An essential component of overall wellness is getting good sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lack of sleep may really lead to a variety of significant health concerns, including as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, an increased risk of stroke, and mood disorders like anxiety and despair (CDC).
Unfortunately, many individuals in the United States sleep for fewer than seven hours per night. For instance, according to CDC statistics from 2020, about 30% of individuals in Colorado and nearly 43% of adults in West Virginia don’t get enough quality sleep, respectively.
Although lack of sleep is a common problem, there are numerous ways to deal with it, including taking care of the area where you sleep. Your sleeping environment, including your mattress, may directly affect how long and well you sleep each night. Continue reading to find out some simple adjustments you can make to your sleep hygiene to increase the amount of high-quality sleep you receive each night.
Why Your Bedding Matters for Quality Sleep
Healthy sleep patterns and practices, sometimes known as “sleep hygiene” by professionals, may help you fall asleep more quickly and remain asleep longer. A crucial aspect of good sleep hygiene is the condition of your bedding. A restful night’s sleep may be ensured—or prevented—by your mattress, linens, and pillows.
According to Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., a medical specialist at SleepingOcean in Boston, “One’s mattress is responsible for appropriate back alignment, pressure reduction, temperature control, and even pain alleviation.” Meanwhile, a bad mattress may make you uncomfortable and cause headaches, back pain, and more.
A medium-firm mattress with adjustable inflation is generally the best for sleep comfort and quality, according to a 2015 systematic analysis of 24 randomized studies on mattresses and sleep quality. However, the quality mattress (and the sleep quality it encourages) ultimately come down to personal taste, according to the Sleep Foundation. The most comfortable mattress for you will depend on your sleeping position, whether you want a soft or firm surface, and your body temperature.
Your pillow has just as big of an impact on your sleep as your mattress. In fact, according to Dr. Hsu, the correct cushion may reduce shoulder and neck stiffness. A decent pillow supports the head and neck when sleeping, ensuring proper spinal alignment, according to the expert.
Another crucial aspect of good sleep hygiene is the quality of your bedding, which may affect how your body temperature changes during the night. In order to avoid waking up from overheating, Dr. Danielle Kelvas, chief medical adviser at Sleepline and a physician with a practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee, advises patients to purchase sheets and pillowcases that breathe properly.
Natural fibers like cotton and linen are examples of fabrics that breathe well and may improve sleep comfort. Fabric selection is a matter of taste and often is influenced by the local climate throughout different seasons. Due to its breathability, cotton or bamboo bedsheets and sleepwear often keep wearers warm enough but not too warm.
Weighted blankets are a common addition to bedrooms to enhance sleep. In fact, studies indicates that using a weighted blanket may improve a person’s ability to fall asleep quickly, sleep deeply, and even unwind throughout the day. While additional research is required, it would be worthwhile to think about getting a weighted blanket for the coziest spot in your house.
In order to maintain a comfortable sleeping environment, bedsheets, pillows, and blankets must be routinely washed since they may develop into breeding grounds for allergies. Furthermore, according to Dr. Kelvas, appropriate cleaning of these bedding components goes beyond the wash cycle and includes the dryer. It’s crucial to dry your pillows on high heat for a short period of time at least once every month since the heat destroys dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies and congestion.