We accomplish a lot in our bedrooms, besides sleep. We send emails, read and pretend not to be distracted by our gadgets. With wellness becoming the go-to mantra for healthy living, sleep has been receiving plenty of press lately. Our crazy schedules and the stress of modern living, in addition to our addiction to technology, have made sound sleep an elusive reality for many.
It is essential to create a soothing atmosphere, one that mimics the cadences of a lullaby, as the first step towards a fulfilling REM cycle. Looking towards the goal of restful sleep, we’ve put together a list of the ideal ingredients for uninterrupted shut-eye:
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Bedding that envelops you
Nothing beats a great mattress for comfortable sleep. The right mattress is the difference between tossing and turning all night or sleeping like a baby. If your mattress is more than 8-10 years old, it might be time to change it. Do keep your health conditions in mind when shopping for a new mattress. If you have lumbar problems, it is best to choose from a range of firm mattresses. If you’re prone to allergies, opt for a hypoallergenic top layer.
Choose your pillow just as carefully. If you sleep predominantly on your side, then make sure your pillow gives the right amount of support to your neck. If you sleep on your back, go for a flexible option that does not strain your backbone by elevating your neck too much. Do your research!
Finally, your bed linen should ideally be made of a natural fibre - cotton or linen are wonderful options. Fabric made of natural fibres help regulate body temperature. Do not forget to create a luxurious bed by adding layers in a variety of textures - blankets, quilts, cover sheets - there are many options to build a cosy nest!
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Bring the outside indoors
Plants not only bring vitality into your living spaces but can also have fantastic purifying benefits - helping you breathe better - a crucial step towards a healthy sleeping pattern. Poor air quality is the reality of life in the city, toxic fumes can hardly be expected to stay outside when you shut the door! The good news is there are a variety of plants that can purify the air while you sleep – in fact NASA did a whole study on it!
Many of us love to read before bed or cannot turn off our mobiles until it slips through our fingers as we drift off to sleep. Studies show that keeping bright lights on late at night or the glare from our screens can trick our bodies into feeling more awake than it really is, messing with our Circadian rhythms. The best solution would be to ensure that you layer your bedroom with soft lighting, letting your body wind down naturally. Consider a variety of options: niche lighting, ambient floor or ceiling lights and a bedside lamp for reading. Also think about investing in blackout curtains that cut out any street light; it is a wonderful way to make your bedroom a private oasis!
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An unwanted side effect of living in the urban jungle is the continuous presence of noise. Perhaps it is the construction next door that begins at an ungodly hour or the neighbour’s dog or just plain old traffic that constantly intrudes upon your sleep. Invest in a white noise machine to help cut out some of that noise, or you might consider a sleep machine which can be programmed to the sound of orcas or waves: whatever soothes you and helps you relax.
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It is a good idea to keep a pitcher of water and some glasses within easy reach of your bed to help quench those midnight cravings. Consider framing a peaceful landscape from your travels and fall asleep savoring a favourite travel memory. If you’re thinking of a renovation, invest in a soft palette for the bedroom. Pastels or tones of white will help you fall asleep quicker than splashes of bold colour! Aromatherapy can be your best friend; let the light notes of lavender or chamomile lull you into sleep with a handy diffuser or scented candles.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and build your dream bedroom today!