Make over your bedroom to score sounder shuteye
Ah, spring! It's the season for flowers, maxi dresses, March Madness—and getting your hands dirty by scrubbing your home from top to bottom. This year, be sure to include your bedroom in your spring-cleaning plans. Start with the following four steps, and not only will your room look (and smell!) nicer, but you may sleep better, too.
1. Clear Your Nightstand of Tech. If you leave your smartphone next to your bed, it’s time to find another place for it to spend the night. Not only can a 1:00am text message wake you up, but the blue light that the phone emits may actually disrupt your circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall back to sleep. Ideally, keep your phone out of the bedroom, but if that’s not doable, park it in a corner of the room—as far from the bed as possible.
2. Crawl Under a Fresh Comforter. You probably already wash your bed linens (top sheet, bottom sheet and pillow cases) on a regular basis, but don't forget about washing that bulky comforter or duvet cover on occasion, too. Even though it may not touch your body directly, it still collects dust and dirt. National Sleep Foundation’s own Bedroom Poll found that nearly three out of four people say they get a more comfortable night’s sleep when their bedding has a fresh scent.
3. Wash Your Pillows and Mattress. While you’re at it, throw your pillows into the hot water cycle and even clean your mattress. Doing so in the spring will help kill the dust mites that survived the winter. If you’re allergic to dust mites, dander, and other household allergens, consider investing in dust mite protective covers for your pillows and mattress. These prevent allergens from penetrating the fabric, which reduces your exposure at night. The result: less itching, sneezing, and congestion—and better sleep.
4. Send Clutter Packing. In addition to dusting and sanitizing surfaces, spend a little extra time making sure that your bedroom is in order. A tidy room puts your mind at ease and is more conducive to good sleep. Clear dirty laundry off the floor and consider rearranging furniture to make the space welcoming (and, hey, why not add a new throw blanket or decorative pillow to complete the look?). Your spotless space will make going to bed so much more enticing.