Many of us do not realise how much we can do to optimise our bed, the place in our home where we spend 7 hours a day every day. Almost 90% of Australians have some form of a sleeping disorder and 30% reportedly struggle with more severe conditions. More and more people have been dealing with allergies or hay fever symptoms.
A hidden secret that is not as talked about is taking care of your bed. We drag dirt, pollen, and sweat from everywhere and transfer them onto where we sleep. Your bed absorbs all the unhealthy, alien elements which in turn affect the air you breathe in your sleep.
There are a few easy things you can do to make sure that your bed is your sanctuary where both your body and mind are safe and in peace.
1. Sanitise your mattress
It is a common misconception that you don’t or can’t clean your mattress. Just changing your sheets and covers is not enough. Think of your mattress and pads as similar to your own skin; you have to unclog and open up your pores to keep your skin healthy and refreshed.
Over 8 years, a person would on average shed 4.84kg of dead skin in bed. Sleeping in the trash dump site of all your dust mites, sweat, and dead skin could lead to chronic sinus problems and worsen your allergies and asthma.
There are many DIY methods of sanitising your mattress if you don’t want to pay for a fancy cleaner to get it done. Doing this regularly (2 times a year) should help keep the dust mites away.
2. Keep it cool – there is such a thing as an ideal sleep temperature
Studies conducted in many different countries have shown that there is an ideal temperature for sleep. This may vary just a little between men and women but on average 18 degrees Celsius is the best setting (and slightly lower if you want to sleep under a pile of blankets).
You know how you sleep better if you take a hot shower before bedtime? It’s not because your body is warm. It’s because your body cools down more quickly due to the abrupt and sharp change in temperature as you step out of the shower.
3. Your mattress and bedding can and should be customised based on your sleep patterns
There is no one-size-fits-all mattress and pillow. So we recommend a memory foam mattress that will take the shape and provide the kind of support your particular body and sleeping habits.
You can buy support foam or mattress pads to really personalise your bedding if a mattress alone cannot provide the level of comfort you deserve. And don’t forget about pillow! You can also get memory-foam pillows with better circulation so your sore, hard-working muscles holding up your head can relax.
No more waking up with aches and sores!
4. Reduce your phone’s blue light all day, not just right before sleep
Studies have indicated the negative impact of mobile blue light on our sleep cycles as well as our long-term health. So experts recommend that you adjust the display brightness by using the night time function near bedtime.
However, some argue that you should keep the brightness to minimum throughout the day, not just before you go to sleep. You’re constantly staring at screens and the blue light could be over-stimulating your senses.
Minimise your exposure to blue light all the time so you can ensure healthy circulation of melatonin (your hormone that helps you sleep).
5. Limit what you do in bed to sleeping and being intimate
There is definitely a psychological aspect that should not be easily dismissed. Many of us, especially the younger professionals, are often tempted to eat, sleep, read, and work in bed. This sends wrong signals to your body, making it more difficult for it to naturally relax and prepare for sleep.
Train your body to shut down once you are snuggled up in bed. Sleeping is one of the most important biological needs so our bed should be treated like a sanctuary, not a one-stop shop for all of our activities. If you initially have some difficulties not having any of your books or electronics in bed, use meditation apps or sleep sound machines as an aid.
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