Sleep comfort is essential to getting a good night's rest so you can awaken physically and emotionally re-energized ready to face a new day. The quality and length of your sleep is affected by your sleep environment. Consider your bedroom as your own personal refuge - a retreat from the noise, stresses, and strains of everyday life.
In fact, each aspect of your bedroom should be considered relative to your comfort and ability to prepare for rest. This includes the quality of your bed and mattress, linens, room lighting, air flow, colors (and everything in between). Even the type of pajamas you wear can affect your sleep.
Therefore, creating your own personal sanctuary can make all the difference when it comes to getting a better night's sleep. Of course, there's no one size fits all standard for sleep comfort, so it's important to find what feels right to you and reach a workable compromise with your sleeping partner, if necessary. Consider the following.
Unless you live in the country, you may be subjected to tolerating a certain amount of outside noise at night. Those living in the city or apartment buildings may be aware of traffic, trains, sirens, car horns, and even the neighbor's dog throughout the night.
To block out these noise factors and stop them from compromising the quality of your sleep, you may want to wear ear plugs at night. There is a range of different styles from which to choose so you are likely to find ear plugs that are comfortable to wear.
Alternatively you could try a white-noise machine, or one that plays the sounds of nature such as ocean waves, birds, or other comfort-promoting sounds. You may also want to consider purchasing for your bedroom one of the personal water fountains on the market. These mini-fountains provide the soothing sound of water running over rocks that may help you drift off to sleep.
Also make sure that your television, radio, personal music player and computer are turned off (and preferably removed from the bedroom altogether). Falling asleep with the television on - or to your favorite CD - may seem easy, but it will disturb your sleep during the night.
Although you may think that you can sleep perfectly well with some illumination in your bedroom, lights can interfere with your sleep. Research has shown that the brain sets your "internal clock" according to the natural rhythms of day/night (dark/light). The darkness triggers the release of the hormone Melatonin, which in turn, triggers your body's need for sleep.
In the morning, the sunlight resets your body clock and suppresses Melatonin, preparing you for the day ahead. Sleeping with the lights on can impact this delicate process. So, always sleep in a darkened room - total darkness, if possible.
Also consider using dimmer switches or low lighting to decrease illumination in your bedroom in the hour or so before you plan to go to sell to allow your body to prepare for rest. Conversely, it's good to get a dose of bright, natural light every morning. It will help wake you up, keep you alert during the day, and subsequently improve your sleep the following night.
You may find that you sleep better when it's toasty-warm or perhaps when your bedroom is cool. So set the temperature at the level that enhances your sleep comfort. If you have a sleep partner with different temperature preferences, try setting the thermostat to a level you both feel comfortable with and then dress accordingly.
Then, if you need to stay warmer, try long-sleeved flannel or jersey pajamas. Wearing socks can help you feel warm, as well. If you need to be cooler, light or minimal clothing may help you sleep at night. Add a small fan to your night-stand if it helps.
As you determine the best temperature setting for optimal sleep, it is advisable to confirm that your thermostat is working properly – and your heating and air conditioning system is in good operating condition.
Mattresses and Pillows
Since you will likely spend about a third of your life in bed, you need to make sure that your bed is comfortable. Many people suffer from sleepless nights and have various aches and pains the next morning because of the sorry state of their mattresses.
There are many choices when it comes to mattresses. Find one that feels good and provides you with adequate support during sleep. Also, choosing pillows are as important to sleep comfort as finding the right mattress.
Pillows range from soft to extremely firm to everything in between. They come filled with different kinds of foam, kapok, feathers, and more. Try a number of pillow types until you find one that works for you.
There's such a range of bedding choices in terms of fabrics, weights, and textures that you may be challenged to find the type that works best for you. To make it a little bit easier, concentrate on how the product makes you feel and affects your sleep comfort - rather than color, pattern, or style.
Cotton sheets are a preferred choice because they're smooth and cool against your skin. Look at the treat count before you purchase. The higher the treat count, the softer they will be. Yet, cotton sheets have a tendency to shrink or wrinkle.
Satin sheets may look luxurious, but they can be slippery and many people find them uncomfortable. Silk sheets are soft and feel good next your skin. Because they are not known to trap allergens (such as dust-mites and pet dander) the way cotton does, they may be a preferred choice among allergy sufferers. Flannel or cotton jersey sheets are good for the colder months because they are soft and warm.
Blankets, comforters, bedspreads and duvets also play a role in sleep comfort and come in a wide range of styles and weights. It's best to buy a selection and use these bed covers in layers according to the weather.
There are a lot of considerations when trying to improve your sleep comfort. If changing your sleep environment seems a bit overwhelming at first, try adjusting one thing at a time... such as the noise factor or lighting. Then, move on to the next step. With each adjustment you make, you become one step closer to a better night's sleep.