Forget zombie hordes; here’s something to really worry about instead: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. It’s associated with chronic diseases and conditions that threaten our nation’s health (such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease). More than one-quarter of the U.S. population reports not getting enough sleep occasionally, according to the CDC. Avoid being a part of this group, courtesy of these tips, and get on your way to creating a sleep-friendly bedroom — and routine:
Be cool enough (but not too much). Sleeping in a too-hot or too-cold room (above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees) will steal from your sleepytime, according to The National Sleep Foundation. While the actual ideal temp varies from person to person, researchers agree that a slightly cool room seems to be the best bet for better sleep. It mirrors what’s happening to the body’s internal temperature, which falls during sleep. Just like you layer sweaters and coats for cold weather, layering your bedding (a down comforter, a coverlet) can give you optimal warmth and flexibility, especially if you have a heat-seeker and an icicle sharing a bed.
Color yourself calm. Muted neutral colors are the most likely to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, according to The Better Sleep Council (a nonprofit affiliated with the mattress industry). On walls, bedding and rugs, think greige, taupe, ivory — even washed-out pastels. Live in a cold climate? Add on accessories in warming hues like brick or gold. If you want to chill out a bit, think hits of icy blue and green.
Put a cap on clutter. How can you relax and sink into a deep slumber if your boudoir is crammed with stuff? Get a handle on hoarding tendencies by making sure there’s a place for everything; that way, whatever isn’t put away obviously doesn’t belong. So, stick a cute trunk at the end of the bed for spare blankets, pillows and throws. Opt for side tables with drawers. Slide rolling storage boxes under the bed for off-season clothing.
Unplug. According to a 2012 Harvard University study, the blue light wavelengths emanating from our beloved devices can zap our ZZZs by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that influences sleep patterns. The researchers suggested avoiding looking at bright screens for at least two hours before bedtime. Yes, that includes checking your OKCupid profile.
Shop Gilt’s Design Resolutions: Get More Sleep sale, starting Sunday, January 19 at 9 p.m., for inspired designs that’ll help make your sleeping chamber slumber-friendly.
— Maria Ricapito