How to Customize Bedroom So You Get Good Sleep
Why Customize Bedroom
The bedroom has a very important role to play if you are frequently having difficulty sleeping. Furthermore, there are 8 areas of the bedroom that may affect your ability to get a sound sleep. And these areas are the mattress, the pillow, the blanket, lighting, sound, temperature, electronic devices, and television.Most of all, experiment with the easiest one first and see if that helps you sleep soundly. And gradually go to the next easiest.
First and foremost, the mattress is the most important part of the bedroom. Also, it is recommended that mattresses be replaced every 5 to 8 years. However, you may be able to stretch it to 10 years, if you are able to sleep soundly without pain in the morning. In addition, if you do get a new mattress, you have to try it out and make sure you are able to sleep soundly without discomfort or pain in the morning. And, note that most sellers, allow you to switch mattresses if necessary.
Above all, there are four basic types of mattresses: memory foam, latex, innerspring, and adjustable air.
Memory Foam Mattress for the Bedroom
First of all, a memory foam mattress has viscoelastic polyurethane foam built over a polyfoam core. Furthermore, a memory foam mattress reduces pressure on your body while providing a very still feel. However, you sink into the foam a bit and cradled in one position. And, the cradling along with the type of foam, causes some people to heat up as they sleep.
Most noteworthy, the memory foam layer comes in thickness of two to six inches. And the thicker the layer the more you will sink. In addition, the density of the foam, measured in pounds per cubic feet, is 3 for a low quality mattress and 5 for a high quality mattress.
Most of all, to give support, the heavier foam layers are located on the bottom. While the lighter, cooler foam layers are on the top to provide comfort.
Most noteworthy, foam softens when you lie on it and goes back to its original shape after you get up. And, some foam mattresses require effort to change sleeping positions.So, if you like a firm mattress, then a memory foam mattress will fit the bill. While, a memory foam mattress configured with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips is best for side sleepers.
Latex Mattress for the Bedroom
Latex mattresses can feel very soft and yet also be springy and uplifting. First of all, latex is a naturally derived material from rubber trees. Also, there are two types of latex. Most of all, the Dunlop latex is denser and firmer. While, the Talalay latex is softer and springier.
And, sometimes the two are layered together. So, to give support, the denser firmer layers are located on the bottom. While the softer, springier layers are on the top to provide comfort.
However, all-natural latex mattresses are more expensive than other type of mattresses. So, these mattresses are best for people seeking natural materials and strong support.
So, if you like a firm mattress, then a Dunlop latex mattress is for you. While, a Talalay latex mattress with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips works for side sleepers.
Innerspring Mattress for the Bedroom
Most noteworthy, innerspring mattresses contain steel coils. And innerspring mattresses are very affordable. Also, innerspring mattress variations include special layers of cushioning, a pillow top layer and infused gel. In addition, hybrid innerspring mattresses have one or more layers of foam on top of the springs.
Especially relevant, the thickness of steel coils ranges from 12 to 18 gauge. And, the higher the number, the thinner and bouncier the spring. In fact, to reduce the bounce, heavier people prefer thicker gauge coils. By and large, a queen size bed has 600 to 1,000 steel coils. Incidentally, a mattress with more coils, could be made of thinner 18 gauge steel.
Changing sleeping positions is easy on mattresses like the innerspring mattress that doesn’t have many foam layers. However, your sleeping partner feels your changing sleeping positions. So, to cut down on movement by a bed partner, choose an innerspring mattress with pocketed, individual coils. Furthermore, the individual coils are covered in fabric. And this reduces movement from one side of the bed to the other.
In addition, many innerspring mattresses have a layer of gel-infused foam. As a result, these mattresses tend to sleep slightly cooler.
Furthermore, innerspring mattresses have either a fiberfill or foam outer layer, covered in quilted ticking.
Incidentally, an innerspring mattress with a pillow top layer thicker than an inch will sag and cause annoying body indentations in the mattress. So, it’s best to choose a firmer, well quilted mattress, and then cover it with a replaceable mattress topper.
