When it comes to wellness, sleep often falls last on our list. Thirty-minute HIIT workout? Check. Meal prep? Check. But seven hours of sleep at night? Some of us hardly get six. Like many Americans, you might not be getting enough zzz’s at night. And try as you might, there’s no such thing as catching up on missed sleep.
The downsides you probably know all too well: Less sleep means less productivity and more stress. Studies have also shown that people who skimp on sleep make poorer eating decisions and are more prone to weight gain.
So what’s an overworked and overcommitted adult to do? Sometimes, the key to reaching REM is as simple as creating a solid nighttime routine and investing in the a few key items to turn your sleep space into the ultimate sanctuary. Check out the tips below to help you build the bedroom of your dreams.
5 Bedroom Makeover Tips to Sleep Better Tonight
1. It’s the Thread That Counts
If you want to have a bed that you’ll actually want to sleep in, choosing the right bed sheets is a good place to start. The National Sleep Foundation recommends cotton, bamboo or linen sheets with a thread count of 400 or higher. The rule is the higher the thread count, the softer and comfier the sheets. These Ultra Soft 1800 Series Bamboo Bed Sheets ($29.99) are fit for a queen (or king). The high-quality bamboo yarns are light and breathable, so you won’t toss and turn from being too warm.
2. All About the Pillow Talk
Whether you sleep on your side, back or belly, you’ll want a pillow that’ll make you feel like you’re on cloud 9. Women who are pregnant and sleep on their side might benefit from a U-shaped pillow to ease lower-back pain and aid blood flow to the heart. On the other hand, if you sleep on your back, using a thinner pillow made with memory foam could hold up your neck without throwing it too far forward. A good rule of thumb is to replace your pillows every 18 months. Need an upgrade? These 2-Pack Organic Jumbo Bamboo Pillows ($37.99) contour to the shape of your body and support your spine. The bamboo rayon cover helps reduce heat, so you can chill out.
3. Matters of the Mattress
If you’re doing it right, you’re spending one-third of your life in bed. That’s why it’s so important to invest in a great mattress. A soft but firm mattress with thermoneutrality — which is just a fancy word for saying that the mattress isn’t too hot or too cold — can prevent disruptions in your sleep. Proper edge support is also important, so you don’t feel like you’re about to roll off the edge. If you share a bed with someone, consider their sleep style and make sure that the mattress has good motion separation. According to the American Sleep Association, you should change your mattress every 10 years. Check out these athlete-approved mattresses, which are made with special foam layers and cushions.
4. Sleep Soundly to Relaxing Scents
Do you sometimes sense something amiss in the air? Well, it might not be all in your head. A 2012 poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that people are more excited to go to bed in sheets with a fresh scent. Purchasing an essential oil diffuser can help you relax and creates calming energy in your room. Many feng shui experts recommend lavender and orange essential oils in your bedroom. You might also want to be selective with the art and colors on your walls and avoid images that show aggression. Blue, beige, green and other earth tones are best for the bedroom.
5. Give in to a Digital Detox
As you might have guessed, electronics in the bedroom are a big distraction from hitting REM. So if you must have a TV, schedule a timer to shut it off every night at a certain hour. Invest in a good alarm clock instead of using your smartphone so you avoid checking email, Instagram, Facebook and news alerts…oh, every five seconds.
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