The Ultimate Guide to Better SleepInterior Design & Decor
5 minutes read
A good night’s sleep is just as vital as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance and brain function.
The world has finally woken up to the importance of sleep, especially when it comes to living a healthy, happy life. But, for the two-thirds of people who reportedly suffer with sleep-related problems, getting some shut-eye is easier said than done.
Did you know that it can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. In contrast, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better and be healthier. Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has declined.
In fact, many people regularly get poor sleep. But fret not, every problem has its solution. These are the many solutions or cure to your sleep troubles;
- Choosing the Ambiance for Better Sleep
AmbianceSleep is for the weak! You’ve surely heard of this one before. This sentence isn’t entirely true. Sleep is a very important aspect in our daily lives.
It allows us to recharge, re-energize, and restore our body and minds for the activities the following day. With that said, there’s been a growing trend of placing importance on improving one’s sleep quality.
Image via edition.cnn.comNow with that out of the way, let us look at the ways to improve your sleep quality. The most important thing you need to know is the ambience of your bedroom plays a vital role in allowing you to get better sleep.
How do you improve the ambience of your room for better sleep? Here’s how:
- Clean up Your Clutter
To first get yourself into the mindset of sleeping well, you need to remove the distractions. We’re talking about treadmills, computers, and work desks.
Additionally, you could even move your television out of your bedroom. After all, your bedroom is your sleep sanctuary and not your living/tv room.
Image via onekindesign.comHaving your bedroom as the go-to place for other activities will only lead to your brain associating the room with things other than sleep.
If you work in your bedroom, you better believe that your brain is going to associate your bedroom with your work.
Image via local-records-office.comWorking on a tough and stressful project? Chances are, you’ll be feeling anxious before you go to bed because you correlate the room with your work.
It’s a downward spiral from there. Lack of sleep means fatigue, and fatigue is going to affect your work the following day. In the end, this vicious cycle will continue until YOU make the change.
Furthermore, removing your TV from your room may seem extreme, but it does help in many ways. For one, it’s way too easy to flick a button to turn it on.
Image via wkndbinge.comAre you prone to binge-watching your favourite Netflix shows? Perhaps you’ve found a new and engaging show that you like? TV programs can keep your mind awake longer as you’ll be engaged in the content of your television screen.
Moreover, the light from your TV can cause your body to slow down melatonin production, a hormone that promotes sleep.
Trust us, you’ll get much better sleep if you skip your TV shows before bed. Our advice is, avoid clutter and avoid your TV, and you’ll be golden.
- Electronics Affects your Ambience
You wake up, you check your social media. You go to lunch and check your emails while waiting for your food. You’re in bed and ready to sleep, how about a quick search on your favourite celebrity news?
Image via glwswellbeing.comIn the same way that television affects your mind, electronics are also bad for your sleeping habits. Most electronics emit the same sleep-stealing light that TVs emit.
What’s worse is that smartphones are far more engaging and addictive as compared to TVs.
Image via socialbarrel.comWith the advent of the almighty Internet, you’ll be able to look up any content at the touch of a screen. Our suggestion?
Place your electronics out of reach before you go to bed. Even better, how about just leaving your electronics outside your bedroom?
The ambiance of your room will definitely be feeling a lot more sleep-friendly without the distractions of your electronic devices.
It’s almost assuredly a good way to lose your quality of sleep if you look at your smartphones before bed. So stave off the urge to check your social media before bed. Liking your neighbour’s cat’s pictures can wait till the morning.
- Keeping It Dark
Heavy curtains and blackout blinds are the best for this situation.
Image via blogs.psychcentral.comAnd if you didn’t heed our earlier advice of leaving your phone out of the bedroom, a helpful tip is to flip your phone (screen face down) over.
Many phones light up when there are incoming notifications. This can distract you and even wake you from your slumber.
Better yet, if your phone has a “Do Not Disturb” option, we’d recommend activating it before you go to bed each night.
- Make Your Room’s Ambience as Comfortable as Possible
Image via apartmenttherapy.comUnfortunately, noise is fairly unavoidable. Whether it’s your old house making those eerie creaking noises, or even your neighbours having their daily bicker, noise can prevent us from getting to sleep. In the worst case, noise can wake you up from your deep snooze.