In conclusion, if you like a bouncy feel, then innerspring mattresses are for you. Also, innerspring mattresses may provide more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses and so this mattress will work for side sleepers.
Adjustable Air Mattress for the Bedroom
Most of all, adjustable air mattresses use air as support and then foam as the comfort layer closer to the body. Furthermore, these mattresses have two side-by-side chambers to allow you and your sleeping partner to customize the mattress firmness separately. Also, the air pressure is adjustable so you can choose a firmer or softer feel at any time and maintain a different mattress firmness from your sleeping partner.
Especially relevant, a low noise electric pump inflates the mattress. In addition, these mattresses include additional layers, such as foam, above the air chambers. So, these mattresses are best for couples with very different tastes in firmness.
Best mattresses for side sleepers include innerspring, soft foam, or firm foam mattresses that provide pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips.
Best mattresses for stomach sleepers include dense innerspring, firm foam, and air-filled mattresses.
Back sleepers need a surface that supports but has some give so their spine is kept in alignment. So foam or latex mattresses are best, especially if they are very soft and a lot of their body sinks in.
If you have back pain, memory foam or latex mattresses are best because they mold to your body for support.
First, make sure your bed is comfortable. Because, studies show that having a comfortable mattress has a positive effect on the depth and quality of sleep. Finally, studies show that a medium-firm mattress has a positive effect on sleep quality and prevent sleep disturbances and muscular discomfort.
Bedroom - Pillow
First and foremost, the pillow is the second most important part of the bedroom. Also, selecting a pillow involves trial and error. In fact, you just don’t know if the pillow is right unless you sleep on it. And, it usually takes a week of sleeping on the pillow to figure that out.
Most of all, the sole purpose of a pillow is to keep your head and neck aligned when you are sleeping. Therefore you have to match the pillow to the sleep position you use most often. In fact, there are four sleeping positions: side, back, stomach, or a mix of these.
Above all, nearly 70% of us sleep on our sides. And, side sleepers have their head further away from the mattress than back or stomach sleepers. Therefore your head needs extra support to maintain a straight neck. In fact, this is important to prevent chronic pain and injury.
As a result, you need a pillow that is lofty enough to fill the space between your head and the mattress. Also, the pillow has to provide firm to extra-firm support. And, any pillow fill is fine as long as it provides the right loft and maintains proper alignment or curve of the neck and head. Especially relevant, loft is a pillow’s height as it lies flat on the bed. And the right loft for a side sleeper is a comfortable height of about 4 inches off the mattress.
Above all, a traditional or contoured memory foam or latex can support the head at the proper angle and might not flatten as quickly over time when compared to polyester or down pillow. Also, a memory foam pillow is as thick as two regular pillows while supporting your head and keeping a straight neck.
On the other hand, a firm pillow with extra-wide gusset helps bridge the distance between your ear and the mattress. Most noteworthy, a regular pillow has the top and bottom panels sewed together along the edges. While the top and bottom panels of a gusseted pillow are sewed to the four rectangular side panels. As a result, the thickness of the pillow increases.
Finally, orthopedic pillows reduce stress on shoulders and arms as well as reducing pressure on your neck.
If you are a back sleeper, your best pillow is one that is thick enough to keep your head off the mattress. Also a pillow with just enough loft to hold your head in alignment with your spine without bending your neck and head forward or losing the natural curve of your neck.
Consequently, a medium-loft, medium-firm density pillow is best for you. And, memory foam, shredded memory foam, buckwheat hulls, latex foam, down alternatives, or polyester are good pillow fills. However, memory foam, because it molds to the shape of your head and neck, may work better.
On the other hand, a thinner pillow that doesn’t throw your neck too far forward and has extra loft in the bottom third (and so a little thicker) to help cradle your neck is also an excellent option.
In addition, orthopedic wedge pillows elevate the head and so reduces snoring.
Finally, if you feel pressure in your lower back, try sleeping with another pillow under your knees.
First of all, a stomach sleeper’s face is very close to the mattress. And this sleep position is hard on your spine, forcing your neck to turn sharply to the side. Also, it puts a lot of stress on your lower back.
