There seems to be a trend this year - the hype around New Year resolutions is on the decline. In fact, many are irritated by the idea of the general public working on their best self & beginning new routines soon to be abandoned. Maybe you totally understand or maybe you are left wondering, what gives?
With all that is going on world wide and the heightened levels of stress and fatigue we all face in our own little worlds, it's of no surprise really that many have no room in their lives for big resolutions that simply leave their days overbooked and their wallets empty. What about living healthier lives, being better people inside and out? Rather than fail simultaneously in all areas, people are starting to figure out that making small changes, easily upheld year round, is the way to go. 20 minutes in a home gym is far more efficient than spending a half hour in traffic, trying to squeeze in the gym before or after work. Taking an interest in your own neighbourhood is more realistic than devoting your little down time to projects & causes outside your area. Technology free weekends spent with friends & family, are far more satisfying than any time wasted on personal devices.
In the quest to find true happiness & good health, make sure not to forget one vital component - SLEEP! Sleep, good sleep, can help you find a positive attitude & maintain healthy relationships, give you extra boosts of energy & even help you lose those last 10 pounds. You don't need a resolution to get better sleep, you just need to make a few minor adjustments that will last.
1. 15 MINUTES OF DOWN TIME
Take 15 minutes to read (an actual paperback), talk about your day (without mention of stressful to-do's) or meditate (or ponder, if you prefer) on something positive. The light from a device stimulates your brain, interfering with your body's natural inclinations in preparation for a restful sleep. Place your charging station far away from the bed, so you are less likely to get up for your devices. While some e-readers don't emit light, we can all agree that there is nothing like the feel of a weighty book in your hands. Don't fret about the things that went wrong that day, fight the need to worry about what can go wrong tomorrow. A good night's sleep will be your best tool in solving your problems. Here are a few suggestions from health.com to slow things down before sleep.
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
We won't tell you how much sleep you need, chances are you already know what feels good & helps you function. While heavy schedules might not allow for "enough" sleep every night, do your best to set a firm bed time, giving your body the best chance to recover from your day's physical, mental & emotional activities. When possible, make time for a weekend sleep in. Even an extra half hour can do wonders! Click here if you want to know how much sleep the world thinks you need.
3. CREATE A RESTFUL ENVIRONMENT
Your bedroom is, or should be, the most vulnerable room in your home. It should reflect who you are, who you truly are and not just what you want to appear to be. So, if your home is styled to the latest trends, or outdated as you wait for the right time to redecorate - make sure that your bedroom, your refuge, is suited to your very individual needs & preferences. While we strongly believe that muted tones will set the mood for REM, we will leave the aesthetics to you and simply recommend some technical aspects that can help make your bed a haven for great sleep. For more ideas on making a perfect bed, see what Ingrid has to say, here.
Make sure your mattress is firm enough to support your neck & spine properly, but soft enough to your liking. Standard mattresses have a lifespan of roughly 7 years. If you don't have a budget for replacing your mattress just yet, a topper can be a good compromise in refreshing your bed. Latex toppers are excellent for comfort, alleviating pressure points & regulating temperature. Wool toppers are also a good choice, as they naturally whisk away moisture, ward off dust mites & provide comfort. Down & feather beds are super comfy, add warmth & and overall cloud like feel. Find out what happens when the Brysons trade a road bike for an organic mattress here.
Not to be underestimated, a mattress protector not only protects your mattress from sweat, spills and what have you, it is also easily washed ensuring that you are sleeping on a clean surface, free of dust mites and dead skin cells, etc. A quilted mattress pad can also add a comfort level, whereas waterproof protectors are a great choice for those with children & pets.
What's more personal than the sheets your skin shares every night against? Whether you choose a poly/cotton blend or a 1000 thread count set of sheets, ensure the quality is truly what they say it is. A well made 200 thread count can feel like heaven and last a decade or longer, whereas a poorly made 1000 thread count (and unless you are paying upwards of $1000 they are most likely poorly made) will unravel, pill and shrink as time goes on. Great sheets only get better with washing! Choose percale cotton if you like a crisp, cool bed & sateen cotton if you like a warmer, satin like feel. While other fabrics feel and look nice, well sourced & spun cotton is gentle on the skin, breathes and washes well. Take a look at why we import Valeria directly from Italy, getting you the best bang for your buck!
DUVET & PILLOWS
Whether you like your bed warm or cool, a down duvet can deliver an amazing sleep. Something about cuddling up in a fluffy duvet, just can't be beat. Choose a classic weight for year long comfort or if you find yourself in an extreme, select a winter or summer weight. (More fill/weight = warmer, less fill/weight = cooler) For more on choosing the right duvet, click here.
When you select your pillow, spend a good 5-10 minutes testing it out. A minute or two won't give you an accurate experience. Choose a soft-medium fill if you sleep on your stomach, a medium fill if you sleep on your back and a med-firm fill if you are a side sleeper. Find out why you really should replace your pillow here.
We wish you all, not only a year, but a lifetime of good...make that GREAT...sleep!
Interested in diving a little deeper into how you can create the perfect bed for your individual needs & wants? Get our Bed Basics guide here.