For those who have difficulty falling asleep, find yourself waking up often at night or feeling tired even after a full night of rest, you are probably not getting proper quality sleep. Quality sleep isn’t as much based on the number of hours you’re sleeping, but rather the environment in which you’re sleeping in. If you’re looking to create the conducive bedroom for that much needed rest, here are a few tips to follow:
Design: Dots 'N Tots
Probably your most important investment in getting a good quality sleep is the mattress, which takes up a large part of the bedroom. There are plenty of options in the market, from memory foam to latex to pocketed coil. What you choose depends on your lifestyle needs. Get memory foam if you want the mattress to mould to your body. Latex is known for being breathable and is great for air circulation, while pocketed coil is great if you’re sleeping with a partner since it will help minimise movements.
When it comes to getting the right pillow, follow this guideline: back sleepers should look for a pillow with an extra hump at the bottom of the pillow to support your neck, while side sleepers should get a firmer pillow for better support.
2. Get rid of clutter and reserve your room for sleeping
Design: Desmond Ong, Dezzo
You shouldn’t be treating your bedroom like the store room or any other room for that matter. It should just be a room associated with sleeping. Having things that are not supposed to be there creates the idea that the bedroom is multifunctional, which can keep your mind awake at night thinking about the different activities. Get rid of the electronic gadgets, magazines, cleaning tools, fitness equipment, TV and laptop. And don’t create a workstation within your sleeping quarters!
Also get rid of excess stuff, things like clothes or skincare products you don’t use, by throwing them out or giving them away. And keep only essentials on your bedside table or vanity counters for a calm and clutter-free bedroom.
3. Clean and upkeep your room regularly
Design: Inside Living
Regularly upkeep will also keep allergens, dust mites and bed bugs at bay, and help to create a conducive bedroom for sleeping. Pillows should be washed twice a week, while your mattress should be vacuumed every time you change your sheets, which should be done every week or two weeks. Most mattresses can last around 10 years, but if your mattress has lumps or sags, it’s probably time to look for a new one.
Once a week, vacuum the floor and wipe and dust the surfaces in your bedroom. Freshen the linen in your bedroom including your curtains from time to time with natural linen spray. Open the windows to air your room out whenever you’re cleaning up.
4. Limit the soft furnishings (or wash them often!)
Design: Distinct Identity
Soft furnishings like stuffed toys, carpets, cushions, and throws would undoubtedly create a cosier atmosphere in your bedroom, but they tend to be great places for dust mites to linger – not exactly a conducive bedroom if you have these bugs constantly triggering allergy reactions! Dust mites feed on our dead skin flakes, which can often be found in these soft furnishings. Opt instead for alternatives or get rid of them altogether. If you don't want to, make sure you’re vacuuming and washing them regularly.
Consider investing in a dehumidifier if you tend to have lots of soft furnishing in the room. As dust mites tend to thrive in humid and hot environments, a dehumidifier would help to keep moisture levels down.
5. Keep out the lights
Design: Space Atelier
Mood lights are essential for creating a relaxing milieu, helping you unwind and de-stress just before bed time. However, when it comes to sleeping, a completely dark room is best. Our body is affected by light and a completely dark room tells our body that it’s time to sleep.
Invest in blackout shades or curtains if you have trouble keeping light out. Keep out other artificial light sources in the bedroom, including those that come from technology as these can suppress melatonin levels in our body, which are needed to help us relax and get ready for sleep. Keep your smart devices switched off (with the WIFI and data turned off so you won’t get disturbed by late-night texts from your night owl friend).
6. Find the right temperature
Design: Promax Design
Generally, you sleep better in a cooler environment than a warmer one. The ideal temperature for sleeping hovers around 20 to 22 deg C, according to Dr Shirish Johari, a Principal Resident Physician at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, in a Straits Times article. However, it’s more important to sleep in a temperature that is comfortable for you – one that is neither too cold or too hot. This right temperature differs from individual to individual. Make sure you aren’t shivering or sweating for a deep, restful sleep.
7. Keep sound levels consistent
Design: Architology Interiors
There are folks that have to sleep in absolute silence and there are folks that need to sleep with a background noise. The key to getting good quality sleep is to ensure that sound levels are consistent (and remain so) when you’re sleeping. If you need some form of noise to fall asleep, consider playing some form of white noise in the background - it could just be the whirring from your fan or the air conditioner! If you need to get rid of outside noise from noisy neighbours or the traffic, consider hanging up noise-absorbing curtains or thick draperies.
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