Though, in truth, it’s not actually the noise that prevents sleep. Rather, it’s the inconsistency of background noise or the lack of it that can be disruptive.
Image via nymag.comIf your sleep environment has noises beyond your control such as noisy neighbours or traffic, try sleeping with a sound machine. These machines produce soothing, mellow sounds that help you to relax.
At the same time, they’re really useful for drowning out the annoying background noises that may wake you from your sleep.
Otherwise, if you prefer listening to music, we’d suggest setting your player on a timer to turn off a short time after you normally fall asleep.
This will eliminate the chance of a sudden and inconsistent sound from waking you up.
Image via healthline.comAlternatively, if you can’t stand any noise at all, we’d suggest wearing earplugs. Be warned though, you’ll be blocking out all sources of noise. You might miss your alarm clock ringing!
Image via thejakartapost.comIn general, your body’s temperature starts to drop as it prepares to enter its sleep phase. To aid your body and subsequently, improve your sleep quality, keeping your room a cool temperature is vital. Sleeping in a pool of sweat is never fun, we say.
There are a few ways to do this. Firstly, you could turn on your air conditioning and set a timer to turn it off after you fall asleep. Once you’ve fallen asleep, chances are you’ll continue sleeping till you wake up in the morning.
If air conditioning isn’t possible for you, we’d suggest skipping the pajamas. Going commando as you sleep will help cool your body down easier. And you won’t be restricted by the fabric of your nightgowns and pajamas. A win-win in our book!
Change your Mattress
Image via health.harvard.eduThis is a very important and often forgotten point. If you’re waking up all sore and stiff, it may be time to replace your mattress and/or pillows.
Most mattresses can last up to 10 years, but if your mattress is of poor quality i.e. lumps, sags, or rips we’d suggest replacing it sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, if you find yourself constantly fluffing your pillow throughout the night, it may be time to go pillow shopping.
Having good quality mattresses and pillows is very important for your quality of sleep. After all, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. It’s important to get the most out of our time sleeping by choosing the right mattress.
Image via besthealthmag.caWhile we understand that buying a whole new mattress may be daunting and pricey, it’s definitely worthwhile to get the best that you can afford.
Choosing a mattress comes down to personal preference. Whether you like a firm or bouncy bed, there is always a mattress out there that fits your needs!
- Add Some Colour to Your Bedroom
Calming and relaxing colours such as blue, yellow, and green will help you get the most sleep. These colours can help to put your mind at ease as you’re trying to sleep.
And these colours will also go a long way in improving your bedroom ambiance.
Images via hgtv.com, homedit.com, praveenkumar.me, home-designing.comOn the other end of the spectrum, certain colours could also negatively influence your sleeping patterns. We’re talking about colours such as purple, brown, and grey.
There are theories that suggest that the colour purple sparks the creative mind, whereas brown and grey are often associated with feeling down.
So do us a favour and check the colour of your bedroom. If your bedroom has one of the “negative” colours we’ve mentioned, we’d suggest painting it a soothing sky blue or a tranquil green.
Improving one’s sleeping habits doesn’t happen in a day but you’re definitely on the right track by improving your bedroom’s ambiance.
A relaxing and chill ambiance in the bedroom not only promotes a better quality of sleep, but also a healthier mindset.
We definitely feel that improving your bedroom ambiance is the first step towards adopting a better and healthier sleeping habit.
Choosing The Right BeddingYour bedding is important for you and your body. It also determines your sleeping patterns, and the quality of your sleep. There are several areas you will have to look into to see what works best for you.
1. Choosing the right material for your bedding
“Cotton, silk, or linen are all natural fibres, which are breathable; thus helping to regulate body temperature,” said Sue Smart, resident bedding expert at LuxDeco.
“Egyptian cotton is one of the finest,” Sue continues. “Being made from a long staple fibre, it gives a smooth, crisp finish.” Want glossy hair, hydrated skin, and less wrinkles? Choose silk bedding.
