peaceful sleep in the calm and quiet of the country, or do you need the buzzing background noise of the city? Chances are, you can’t move just to improve your sleep, but it would be nice to know if your location impacts your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep(less) in the City
Many will claim that it’s difficult to sleep in the city. It’s easy to see why. If you live in an urban area, you probably experience more light and noise pollution. In fact, noise pollution in cities can cause sleep problems that lead to daytime drowsiness, lower cognitive function, mood changes, and poorer overall wellbeing.
There’s also air quality to consider. No matter where you live, you probably deal with some pollution. But it can be more intense in the city. The particles in the air can cause respiratory irritation that can impact your sleep as well.
Sleep Wellness in Rural Areas
Ahhhhh, the quiet of the country indeed leads to better sleep. Right? In some ways, the answer is yes. As a rural sleeper, you will deal with less light and noise pollution. Also, in many cases (but not all), the air will be cleaner.
What’s more, your sleep patterns may be more synched with natural daylight and nighttime in a rural area. People who live in the country may even develop an agrarian schedule-style sleep pattern—earlier sleep times and earlier rises.
Don’t Declare a Sleep Wellness Winner Yet
It turns out that sleeping in the city and sleeping in the country aren’t that different. One thing is clear: Nearly ⅓ of adults aren’t getting the sleep they should. That’s true for urban and rural living.
Other factors besides geographical location impact sleep health, and they are on the rise in both rural and urban communities. The following are some examples:
- Use of alcohol and caffeine
- Electronic Devices
People who are sleep-deprived won’t find their situation improving simply because they moved.
There are some other factors balancing things out, as well. For example, rural living is no longer a guarantee that someone lives a rural life. They may be as susceptible as a city-dweller to health issues and poor habits that impact sleep wellness. Someone living in the country may also have less access to healthcare to treat conditions such as sleep apnea.
Don’t Pack Your Bags: Change Your Habits
Where you live probably has a minimal impact on your sleep. Instead, you should focus on your sleep habits and ensuring your bedroom works for you. Try putting away electronics 30 minutes before bed, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine, and adhering to a predictable sleep schedule. You may not notice improvement right away, but these are proven techniques.
It may be time to upgrade your sleep accessories, as well. Something as simple as upgrading to a new pillow can bring more restful, comfortable sleep. So can blackout curtains or even a white noise machine.