A Room with a Snooze
An ideal bedroom is an escape hatch from daily pressures. Gentle light, a warm bed, and breeze from a window is often enough to make us truly feel at home. But what if it isn’t enough? What if the pains of the day follow you, and despite your best efforts you just can’t rest? An estimated 40% of Americans are plagued with anxiety, and this number grows if you add the 12% wrestling with acute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This anxiety directly informs insomnia. The good news is that sleep researchers are investigating a number of new and tried-and-true comfort devices to measure their affect on sleep. So which ones have the best reputation for stilling your tossing and turning?
Blackout curtains or shades
At the calamitous peak of World War II, nighttime air raids threatened major cities in Northern Europe. Allied leaders responded with total darkness blackouts, as they believed that without man-made light, German bombers would lose track of their targets. While the origin of blackout curtains is certainly dark, they opened up new possibilities for privacy and light control. Blackout curtains are made of tightly woven, dense, or layered fabric such as felt, velvet or suede. When paired with blackout shades light is prevented from coming in and going out, blocking silhouettes from the prying eyes of passersby. Total darkness will encourage deep uninterrupted sleep in the early-to-bed, early-to-rise sorts, and late and night shift workers enjoy a much easier time going to and staying asleep.
Nothing livens up a bedroom like a big burst of green from a well-placed houseplant. But houseplants aren’t just beautiful. A NASA study Lists 12 plants that provide optimal air-cleaning benefits, and these are ideal for bedrooms. The best options for those born with a black thumb instead of a green one? Snake plants, also know as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, and aloe plants. Both of these plants release oxygen and take in carbon dioxide at night, which gives your lungs a boost while you dream. Spider plants are another safe options for the inexperienced, as are air purifying peace lilies, which emit a gentle scent to soothe you while you sleep. They also filter dangerous household toxins from the air, like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Don’t worry — your leafy bedroom pals require only light and water to stay alive.
Upgrade your bed
A worn out mattress can be the biggest obstacle to a great night’s sleep. The popularity of memory foam mattresses isn’t an accident, and almost any wallet can afford what’s offered in this booming market. Even the grumpiest insomniacs often find bliss when heat from their body creates a comforting cradle within a memory foam mattress. Want to take it even further? Add an adjustable base. Adjustable beds facilitate a slow introduction to sleep, where you can read, work, or watch movies in bed without arranging yourself in an awkward position and damaging your neck and back.
Use a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are heavier than average blankets, due to a filling that includes glass or plastic beads, working with polyester to create a dense anchor. Once tucked in, the body responds as it would to a lasting embrace, and enters a calm, secure state, thanks to the slightly restricted motion, and the massage effect of the beads. The Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found weighted blankets benefit children with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD, and adults with PTSD, general anxiety disorder, and depression.
Get an air purifier
Much has been made of white noise machines to lull your body to sleep. Air purifiers can provide that white noise, while also working collaboratively with plants to clean the air of mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites. A HEPA filter with a carbon insert will minimize bedroom odors, and gently circulate clean air around you.These thoughtful additions to your evening retreat will have you resting easy (and deeply), breathing healthier air and waking with fewer aches and pains.