The protein-infused structure of the silk strands is naturally equipped to tame locks and keep moisture close to the skin. That results in an improved morning face and less of a messy ‘morning head’. Don’t worry too much about the glossy finish if you are not a fan of one. Like most bedding, silk-filled pillows and duvets also come with cotton covers.
If you are a fan of the relaxed, live-in look commonly seen on breezy beach-side villas, opt for pure linen beddings. It’s less hassle of an upkeep that you thought to be.
With linen, you do expect a less ironed look, but after several washings it will feel softer. You can bet it feels great too. Bedding covers may seem like it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
As the saying goes: you make your bed, you lie in it.
2. Thread counts
It’s about quality than quantity. Most of us do not know why anyone should be so preoccupied with it in the first place.
Or why having a higher thread count is ‘apparently better’. “Thread Count measures the fineness of the fabric by counting the number of threads per square inch,” Sue said.
“It’s often used as a measure of quality but it can be misleading as high thread counts can include twisted threads of double yarn.” Remember that quantity may not mean its quality product. Check the material if it really is of good quality.
3. What’s a great mattress for sleep?
Different bodies, different preferences. If you like bed with a bounce, mattresses with innersprings have that familiar bouncy feel. Inter-connected coils are extra-durable, but individual “pocketed” coils covered with fabric reduce the ripple effect that happens when someone on one side of the bed moves.
Prefer a firmer base? Memory foam and/or latex mattresses have much less spring. To know the quality of the mattress, check the density and thickness of the foam, which determines how deep you will sink.
Newer mattresses generally use several different layers of foam, where heavier ones on the bottom for support and lighter, cooler ones on top for comfort.
If you love to sleep on your sides, and want a surface that will support your bodyweight and conform to your shape, try innerspring mattresses.
Innersprings may have more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses, but soft foam mattresses work for side sleepers.
While you are at it, try mattresses that have built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips. Those work too!
4. Pillow Choices
Sleeping on the right pillow can help you with back pain or neck pain (if you have any) and minimizes it. Most people feel the way a pillow feels is the most important factor when choosing one.
There are still some things you should look for in a quality pillow regardless of the filling. Know the fill of your pillow. The most common filling in a pillow are down feathers, synthetic/polyester fibers and foam.
Natural goose down feather pillows are long lasting and excellent in terms of comfort. It can be pricey but worth your money. Cost-friendlier option would be synthetic/polyester fiber pillows, which are generally hypoallergenic and machine washable.
For firmer support, get pillows made of memory foam and Tempur-Pedic materials. Keep in mind foam pillows retain heat, so…not the best option. Thread counts matter for your pillows too.
The higher the thread count in a pillow, the more durable and plush it will feel. A standard sized 20” by 26” pillow with 300 thread count is cost-efficient and comfortable to sleep on.
For a more luxurious feel, go for a pillow with 500-800 thread counts. Pillows with 1000 thread counts are great, but do expect to pay more for it.
Consider having a fluffy pillow too as it provides better cushioning and lasts longer. It also means fresh air is still able to travel through it. A lifeless, deflated and flat one means the pillow can no longer trap air. It means the ‘dead pillow’ is no longer able to give comfortable support.
To test for pillow fluffiness, fold the pillow in half and see if it unfolds on its own. If it does not, you may want to look for a new pillow.
5. Sleeping position
Sleep positions can cause you health problems, ranging from aches to sleep apnea and orthopedic problems. The back sleeping position is reportedly the best sleeping position thus far.
It’s the best sleeping position for people who have back pain. With the right mattress and pillow, it makes all the difference in your sleeping experience.
The negative side of sleeping on your back is that it can exacerbate snoring or sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleeping on your back also allow your tongue or soft palate to block your airways, temporarily depriving you of oxygen and waking you up.
The sleeping position with the most cons is the stomach sleep position. Only around 7% of people report sleeping on their stomachs because it leads to back and/or neck pain.
One upside of stomach sleeping is it tends to be one of the best positions for snorers. Remember to try a new sleeping position every once in awhile.
Note that not all sleeping positions are perfect. Shift into a new position every now and then to avoid any adverse, long term health problems.
