The Balance Between Form & Function
Equally important as the actual bed you sleep on, the environment where you sleep is a crucial piece of the equation. And we’re not just talking about whether your bedroom is consistently quiet and dark enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Obviously, those things play a big role, but other aspects (like ambiance, room temperature, and air quality) often get overlooked. What’s more, why invest in a luxury mattress at all if you haven’t teamed it up with pillows and linens that make you want to “lose yourself” in a dream the moment you lie down.
Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep Environment
When it comes to creating the perfect sleep environment, here’s a short list of essential things to remember:
- Bedroom location: If you’ve already built your dream home, then hopefully you put your kids’ rooms on the opposite side of the house. Another good rule of thumb is not to sleep near the TV room or any part of your home where people gather for entertainment.
- Window Treatments: This probably goes without saying, but a bedroom that gets too much morning sun is probably going to disrupt your sleep (especially if you’re not an early riser). Complete darkness isn’t always ideal either, so you may want to experiment with shutters, shades, or blinds until you strike the most soothing balance.
- Ambiance: Just as important as the right window treatments, choosing your light fixtures and bulbs can play a big role in how fast you get to sleep at night. Warmer white or amber light is not only better for reading in bed, but it also fosters a more calming mood than its cold fluorescent cousins.
- Room Temperature: Too hot and you’re sweating, too cold, and you’re shivering. In addition to dialing in the perfect temperature for sleep time, many people find programmable thermostats especially helpful in warming the house up just in time for morning coffee.
- Air Quality: Poor indoor air quality is among the most overlooked health risks, as harmful chemical odors, gases, and microbes can end up circulating through your heating/cooling system for months if you don’t occasionally open your windows to let fresh air in. Additionally, air filters are great for allergy sufferers and humidifiers can make skin feel less dry in the winter.
- Sleep Sounds: Even if you were never into the Sharper Image nature sounds machines that were popular in the 90’s, many people find the soft white noise of a fan especially helpful in blocking out unwanted background noise as they sleep.
- Pillow Choice: The most important thing to remember when buying pillows is that aesthetics shouldn’t outweigh comfort. Although we all dream of a bedroom fit for a home decor magazine cover, what good are those huge puffy pillows if all they give you by morning is a stiff neck?
- Linen Counts: Among the most circulated myths in the world of sheets is that higher thread count equates to a better sleep experience. While there certainly may be some extremely high-thread-count sheets out there that are extremely soft and smooth to the point of an improved sleep experience, it’s important not to forget about breathability and temperature regulation. Whether you prefer cotton, silk, or some other textile, be sure to choose a set of linens that keeps both you and your partner comfortable throughout the night.
- Pet Disturbances: According to Psychology Today, a 2014 Mayo Clinic study on sleep disorders found that roughly half of all patients who allowed their pets into bed reported being interrupted not just often, but every single night. We’re not saying you should give up your beloved cat or dog, but maybe it’s time to consider getting them a luxury pet bed of their own.
- Conflicting Schedules: Does your partner go to bed earlier than you and wake up earlier? This not only costs you precious sleep in the morning, but it also cuts into their sleep at night. According to the Wall Street Journal, couples on different sleep schedules can expect conflict.
Aside from investing in a luxury mattress that provides the ideal foundation for a good night’s sleep, these 10 tweaks to your sleep environment can prove quite useful as you continue to fine tune the ultimate “sleep lab” in your home.
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