Healthy sleep is a most natural physiological need that cannot be avoided, and is moreover to be seriously taken into consideration. After all, we spend at least one third of our lives sleeping!
Millions of people have realized the importance of getting quality sleep, and apart from creating an appropriate interior for a relaxing bedroom, they have also developed various bedtime routines, such as having sleep-friendly food, pre-bedtime exercises and pre-bedtime relaxing.
Bedroom décor and bedtime routines are however only one aspect of the healthy sleep experience. Modern society is witnessing a growing awareness about how important it is to also ensure a healthy sleeping environment for a maximum positive impact onto our daily lives. It is by creating a proper sleep environment that maximum sleep efficiency can be achieved.
The question is “How to create the perfect environment for a good night’s sleep?”
As with most other issues, the answer to this question is to be found in the details, too. So, here are some key items and features that can essentially improve your bedroom and ensure healthy and highly efficient sleep ambiance.
Choosing the right mattress is very important for securing good quality sleep. Its structure and materials are essential for ensuring a proper body position while sleeping, and thereof a healthy sleep experience.
Given the huge choice of mattresses offered on the market, along with the abundance of sometimes almost aggressive commercial advertising of low-quality products, it may be a true challenge to find the best option. The right solution is to trust experience rather than variety.
It is precisely based on a long term professional experience, that the designers and engineers at NECTAR have created the perfect mattress. The team dedicates all efforts on ever improving one sole item, rather than developing a larger variety of similar products. So confident the company is with the qualities of its main product, that they offer a life-time guarantee and one full year free trial!
To understand why we chose the NECTAR mattress, here are a few of its top essential qualities:
- Tencel cooling cover for better air circulation, heat wicking and strong bedbug resistance;
- A quilted gel memory foam layer, providing loft and additional air circulation, while perfectly contouring the body shape;
- A gel memory foam layer, ensuring perfect body weight distribution and pressure relief;
- A layer of adaptive Hi core memory/recovery foam that supports the body while providing rebound and bounce;
- A breathing base layer that reinforces the contouring and supports the top layers, serving as a stable foundation.
Just as the mattress, the pillow is another key element for ensuring a healthy sleep experience. A good bed pillow provides not only comfort but has far more important functions, too. It should be the ideal support for the head, the neck, the shoulders, and the spine, ensuring the s.c. ‘neutral alignment’. Following the unique curves of the body, the pillow adjusts to the person’s sleeping position, alleviating any pressure points and preventing pain.
Depending on the preferred sleeping positions, here are some tips for choosing the right pillow:
- Back sleepers. Experts advise on choosing a somewhat thinner pillow of medium support. It will follow the natural curvature of the spine and the neck and ensure the perfect position for the upper body and head.
- Side sleepers. Use a firm and even a super firm pillow to rest your head on. Such pillow will contour and cradle the head and the top part of the body and the spine, creating the desired horizontal alignment.
- Stomach sleepers. The best option is using a soft, plump pillow that will provide a comfortable head-neck position and angle, and will prevent any unnatural turning.
Choosing the right pillow poses lots of issues and concerns, just as with the choice of the mattress. One needs to take into consideration various features, qualities, purposes, price tags, even aesthetic aspects, and this may sometimes be confusing. Again, it would be best to trust experience. Also make sure that your company of choice offers a free trial period so you can test your new pillow before you buy it.
There are a few other key aspects to take into consideration when creating the perfect healthy sleep environment. Continue reading below …
The bedroom interior
Even in a smaller residence, the bedroom should be a room for sleeping and romance only. It is not your home gym, office or kids’ playroom! So, try to keep it that way and get rid of any stuff that may pose unnecessary distraction and engage your brain and mind and keep you awake.
The bedroom interior composition is supposed to be balanced and purposed. Even if the room layout does not allow a complete Feng Shui arrangement of the key furniture items, it would be best to at least position the bed against a wall, facing away from the door or the windows.
Positioning furniture items in a symmetrical arrangement is also a smart way to create a good sleeping ambiance, for example, two identical bedside tables, identical bedside lamps, a centered headboard, etc.
The bedroom color palette should feature soft, muted colors, such as shades of yellow, peach, green or blue. Such colors are ideal for creating serene and cozy environment for the perfect relaxing sleep.
Accessories should serve their purpose but not distract or attract the attention too much, engaging your mind and preventing you from falling asleep.
