A year into the pandemic, and ‘home’ continues to remain multifunctional, with the home and work environments merging into one space. The circumstances have made people restless, given the dynamic work hours, coupled with having to tend to the needs of the home. However, despite all this stress, people seem to be missing on how to regain the energy needed to make it through the next day. To understand how we can facilitate a good night’s sleep, we must consider why it is important. In a nutshell, good sleep gives way for good emotional balance, increase in energy levels and in some cases, weight loss. 

In benefit of our own wellbeing, let us consider good sleep as an investment. Just like you would invest in a watch or new tech gadget to make life more convenient, here is a chance for you to invest in a mattress, an ergonomic pillow, and by extension, your mental health and physical well-being. So where do we begin? Building the right ambience and factoring in the aesthetics can help you sleep better. 

Look at the lighting: Light, both natural and artificial, have a big influence on a steady day/night rhythm, which is the internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. When it comes to a good sleep environment, the aim you are trying to achieve is for you to get up at a given time on a regular basis. In the mornings, light helps you get going. So, in your own case, try to identify if you have trouble raising in the dark? If so, consider a daylight alarm or smart lighting that slowly recreates a sunrise in your bedroom on your own demand. 

On the other hand, light can disturb your rhythm even after dawn. In which case, a darker bedroom is crucial for a good night’s sleep. So, you should ideally prepare your body when it is time for bed. Aim for a gradually darkening environment at home like the one that gradually lightens up. Unfortunately, if you are a millennial, this would mean avoiding television and computer screens in your room, to evacuate unnecessary artificial light from your bedroom. A hard choice, but one that can go a long way in achieving the room lighting we are aiming for.

Get the right temperature:  Your body temperature plays an important role in how you sleep. And when it comes to the room environment, it comes down to your bedspreads. Dressing the bed with a sheet, quilt, throw, and bedspread when it’s colder allows you to control your temperature more easily. Using lighter quilts, sheets, and blankets when it is warmer allows you to do the same. More on the bed linens further as we go into the article. But in terms of temperature, they form an integral part of managing it.

The sound of silence: When it comes to your sleep, silence is golden. So, make sure you put into practice your school-time taught lesson in maintaining silence. You can regulate noise by making certain adjustments to your bedroom. For example, soft furnishing such as heavy curtains and thick carpets are good isolating methods that will absorb sound and help dampen the intensity of the vibrations, thereby keeping disturbances at bay.

Adjust to better air quality: Humidity is an important air quality factor to take into consideration. You should also try to minimize the impact of indoor pollutants. The easiest way to do this is ensuring that fresh air is circulating – a fan, AC, air purifier and some green plants make a big difference (especially spider plants and Aloe Vera are the best natural air purifiers).

Colours and coordination: When it comes to the colour of the room, I concede that it is a very personal choice. But if there is room for a makeover, you should consider calming colors like deep blue, dark green or neutral colors. These work best in setting the mood to a relaxing environment. Busy wallpapers are best avoided, as you don’t want a room with dynamic tension. Moreover, coordinating your wallpapers with your bedlinens and accessories creates a cool, calming environment for you to rest and recharge. Colours aside, pay attention to avoiding clutter as much as possible. Even if you are a maximalist, try to keep order in your room by either grouping your accessories by color or material to create balance. A tidy space will help you clear your mind too, so place clothes on a chair or a hanger. Once you have got the aesthetics right, let us explore how you can create that environment by moving on to the bedroom accessories.

Finding a mattress suited for you: Something generally, overlooked, a mattress is a crucial factor that determines comfortability to enable good sleep. So, what you should consider while buying a new mattress: Do you sleep on your back or stomach? Either ways, you would need a firm mattress. And if you are a side sleeper, soft mattresses are much more enjoyable for you.

Much like you would test ride a car before buying it, it is always prudent to try out the mattresses. Try a mattress out in the showroom and take your time. Don’t just sit on it or bounce around on it. Conscientiously take 5-10 minutes to lay down and listen to your body. If you sleep next to someone, consider if you and the other person have different styles of sleeping. Accordingly, get two separate single mattresses to maintain boundaries, rather than a double mattress. If you are the type to roll over to the middle for a good night’s rest, try adding a mattress topper so it feels like you are on the same mattress. 

Pillows & positions: What cushion fits your sleeping habits best also depend on your sleeping position. To find the pillow for your perfect night’s sleep, start with your favorite sleeping position (on your back, side or stomach) and then look for specific benefits and features for your individual needs. Besides polyester pillows, you might want to explore the many options available nowadays when it comes to ergonomic and memory foam pillows. They are accommodating to your motions. These come in different price ranges, but do not compromise on comfort. Splurge a little on a perfect fit for you.

Bed linens part two: As established previously, the bedlinen you sleep under can also have an impact on the quality of your sleep. Synthetic materials aren’t ideal as they can make you sweat causing you to get too hot or too cold quickly. Opt for linen or cotton for better moisture absorption and a stabilized body temperature. Depending on the time of the year or the region you live in, you can choose your duvet. Nowadays, there are some great ones that can also help you cool in case you experience hot flashes but still need a linen as a cover.

Curtains & blinders: We talked earlier on about the importance of light, in terms of the presence and the absence of it. Now we shall explore the supplementing elements – curtains and blinders. If you are a light sleeper, you may benefit from curtains that are blinding, as they don’t let any light through. If that’s not enough yet, add a blinder to blacken out the room completely. Blinders come in manual as well as motorized types, so if you prefer to manually adjust, you can go for the traditional blinders. You also get motorized blinds to add to your smart home settings. Get your hands on one of these and your work gets cut down. Just set the timer and the blinders open automatically. These can sometimes even be enhanced, perhaps to the sound of your favorite morning music to get you going for your day.

In conclusion, you require a good 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Prioritizing sleep during the pandemic is essential to adapt to the change brought by the pandemic. By adhering to a certain rhythm and creating your own sleeping zone in a cool, dark, quiet room with fresh air can help achieve a healthy sleep environment. And with all these hacks now made known to you, bidding adieu to puffy eyes, a moody demeanor, and fluctuating energy levels have become much easier. 



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Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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