So, if the pillow you use is too firm or thick your neck will bend backwards. Therefore, use the thinnest or softest type of flexible pillow or even no pillow at all. Furthermore, a pillow that scrunches and filled with goose down innards, down, down alternatives, feathers, buckwheat hulls, polyester, or thin foam can keep your neck’s natural curve.
Multiple Position Sleepers
Finally, the best pillow for a multiple position sleeper, has softer and firmer sections, or one that’s lower in the center for back sleepers and higher on the sides for side sleeping. Also, buckwheat hulls and pillows made of multiple material are best.
Fillers For the Bedroom Pillow
A memory foam pillow provides support. And it conforms to your head and neck. Also a memory foam pillow is especially good for someone suffering from neck, shoulder, or upper body pain and stiffness. On the other hand, a memory foam pillow tends to be hot and heavy.
Shredded Memory Foam
A shredded memory foam pillow provides support and is firm. Also the shredded memory foam pillow is comfortable without the heat and sweat of memory foam. In addition, this pillow molds and conforms to your body. Lastly it is easy to push or pull this pillow into just the right loft and shape.
A down pillow is very soft and lightweight. As a result, a down pillow easily molds to the perfect loft and shape you need. However, a down pillow does not provide too much support.
Most noteworthy, polyester is the fill in budget pillows. Also, these pillows are soft, lightweight, and machine washable, but not supportive or firm.
A buckwheat hull pillow feels like a beanbag. Because the hulls move freely inside the pillow, you can adjust the shape, loft, and firmness of the pillow as you wish. As a result, it is the best pillow fill for anyone “sleeping hot”. However, these pillows are heavy and the hulls can make a rustling sound as you move.
A latex filled pillow provides firm support with a slightly bouncy feel. Also, latex pillows are heavy, very durable, naturally antimicrobial and not too hot.
Orthopedic Pillows for the Bedroom
Orthopedic pillows are made from standard foam, latex foam, memory foam, microfibers, and organic fillers.
First of all, standard foam retains a lot of heat.
On the other hand, latex foam provides better ventilation thereby reducing temperature of the pillow. And latex foam is also hypoallergenic. However some may find latex foam too firm.
Next, memory foam molds to the shape of the body, so this type of pillow provides superior support. Also memory foam absorbs heat. And memory foam adapts quickly to your new position if you turn over while you are sleeping.
Next, microfiber pillows distribute weight evenly, so they do not put extra pressure on the neck.
Furthermore, some of the organic materials used to fill pillows include beans and grains. And, these materials do not retain heat, so they are very comfortable to use during warm weather. These pillows are also environmentally-friendly, as they use natural materials instead of synthetic ones.
Next, another type of orthopedic pillow, the water pillow, has a water container inside the pillow. Especially relevant, the water container allows the pillow to conform to the shape of your head.
Finally, a study compared feather pillow, a memory foam pillow and an orthopedic pillow. The study showed that pillow shape and content plays a crucial role in cervical curve, pillow temperature, and pillow comfort. Based on comparing these three aspects, the study found that, for back sleepers, the orthopedic pillow is better than either feather or memory foam pillows.
Why a Weighted Blanket
First and foremost, having a weighted blanket in the bedroom gives you the opportunity to use it when you need to reduce body stress so you can sleep. Also, a 2015 study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders reported that a weighted blanket helped those with insomnia sleep better.
Construction of the Blanket
First and foremost, a weighted blanket is a blanket containing material which increases its weight. Especially relevant, glass beads and plastic pellets make the blanket heavier. Also, rice and millet make the blanket heavier.
Most noteworthy, the weighted blanket has two blanket sized parts. And the inside part is a blanket sized bag containing the materiel. Also, a washable outside cover wraps the inside part. Especially relevant, the outside cover is lighter and similar to linen.
So, if you weigh 90 to 150 pounds the blanket should weigh 15 pounds. And, if you weigh 151-200 pounds the blanket should weigh 20 pounds. Finally if you weigh more than 200 pounds, the blanket should weigh 25 pounds.
