Are you struggling with not getting enough sleep? There's an adage that we spend one third of our lives in our beds, but realistically, it's not quite one third. When you factor in sleeplessness caused by stress and anxiety, broken sleep caused by children or pets (we once had an aging Greyhound who needed to go out two or three times a night!), and that urge to just watch one more episode, our allotted eight hours of sleep gets whittled away quickly.
Amplifying all of these issues is that when most people get into bed, they are not getting into an ideal sleep space. For example, my family prioritizes optimum sleep hygiene-creating a bedroom environment and practicing daily routines that promote sound, restorative sleep and I still occasionally let my pillows get too flat or forget to add that extra blanket on cold nights. If you are not putting effort into creating an ideal sleep space and practicing good sleep hygiene, you may be robbing yourself of consistent, uninterrupted sleep.
I had a yoga instructor who routinely asked, Is there anything you can do to make your body even 1% more comfortable? This question began to inform every area of my life, and it really does make a difference! Think about your sleep surface and the concept of even 1% more comfortable. You know that you need a good, supportive mattress for optimum sleep, but adding a high-quality mattress pad will not only protect your investment mattresses aren't cheap! but will make your bed more comfy. You can choose a mattress pad that helps to keep you cool, or adds a layer of cushion to your mattress surface. Read descriptions carefully and think about what you need to be even one percent more comfortable!
This idea extends to each element of your bed. Are your pillows supportive and suited to your preferred sleep position? Are your sheets a delight to your skin? Do you have lightweight percale for summer and high-thread-count Supima cotton or flannel sheets for cooler weather? Do your sheets make you happy? Are they beautiful, with a print or perhaps an elegant monogram that just gives you a little thrill to see? Consider your blanket, your bedspread, your comforter. . . every element adds something to your sleep environment. Make sure its contribution is positive, and if you could be even 1% more comfortable, pursue that comfort!
Clean your bedroom. Look, I don't want to sound like your mother (my daughter informs me that I can be quite annoying), but a tidy room that has been vacuumed and dusted will look better, smell better, have better air quality, and most importantly help your mind embrace calm when you want to settle in and go to sleep. If your bedroom has become a tangle or a dumping ground for things you don't know what to do with, prioritize yourself for just an hour or two and make it tidy and restful. You deserve that, and it will contribute immensely to your sleep hygiene.
Decorate your bedroom in a way that you find relaxing and pleasing. Unfortunately, it often happens that the primary bedroom of a home is the last to be decorated because it is a private space. If you have a budget shortfall, remember that a fresh coat of paint and secondhand furniture pieces can go a long way toward making a pretty room. Put your money into your mattress and bedding ensemble to create an ideal sleep space. An attractive room can be achieved on a shoestring budget, but cheap sheets are literally never comfy or luxurious feeling.
A grace note for an ideal sleep environment is fragrance. Lavender laundry rinse or linen spray is calming, and it is scientifically proven that jasmine promotes sound, uninterrupted sleep. Put a high-quality jasmine candle next to your bed make sure its fragrance is genuine rather than synthetic and you could feel a real difference in your sleep quality. Personally, I like a lavender linen spray for bedtime as well as a jasmine candle in the room. Whether you go in for aromatherapy or not, these are proven methods of promoting rejuvenating sleep.
Americans are chronically sleep deprived, as study after study has shown, which is a shame because well-rested people are healthier, happier, and more productive than exhausted people. If you can't sleep, maximizing your comfort and creating a restful environment may help. Consider your sleep hygiene habits and think about these ideas to create your ideal sleep space.