Speaking about distractions, try keep almost no electronic devices in the bedroom, not even a TV. TV-s, computers, laptops, tablets, even cellphones, e-readers, or electronic alarm clocks – all such devices not only keep your mind engaged and awake, but they also emit blue light that “tricks” the body into producing less melatonin, a hormone which stimulates sleep. In case any such device is still present in the bedroom, try placing it not in direct sight when lying in bed.
Darkness is essential for a good and efficient relax. It turns on the biological “sleep-time clock’ and stimulates the natural physiological processes helping the body in losing stress and tension. Simply put, less or absence of light tells the body that it is time to sleep and relax. So, to create a soothing sleep environment, keep the bedroom as dark as possible.
Wall-mounted or bedside lamps with light muting lampshades, light controlling dimmers, thicker draperies and blackout liners will keep bright light out and help you have an undisturbed sleep.
For even better sleep experience, there’s a smart pre-bedtime routine that may prove very useful. Gradually darkening the entire environment about an hour before going to bed will send signal to the body and encourage it to start its natural physiological transition to sleep.
The final defense against any irritating piercing light during sleeping is the good old eye mask. It deepens the darkness, while its soft fabric provides additional comfort. Continue reading below …
Sound can “steal” your sleep away and disturb your healthy sleep environment just as much as light. Sounds that are out of your control, as well as any unusual or unfamiliar sound can keep you awake for a long time or wake you up, even at very low noise levels.
Experts actually claim that it is not sound itself but rather the inconsistency of sound and even complete silence that may have a negative impact upon the sleep environment.
Many people can’t fall asleep without listening to a familiar sound or light quiet music (which explains the popularity of the sound machines). Their sleep may even be unpleasantly interrupted the moment the familiar sounds stop.
Many others however prefer sleeping in complete absence of sound, though city life cannot offer such luxury. In either case, there’s a smart solution to eliminate sound as a disruptive element and that is by introducing a white noise that will mute all other sounds. It attracts the mind’s attention, soothes and helps you fall and stay asleep.
Healthy sleep environment depends also on another important aspect – temperature.
Studies show that cooler air ensures optimal sleeping conditions due to the fact that the body drops its temperature as it prepares for falling asleep, as well as during sleeping. Keeping your bedroom cool aids the process and achieves a favorable balance between body temperature and that of the surrounding environment.
Thermostats can easily control ambiance temperature to the desired levels (between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit; between 15 to 19 degrees Celsius), but there are also a few other solutions to guarantee you a good and comfortable sleep:
- Choose bed linen that can keep you warm but does not make you too hot;
- Wear very light sleeping clothes and even try sleeping naked;
- Introduce your body to the cooler bedroom temperature before going to bed;
- Gradually cool down the temperature in the entire residence to prepare the body for the sleeping environment.
Naturally, the temperature levels of comfort are very personal and depend on age, sex and personal health conditions, but in general, lower ambiance temperature guarantees a better and more efficient sleep and relax.
Poor indoor air quality and air pollution can cause serious sleep disorders. For a good and sound sleep it is therefore essential to keep the bedroom well ventilated and ensure constant fresh purified air circulation.
In addition, research has shown that aromatherapy is a great method for improving sleep environment. Using certain scents in the bedroom stimulates relaxation and promotes sleep.
The essential oils emitting soothing scents are extracted from purely natural materials, distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, or roots of a specific plant. Most popular sleep aromas are those of lavender, chamomile, vanilla, valerian and jasmine, but any other fragrance you really love can have the same calming effect and help you fall and stay asleep.
Aroma candles, scent diffusers and scent sprays are some of the most popular sources to introduce and keep the preferred fragrances in your bedroom. Taking a bath with essential oils in a relaxing spa ambiance before going to bed is another great bedtime routine for having a good night’s sleep.
Finally, you can always have in the bedroom a couple of live plants and/or fresh cut flowers bouquets to purify and gently scent the air.
No cell phones!
Sure, it’s tempting to check email or scroll through social media before you doze off at night. But using your phone before bed can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. Research shows that the light emitted from devices such as your phone can stop your brain from releasing melatonin – the hormone that helps you fall asleep.
To prove just how detrimental this activity is, Mattress Advisor polled over 1,000 people about their phone usage before bed. They found that using popular social media apps like Facebook and YouTube before going to sleep can result in up to an hour and a half of lost sleep.