the 5 step approach for a clean bedroom – and better night’s sleep
As we’re all doing our part to stay home, why not dedicate a little extra effort in cultivating a clean bedroom. It is a bigger health investment than you might think.
Something everybody has in common is the need for a good night’s sleep – a cornerstone of good health.
The fact is, we spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. Adequate sleep is vital in supporting a balanced mood, proper cognitive function, and even in keeping us from getting sick. Unfortunately, during times of uncertainty and stress, many Canadians are falling short on the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep for adults. In fact, even before COVID-19, a recent Health Canada report stated the following:
- 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.
- 1 in 5 adults do not find their sleep refreshing.
- 1 in 3 adults have difficulty staying awake during waking hours.
It’s important to practice habits that support healthy sleep patterns, and one way to go about is to cultivate a healthy sleeping space. The atmosphere in which we sleep affects the quality of our rest and investing some energy into cleaning up the bedroom can go a long way in supporting a healthy night’s sleep.
1. Clear the Air
We spend on average 1/3 of a 24-hour cycle in our bedroom sleeping – and breathing! So, it makes sense that we should pay attention to air quality.
Make sure the bedroom is frequently vacuumed and dusted, to reduce potential allergens and that there is good airflow throughout the night. Avoid sleeping with the door shut if possible and open a window when the temperature allows for fresh airflow.
If air quality is a concern, invest in a high-quality portable air purifier with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that can trap very fine particles. Proper ventilation has been found to contribute to sleep quality and one study found that subjects with improved ventilation felt better the next day, less sleepy, and had improved concentration.
2. Tidy Your Nest
Our body is in contact with our bedding throughout the night – so comfort and cleanliness are key! Natural fibres are breathable and allow for comfortable temperature regulation throughout the night. Cotton and bamboo sheets are both good choices for natural fibre bedding.
It’s also worth investing in mattress and pillow protectors which can reduce dust mites. Frequent washing of all bed linens in hot water (including pillows!) can help cut down on allergens and dust mites as well.
As far as healthy laundering of bedding goes, it’s important to remember that our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs what comes into contact with it, including the residues from detergents used in our laundry regimen.
Many laundry products contain “fresh” scents that double as chemical irritants with the potential to trigger allergies, migraines and respiratory issues. Go scent-free with a detergent made from natural ingredients, or try making your own with this recipe.
3. Practice Light Hygiene
Light isn’t exactly “dirty”, but it can mess up your sleep. Light and dark communicate the status of the external world and influence our wakefulness. When we expose ourselves to light into the evening before sleep, it can disrupt the natural circadian rhythms (our 24 sleep-wake cycle) that contribute to restorative sleep patterns.
Banish light-emitting electronics from the bedroom, including phones, tablets and digital clocks, and put up black-out blinds or curtains to prevent exposure to outside light pollution.
4. Pack Up the Clutter
Tidy up to create an atmosphere of “visual calm”. The sight of paper and laundry stacks that need dealing with won’t help to quiet the mind. Reserve the bedroom for relaxation and sleeping only or designate some closet space or a drawer to tuck away unfinished projects so they aren’t staring you down when you’re trying to get some shut eye.
5. Organize Your Bedside Table
An orderly bedside table is the perfect spot for some simple nighttime essentials – a natural hand cream, an enjoyable book and a relaxing herbal tea blend.
Some herbs that make a lovely night time cuppa include chamomile and hops, which have traditionally been used in herbal medicine to relieve restlessness with calming effects, as well as passionflower and lemon balm, traditionally used in herbal medicine as sleep aids.
If sleep doesn’t always come quickly, some sublingual melatonin kept at your bedside could come in handy. Melatonin has been found to be helpful in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and in increasing total sleep time.
Some simple steps toward maintaining a tidy bedroom can make a significant difference in catching up on your restful, nourishing sleep. For all of your natural cleaning needs and sleep aids visit your local CHFA member retailer – Vita Health Fresh Market!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON HEALTHIERBYNATURE.CA