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Developing and maintaining a healthy sleep routine involves creating the ideal sleep environment that depends on using the right sleep accessories.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the term “quality sleep,” which is proclaimed to be vital for physical and mental health. This is true, but most bedrooms today are designed for relaxation and not undisturbed sleep, which is essentially what quality sleep pivots on.
We all need consistent quality sleep, and this scientific fact is not escaping. In a 24-hour cycle, an adult will need an average of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The proper sleep accessories will make a remarkable difference to how sound you sleep at night.
None of us like waking up with neck or back pains, and none enjoy noise or bright flickering lights while we try to get some rest. Most of all, none of us enjoys waking up periodically at night and getting out of bed in the morning feeling tired and drained.
There are many facets to consider when you take the time to seriously think about creating the perfect sleep environment, and it all starts with you and your lifestyle choices.
Among the many facets contributing to a healthy sleep environment, we will focus on 7 sleep accessories to make quality sleep a reality.
A good quality mattress is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. A mattress should be comfortable, supportive and provide enough space to move around. It shouldn’t be too firm or too soft.
The right mattress must complement your weight and size. This is an essential accessory as it compliments your natural posture, keeping your spine in alignment.
Technological advancements have also played a part in sleep accessory development, especially with fiber technology used in mattresses, pillows, and bedding.
Your mattress must accommodate your preferred sleep positions but has to provide a firm yet comfortable space that conforms to the contours of your body and promotes natural body alignment.
The mattress you choose must be breathable and able to limit heat build-up that causes sweating. There are three basic types of mattresses:
Selecting the right mattress for yourself can be tricky because you will only know if it’s right after sleeping on it a few times. It’s wise to shop where the store offers an exchange plan.
Consider an adjustable bed that offers head and leg articulation. It relieves several sleep disorders like snoring, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Some adjustable beds come with USB ports, Wifi, Bluetooth connectivity, and backlighting, allowing you to see in the dark.
A mattress topper will allow you to adjust the firmness of your mattress by either using a firm topper or a softer alternative. This extra layer is about 3 inches thick and makes a remarkable difference to the comfort level of your bed.
A waterproof mattress protector is necessary to guard against accidental spills and night sweats from seeping into your mattress. The protector, which has a breathable top, also prevents dust mites and bacteria from collecting on your mattress.
A comfortable pillow that supports your head and neck is essential for good sleep. Pillows are essential for quality sleep as they help to keep your spine and body aligned.
A thin pillow will suffice for back and stomach sleepers, but if you sleep on your side, you will need a thicker pillow to keep your head aligned with your body;
otherwise, you will end up with neck pains.
Like mattresses, there are a variety of different pillow types to suit all sleep positions, which include:
Pillows not only support your head while you sleep but are also used to support your legs in different ways.
You can tuck a pillow between your legs to limit developing backache when sleeping on your side if you sleep on your stomach.
It’s a good idea to place a pillow just below your knees as this helps to reduce strain on your lower back.
Besides head and limb support, pillows also regulate heat, but the right pillow must be selected to meet your needs.
A down pillow, for example, will retain heat and may cause overheating, whereas most memory foam pillows are breathable and disperse body heat. Gel pillows are the best option to minimize heat build-up, which reduces sweating.
A dual-purpose pillow is an alternative source of support and comfort as it has both a firm and a soft side.
It is made from memory foam and does not retain heat due to its unique construction. It’s the ideal pillow for combination sleepers on their side and back.
Comfortable and high-quality bedding can make a significant difference to your sleep quality. Choose bedding that is soft and comfortable yet breathable.
The right bedding is essential to regulate your body temperature, which drops slowly while you sleep.
Changes in the temperature around you during sleep may result in you getting too cold or too hot, resulting in sleep interruptions. The correct bedding will help to maintain a healthy sleep temperature.
Here again, there is a wide variety of linen to choose from. No matter your preference, there are blankets, duvets, and sheets that will match your needs.
The Allseasons Blanket is dual-sided and is perfect for all seasons. For colder temperatures, one side has a soft polar fleece material.
The other side is made from polyester with ultra-high molecular weight for warmer climates to disperse heat faster and prevent overheating.
Duvets and sheets are made from lightweight fibers like polyester blended with cotton and other fibers to ensure they are breathable and keep you warm and snug without overheating.
