Getting a good night’s sleep is a big challenge nowadays, with our busy workdays and hectic routines. We spend so much time leading our lives and drowning in responsibilities that we often forget about the quality and quantity of our sleep. The average human spends around 8 hours a day sleeping (if they are lucky), and many people assert that they don’t feel rested in the morning.
By introducing better bedding maintenance and adding a few general rules to your household routine, you will find that you are able to make the most of your downtime, and get a longer, deeper sleep. Read on to find out how.
Create a comfort zone in your bedroom
The bed is the most important piece of furniture in the room. The mattress needs to feel comfortable, not too firm, but also not too soft. The bed linens need to be properly washed with hypoallergenic detergents, and should smell nice, but not too strong, because it will keep your senses alert. Everything in your bedroom needs to be calming and predisposing to sleep. The colours of the bedding and the bedroom in general are also very important – aim for calming colours like blue, soft white or silver. Vivid colours like red or pink can keep you awake at night. Make your bedroom as cozy as possible – it will do miracles for your sleep quality.
Bedding washing frequency
It’s a personal choice how often you wash your bedding, but it’s a fact that not washing it often enough can lead to allergies, skin irritations, infestations with dust mites, bed bugs and a lot more. The common household dust may seem harmless, but it contains all kinds of unsavory ingredients, like dead skin cells, hair, dead bug parts, mites, and other nasty things. So, laundering your bed linen at least once a week is recommended. It will remove the dirt and dust accumulation, and the smell of the fresh sheets will help you nod off. Wash the pillowcases inside out, in order to protect the colours or prints, and use warm water rather than hot, because most sheets and cases are made from shrinkable fabrics.
Drying and storing your bedding
Tumble-drying is fine with most types of sheets and covers, but read the label instructions to find out for sure. The dryer can tarnish some gentle fabrics, so be careful. If you want to minimise wrinkles, you can remove the sheets from the dryer before they dry completely. However, to avoid mould and mildew, make sure the sheets are fully dry before storing them. Ironing them will help with that – the high temperature will remove all the moisture from the fabric and will kill any remaining germs. As for the storing itself, it’s best to keep your sheets neatly folded and in a dry, cool drawer or closet. Avoid plastic containers, because they trap moisture and encourage mould growth. To prevent yellowing of the fabric, you can line the surface with some acid-free tissue paper.
A good way to protect your pillows from dirt is to use a pillow protector (a special cover that goes under the case). These covers keep the allergens away and protect the pillow from oils, hair and cosmetic products. Even with the protector (which should be washed at least once a month), it’s still recommended to wash your pillows at least twice a year. Most pillows are machine washable, but check the labels to be sure. Use a mild liquid detergent, because powders can leave a residue. To keep the washing machine balanced, launder pillows in pairs. You can also run the rinse cycle twice, once without a detergent, to make sure they are rinsed properly (the excess laundry detergent can cause rashes).
The quality and cleanliness of the mattress are pivotal too. Most mattresses produced nowadays are double-sided, so you should flip it every 6 months, to achieve symmetric wear and to prolong the life of your mattress. The mattress cover needs to be stripped off and machine-washed once a month. As for the mattress itself, steam cleaning it at least once a year is enough, but some added maintenance won’t hurt. To refresh the mattress, first you need to vacuum it thoroughly. Then get a big box of baking soda and spread it all over the surface. Leave it for a couple of hours; the baking soda will absorb all the odours and oils. After that, just vacuum the mattress once more.
Calming fragrances for sleep
Cleaning your bedding is important for a good night’s sleep, but there are other things, which can also help, like calming fragrances for instance. Some smells, which can help you sleep better, are chamomile, lavender, rose and vanilla. You can introduce them to the room in various forms – laundry, essential oil diffusers, and scented candles. Smell is a pervasive sense, make sure you are using it to your advantage.
Please note: This article is not to be used as medical advice. This post may contain affiliate links.
Feature image courtesy of Adairs.