Now, weighted blankets are heavy but not necessarily too hot. There are cooling weighted blankets made out of cotton and with dense filling that is perfect for summer and warmer climates.
How do they Work?
Above all, a weighted blanket is based on the science of deep touch pressure. As a result, the body feels gentle pressure, when sleeping under a weighted blanket. As a result, the body releases serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that relaxes you. In addition, research suggest that slow and gentle touch can stimulate portions of the limbic system to calm you.
First and foremost, the pineal gland of the brain produces the hormone melatonin. In fact, melatonin helps control when you fall asleep and wake up. In addition, melatonin lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature. And all of these are key physiological responses responsible for getting a restful sleep.
Most noteworthy, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism concluded that room light suppresses melatonin levels and shortens the body’s internal representation of night duration. As a result, exposing yourself to electrical lighting in the late evening disrupts melatonin signaling and negatively impacts sleep.
Therefore it is good practice to use dimmable lights in the bedroom and dim them in the evening as you get ready to sleep.
In addition, the bedroom you are sleeping in must have the ability to be in total darkness. And one way to ensure total darkness is to use darkening shades in the bedroom to block street and early morning light.
In addition, your bedroom should be quiet. Moreover, you can use a fan in the bedroom or earplugs to block sounds. Furthermore, using a white noise machine in the bedroom helps you relax and block out other sounds.
When you go to sleep, your set point for the temperature your brain is trying to achieve -- goes down. That mild drop in body temperature induces sleep. So if you are in a cooler room, it is easier for that to happen.
Therefore, for the most sleep-friendly conditions, lower the temperature in the bedroom to between 60 - 67 degrees Fahrenheit as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. In fact, cooler temperatures are most favorable for sleeping. In addition, melatonin cools your internal body temperature, which reaches its lowest point between 2 to 4 AM.
Most noteworthy, a 2011 Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reported that 95% of respondents use an electronic device within one hour of their bedtime.
Above all, your body clock is set according to the rising and setting of the sun. In fact, in the evening, you start producing a hormone called melatonin that gradually makes you feel sleepy. And, this production of melatonin continuous throughout the night. As a consequence, you are able to fall asleep and stay asleep until morning when production of melatonin stops and you wake up.
However, desktop screens, laptop screens, tablets and smartphones emit blue light. As a matter of fact, the blue light from these digital screens has been proven to suppress melatonin production. In addition, the blue light interferes with your circadian rhythms. As a result your brain acts like it’s time to wake up and be alert.
Therefore, to get good sleep, remove all electronics such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones from your bedroom. And if you can’t, at least power off the screens, as the light from the screens has the same effects as describe in the previous paragraph.
Because blue light causes your melatonin production to be suppressed, your brain to act like it’s time to wake up and become alert, your brain needs time to get you ready to sleep. Consequently, to get good sleep avoid using these devices for 2 hours before bedtime.
Most noteworthy, a National Sleep Foundation poll reported that 60% of Americans watch TV right before falling asleep. In addition, a 2011 Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reported that 67% of respondents aged 30 to 64 and 50% of the respondents aged 13 to 29 watch TV within one hour of going to bed almost every night. Furthermore, a survey by LG Electronics reported that 61% of respondents fall asleep with the TV on.
However, the TV screen emits blue light. As a matter of fact, this blue light triggers the brain to stop making melatonin and interferes with your circadian rhythms. As a result your brain acts like it’s time to wake up and be alert.
Moreover, even leaving dim lights on while you are sleeping, such as the light emitted by a running TV screen, in the bedroom, has negative mental effects. Most noteworthy, a study from Ohio State University reported that the constant dim light disturbed the sleep-wake cycle. So even if your eyelids start to droop while watching TV and you fall asleep, your sleep in affected by the blue light. In fact, exposure to blue light may cause a delay in the onset of REM sleep and lead to drowsiness in the morning. So even if you think you got a good sleep, the quality of the sleep was not good.
Therefore, to resist the temptation and get good sleep, move the TV out of your bedroom.