Your sheets and blankets can be seasonal (summer and winter), but they must be breathable and capable of creating a microclimate that regulates your sleep temperature.
Cotton sheets and pillowcases are an obvious choice because they are breathable, hypoallergenic, and easy to wash.
Blankets also need to be breathable and hypoallergenic. Wool and cotton blankets are favored for their superior characteristics.
Still, fabric blends and synthetic fabrics also have good characteristics that might be more practical from a cost and weight perspective. Some synthetic fabrics are ultra-lightweight and are woven to be as breathable as cotton.
Bedding is a personal choice; however, the type of fabric you choose should at least be motivated by how much better your sleep quality will be and not by aesthetics alone.
A sleep mask can help you block out light, which can disrupt your sleep. Sleep masks are a great solution if you live in a bright area or are light-sensitive. Look for a sleep mask that fits comfortably and is made of breathable materials.
Sleep or eye masks can help improve overall sleep quality as they provide a calming effect that may encourage you to fall asleep faster.
The soothing feeling of a sleep mask on your face can be very relaxing. Several clinical studies show that sleep masks improve the overall quality of sleep.
The cold pressure from a gel sleep mask may help you drift off. Your body temperature needs to drop to sleep, so if you have a cooling sleep mask, you will likely fall asleep easier. Cooling eye masks can help with the following:
On the other hand, heated sleep masks are generally relaxing in the same way a heated compress can be. Heated sleep masks are typically for people who suffer from dry eyes.
The heat stimulates the oil glands that produce tears and helps trap moisture in the eyes, improving eye hydration.
Weighted sleep masks help alleviate sinusitis symptoms, specifically congestion over the eyes and nose region. They are also great for pain relief from headaches and migraines.
If you are a light sleeper or live in a noisy area, earplugs can help to block out noise and promote restful sleep. Earplugs are generally safe while sleeping, but frequent use can lead to earwax build-up in the long run.
Earplugs can significantly reduce the sound entering your ears, which may help you fall asleep easier in a noisy environment. Earplugs should be comfortable, made of breathable materials, and offer good noise reduction.
In some cases, the use of earplugs, along with eye masks, can increase rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is the deepest form of sleep and is essential for memory consolidation.
Earplugs may also increase melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleepiness.
A white noise machine can help you block out distractions and promote relaxation. These machines create a soothing sound that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
White noise refers to a noise that contains all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure.
White noise is sometimes called broadband noise and may sound like static from an untuned radio or television.
Like white noise, pink noise is a broadband sound containing components from across the sound spectrum. Pink noise sounds lower pitched than white noise and resembles the noise produced by a waterfall.
Studies indicate that pink noise can enhance deep sleep among older adults and improve their cognitive performance.
White noise machines can be programmed, but some models have built-in programs. White noise machines dampen other sounds and allow you to fall asleep faster.
Essential oils can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Look for an essential oil diffuser that uses natural and pure essential oils, like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus, to help promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Multiple studies have shown that lavender oil improves sleep quality with less interrupted sleep. One study shows that lavender oil works just as well as dome anti-anxiety medicines like Xanax and Ativan.
Lavender oil can initiate sleep changes in your systems by triggering your sensory systems to produce serotonin, which activates the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
Lavender almost has a soothing effect that allows users to relax before they fall asleep, and it is said to aid in more time spent in deep slow-wave sleep. When you wake up, you will feel refreshed and vitalized.
The aroma of chamomile contributes to peaceful sleep. It is often used to deal with anxiety because of its calming effect.
Ylang-ylang essential oil is much like lavender but not as strong. It still has a sedative effect and is often used to relieve anxiety by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, which is necessary for quality sleep.
Bergamot essential oil also lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. It is used mainly for people experiencing insomnia, stress, or anxiety.
The added benefit of bergamot essential oil is its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. How exactly it works is a mystery, but users will tend to drift away from stressful thoughts and become more relaxed before they drift off to sleep.
Other essential oils that promote good sleep include the following:
Most medical doctors know the benefits of essential oils and will advise you on what essential oils will best suit your current state of health and any condition you may be suffering from.
By using these sleep accessories, you can create a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment, which can help you get the restful sleep you need for a healthy and productive life.
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