Monday, May 21, 2012

Design Tips: Sleep Better and How to Make a Bed

A well-made bed will help you sleep better.

Sleep is one of the most important things we do for ourselves every day. And, with our stressful lives, sleep can be one of the most elusive. You’ve heard the tips for better sleep lots of times before: avoid caffeine, heavy meals, alcohol and strenuous exercise before bed, set a calming nighttime routine for yourself and your family, go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day. They’re all still true.

Here are two tips you  may not have considered to help you get the quality rest you need.

Make your bed every day.

A neatly made bed makes your bedroom look cleaner and feel calm by reducing visual clutter. It also gives you an easy chore that, no matter how hectic your day is, you can check something off your list, always an accomplishment. Making your bed can be as simple as spending just 20 seconds pulling up the duvet and sheets and arranging the pillows or, at the most complicated, making up the whole bed with freshly laundered bedding.

Entering your bedroom and seeing a big mess is stressful, not a feeling you want to have at bedtime. Even if you’re not hung up on crisp hospital corners and a picture-perfect bed you can bounce a quarter on, the act of pulling back the sheets before you crawl in is a relaxing part of your bedtime routine. It can remind you of  stays at hotels or resorts, where somebody else makes the bed for you.

Buy the best quality and most comfortable bedding you can afford.

A beautiful, multi-layered and well coordinated bedding system, like those you see at hotels and resorts are carefully designed to look welcoming and feel luxurious. Linen sets like these are available at Jennifer Adams Home or in a Costco near you. If you’re on a budget or prefer a simpler, sleeker modern look, at the minimum color coordinate the duvet or comforter and the pillowcases, and use a neutral color for the sheets. Keep it simple: use solid colors and smooth textures.

Euro style pillows (the big square ones) make for a nice backdrop, are great for reading in bed and can even stand in for a headboard if you don’t have one. Decorative pillows can help visually tie in different fabrics and additional mattress protectors and toppers add bulk for a comfortable inviting look.

Go for what is comfortable for you. Besides just feeling great, quality bedding can reduce tossing and turning because it fits, doesn’t bunch up and stays in place. You won’t wake up fighting with your own sheets or sparring with your sleeping partner for your share of the comforter.

Low cost cotton or cotton blend sheets and mattress covers are made with short fiber cotton can pill and will stretch and lose their shape, and they may wear out quickly. This creates big uncomfortable scratchy lumps. Sometimes, there are additives to the fabric than can cause irritation or trigger allergies, which can negatively affect your sleep patterns.

And there is a huge variety of quality fabrics to select from. Choose the feel you like best, and buy the nicest sheets you can afford. Consider the new microfibers for the best feel and smoothest finish. Some people find that even high thread count cotton fabrics are too crisp or harsh feeling—but use your own judgment and buy what feels good to you. Easy care fabrics also reduce stress in your life, so look for machine washable sheets and comforters rather than dry clean only. You’ll have a cleaner bed because it’s easy.

The mattress, too, is an important part of your sleeping comfort. You spend the most time on your mattresses than on any other piece of furniture in your house and you should replace it at least every ten years. Five to seven years if you have back problems or allergies. Again, pick the most comfortable one you can afford. Test them out in the store by laying on them in the position you actually sleep in for at least ten minutes. If you have a sleeping partner, you both should test out the mattress at the same time so you’ll know how it moves. Toss and turn while your partner remains still, then switch roles. Check into in-home trial periods and warrantees before making your purchase decision, and don’t be shy about speaking up if you don’t like it.

If your mattress is comfortable, and you know your sheets will stay in place and you love the feel, you know you’ll be comfortable all night long. You’ll look forward to being in your bed for sleep, and this will improve your bedtime routine, all which contribute to better sleep. You may even be inspired to get there earlier!

Until next time!
--Elaine Bothe

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:15 PM 


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