Sleeps Aids - Au Naturel Substances to Help Your Sleep
Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness
Image via Prasanth InturiIt’s no lie. Stressed people have more difficulty trying to fall asleep. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness will calm the mind and relax your body. This improves sleep.
Unleash your inner yogi. Yoga incorporates a good command of breathing techniques and body stretches. These before sleep, could rid the body of stress and tension as well as relax the mind.
Meditate, don’t medicate! Meditation effectively puts the mind at ease. And, it has been proven to increase melatonin levels.
Better melatonin levels help achieve good sleep easier and quicker. Lastly, be more mindful. Mindfulness will help you worry less. This will make it easier to sleep more sound as worry is one of the most frequent sleep thieves.
Good Ol’ Diet
Scientific studies show that a high-carb low-fat diet affects your sleep efficacy. Even though carb loaded meals make you sleepy, the quality of sleep will be questionable.
Your body slaves away while you sleep to digest all those carbs. So, it steals away from your rest energy. Low-carb high-fat diets are the better dinner option.
It digests slower so you get better quality sleep. However, if you do persist on carb loading before sleep, do it 4 hours before. This gives you apt time to digest so your body can rest when you do decide to sleep.
Let’s get Physical! with Exercise
Exercise boosts serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is crucial for melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Exercise also reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your body. So, with exercise, you’re less likely to stay up worrying. The intensity of exercise matters though.
Keep it moderate and don't overdo it. Research has shown over strenuous exercise is linked with poor sleep. The time of exercise is just as important. Morning exercise is better than late evening exercise. If it’s too close to your sleep time, your elevated heart rate from exercise will keep you alert and awake.
Soothing, Touting Scents of Aromatherapy
Essential oils come in a vast array. They are highly effective in improving sleep quality for insomniacs. No wonder its such a common remedy for the sleep troubled.
Relaxing essential oils like lavender and rose oils are great for sleep conduciveness. Do stay away from stimulating oils like cypress, rosemary, grapefruit, lemon, and peppermint. Just cause they smell great, doesn’t mean they all help you sleep. Some have the opposite effect.
Get an essential oil diffuser for your room. They don’t cost a fortune. They're well worth the investment too. Then, know the difference between sleep enhancing and stimulating oils. Avoid accidentally disrupting your sleep.
Put a Cap on your good Ol’ cup of joe
Image via rawpixel.comMany of us are slaves to our one, two, three or more daily cups of coffee. It’s nearly impossible to function without it. We all know caffeine aids in reducing fatigue and stimulates alertness.
But, caffeine in the vicinity of your sleep time will cause detriment to your sleep. It's best to stave off the good stuff at least 6 hours before sleep. Avoid coffee, sodas, and energy drinks.
For the best sleep, resist temptations to have that cafe latte with your pasta dinner out. Coffee is good but only in moderation and at the right time.
You may yearn for another cup with dinner. But, your body will thank you later on after that deep uninterrupted 9-hour sleep.
Image via skitterphoto.comHaving a cup of hot tea prior to bed to aid sleep is one of the oldest wives tales in the book. There is truth to it. Drinking certain teas that are mildly sedative will relax your body. It will also ease your mind and thus help you sleep better.
For best sleep results drink calming floral teas. These are like chamomile, lavender and passionflower tea. Other herbal teas like Valerian root and lemon balm will do the trick too.
Chamomile and passionflower effectively relax your body to promote sleep. They are mild tranquilizers and sleep inducers. They’re known to decrease anxiety and initiate easy sleep.
Image via pixabay.comValerian root tea isn’t as popular as its essential oil or supplement counterpart. But, it is efficacious still. It’s been used for centuries to treat insomnia, nervousness, stress, and anxiety.
It increases the level of neurotransmitter GABA in the brain to ease the mind. It’s now one of the most popular sleep remedies in Europe and the US.
Image via supplementsos.comLavender is the most versatile sleep remedy. Be it as essential oils, supplements, incense or tea. Drink its tea to relax, soothe your body and aid sleep. It’s highly effective in reducing anxiety and thus improving sleep quality.
Image via MareefeLemon balm tea is a citrusy tea that soothes the drinker with its scent and mild sedative properties. It is great at reducing stress and thus improves sleep quality.
Image via Lisa Fotios
Getting Herb - Herbal Supplements
Image via pixabay.comWe mean legal herbs. Don't worry. It's not the kind you may be thinking. Believe it or not, there's a big array of herbs that work well for sleep remedy.
What better way to treat your sleep ‘au naturel’ than with herbs? People are always saying herbal supplements are good for you. To add, there’s a multitude of literature that affirms the efficacy of herbs in bettering sleep.
Image via medicalnewstoday.comThis root native to Asia and Europe is probably the most popular herbal sleep remedies. It reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and improves sleep quality and quantity.
In addition, it allows people to achieve deep sleep faster and increases the time spent in deep sleep. For best sleep aid, take a 400-900 mg dose 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime.
Therefore, you can be free of those lingering thoughts that keep you up. It leaves you feeling in peace and thus improves sleep quality.
Besides sleep aid, the wonder herb Gingko Biloba prevents dementia, cancer, and Alzheimer's. For better sleep, take 250mg of this herb 30-60 minutes before bed.
Alternative Dietary Supplements
Image via yourdiscountchemist.com.auMagnesium is commonly recommended to those with sleeping problems. Magnesium quiets the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. This effect is due to magnesium’s ability to regulate the body’s sleep hormones. It increases melatonin and renin production.
Besides that, it increases levels of calming neurotransmitter GABA within the brain. Many studies correlate magnesium deficiencies with sleep trouble. So, magnesium supplements will optimize the quality and quantity of your sleep.
For an alternative magnesium source, eat magnesium-rich foods. Chocolate, nuts, fish, bananas and leafy greens will do the trick.
Melatonin supplements reduce the time needed to fall asleep and increase total sleep time. It also helps regulate disrupted sleep cycles in cases like jetlag.
A recommended dose is 3-10 mg of melatonin. There are lower dose options in form of sprays, chews, and drinks available too.
Tech For SleepIt is known that phones and laptops should be banned from your bedroom but not all techs should be banned from your bedroom! Some actually helps you get better sleep quality! Let's not waste anymore time and get into it.
Image via Amazon.comSnoring can interrupt sleep and cause a lot of problems when sharing a bed. Smart Nora is a revolutionary product that detects snoring throughout the night. You insert into your pillow and it will gently adjust your pillow when you start snoring.
This will stimulate the throat muscles, allowing for natural breathing to resume. It'll help the snorer and the partner sleep soundly during the night.
ZEEQ Smart Pillow
Image via roncampiononlineZeeq is the ‘world’s smartest pillow’, according to active lifestyle brand Rem-Fit. As well as sleep tracking it boasts a range of other advanced features including an anti-snore device, wireless music streaming, IoT integration with devices like Amazon Alexa, and more.
What’s so amusing about the Zeeq smart pillow is that it also can stop snoring! O-M-G, imagine the peace you and your partner will get.
Zeeq has been described as the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of pillows, with an impressive list of technological features to improve your sleep experience. Some of the highlights include:
- wireless music streaming
- sleep tracking and analysis
- snore detection and prevention
- partner-friendly alarm clock
- smart-home integration (Alexa, IFTTT)
- 2-week battery life
The Manta Sleep Mask
Image via MantaSleep.comAre you a light sleeper? Night owl? Frequent traveler? Finding it hard to rest peacefully after a long day at work? Try out the Manta Sleep Mask. Of course the generic sleep mask can help too. But they are normally uncomfortable and just doesn’t fit right.
As for the Manta Sleep Mask, it is specially designed to cover your eyes fully giving you the total blackout feels.
How is Manta Sleep Mask better than your cat eye shaped sleep mask?
There have been bunch of reviews about this product, and I assure you, most of it are great reviews! If you would like to check out the product, click here for more information.
Image via Kokoon.ioThe Kokoon headphone is one of the best tech that could help you sleep. It’s noise cancelling headphone. Another gadget that also put comfort as no 1 priority. It is very comfortable and secure, even in bed. Kokoon is the result of hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of user testing; in bed and on the go.
Instead of turning into pills, find a natural way to switch off. Relax with the Kokoon app and audio library. Try techniques shown in clinical trials to help you fall asleep quicker, relax, and manage stress.
Inside, you’ll find techniques used in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and relaxing audio developed with sleep scientists. Avoid the pills and find a natural way to switch off.
Sleep ExercisesTechniques with proven success rate in clinical trials.
Buffer ZoneCreate your ‘buffer zone’ before sleep to disconnect from the day.
Relaxing AudioMusic and other audio techniques to help you relax and switch off. Sensors make your audio intelligent. Kokoon adapts to you and your environment; quietening as you fall asleep and learning what’s helping you rest and relax.
Nox Sleep Light
This is one of the best tech to achieve your best sleep. Nox is a smart sleep light designed to monitor, track and improve your sleep quality. The light combines Nox, a smart sleep light, and the Sleepace mobile application. Nox will help you fall asleep easily with soothing light and sound and wake up naturally with smart alarm. If you want to get a hold of this amazing baby, check Nox out over here.
Image via Shopify.comBedjet is the world’s first rapid cooling & heating system just for your bed. On top of that, it is also clinically proven to help you sleep better. The BedJet can be installed on any size bed and any type mattress in minutes.
How is BedJet amazing? It will give you;
- No more night sweats
- No more sleeping hot
- No chilly beds
- No high A/C bills
- No thermostat fights
- YES to more cuddling!
Just like the name, Dreampad can provide you the sleep you’ve been only dreaming of! The Dreampad takes you beyond white noise. Soothing music travels directly from the Dreampad through your body, drifting you off to sleep…and only you can hear it.
One of the reviews says “As a medically diagnosed insomniac, I think this pillow is a miracle. Aside from being the most comfortable pillow I have ever slept on, it also converts music to gentle vibrations that only you can hear.”
- Creates sound profiles tailored to your situation and the acoustics of your bedroom
- Provides immersive ambient sound
- Easy setup
- Costs much more than conventional white-noise machines
- Limited smart-home integration
Image via touchofmodern.com
The SleepShepard works by slowing down your brain waves and help you fall asleep easier.
Bedroom Exercises that Improves Your Sleep
Ever have a night where you just can’t sleep for no reason?
We know the cause and it’s really straightforward --- you’re just not tired enough due to lack of exercise! We totally understand this. It’s not entirely justifying to have bad nights just because you don’t exhaust yourself.
What’s more, this has become increasingly common because many people today, especially working adults, are unable to stay committed to exercise due to tight daily schedule.
Yet, the good news is that you don’t have to! Do you know you can actually do some exercises without leaving your bed? In fact, exercise greatly improves sleep no matter where and when you do it, according to this poll.
You don’t even have to worry about it interfering with your sleep because vigorous exercisers report the best sleep. Thus, in this article, we round up 5 bedroom exercises you can conveniently do in your bed to have a good night sleep.
1. Half Bridge
Try and hold this move for 30 seconds while keeping your tailbone lifted. Lower and then repeat for three reps. Make sure you continue to breathe and engage your abs throughout.
2. Leg Lift
3. Push Up
Slowly bend your arms and lower your chest to the bed while keeping your back straight, and then return to the starting position. Perform as many reps as you can.
4. Sit Up
To perform this exercise, lift as you would do for a normal sit up, then twist your body gently to one side. Whilst doing this, extend the opposite leg to the direction of your turning. Repeat this movement whilst alternating between sides.
With your weight on your forearms and toes, align your elbows under your shoulders. Lift your body to make a straight line from your head to your heels.
Hold this position for 20 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this for three reps.
Remember to go slowly and complete a few of these to strengthen your muscles. Most importantly, be sure to do your stretches after warming up in order to prevent injury.
The Bottom Line
A good sleep equals to great day ahead. Sleep is vital and plays an important role in your wellbeing. One extensive review linked insufficient sleep to an expanded obesity risk of 89% in youngsters and 55% in grown-ups.
Different studies presume that less than 7– 8 hours out of every night builds your danger of creating coronary illness and type 2 diabetes.
If you are interested in ideal health and wellbeing, you should make sleep your top priority and incorporate some of the tips above.
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