15 Genius Tricks for Getting More Comfortable in Bed
From the optimal temperature to the comfiest sleeping positions
After a long day, there's nothing better than slipping into your pajamas and jumping into bed. Sure, you might be decently comfortable underneath those sheets, but making some minor changes could turn transform your bedroom from a place you go for some shut-eye to the ultimate relaxing oasis.
Whether it's hard for you to get comfortable at night or you just don't know what true comfort is yet, these 15 genius (and easy!) tricks will help you get the best sleep of your life. And for more sleep hacks to help you get eight hours, know that Science Says You Should Listen to This Type of Music Before Going to Sleep!
Put One Foot Outside the Covers
If you're too hot or too cold, it's going to be really hard for you to get a good night's sleep. Putting one foot outside the covers might seem silly, but there's actually a science to how it can make you more comfortable in bed.
"A cool sleeping environment is an important ingredient for obtaining a good night's sleep. Some people find that sleeping with a hand or foot outside of the bed covers can help with body cooling, as heat dissipates quicker through the body extremities," said Natalie Dautovich, environmental scholar for the National Sleep Foundation. To find out why sleeping is so important for your health, read This Is What Getting Too Little Sleep Does to Your Brain.
Hug a Pillow
Sometimes the only thing you need to get more cozy is an extra pillow. If you sleep with it between your knees, the University of Rochester Medical Center says it can keep your body better aligned, preventing back pain. Plus, aside from the body benefits, it's also great for anxiety. According to experts, hugging a pillow is super-soothing and can give you a sense of comfort, safety, and security.
Boot Your Pets Out of Your Bed
While pets can benefit your sleep—helping you feel calmer and giving you a sense of security—they can also impact your comfort levels. According to sleep doctor Michael J. Breus, PhD, having pets in bed with you have been shown to cause sleep disturbances and make it harder to fall asleep…not to mention be total bed hogs.
If it's helping your sleep, keep 'em in bed with you. But if you think you'd benefit from having them sleep on the floor in their own beds, that might be a good choice, too. And if you truly love dogs, don't miss these 40 Dogs So Ugly They're Actually Cute.
Wear Bamboo Pajamas
It's not just your sheets and bedding that affect the level of comfort you experience when you're in bed—it's also what you're wearing. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, there's a formula to choosing the right sleep attire. Experts recommend breathable and lightweight cotton, silk due to its ability to keep your body at the right temperature, and bamboo for its moisture-wicking abilities. Also, consider one of these 10 Pillows That Guarantee a Better Night's Sleep!
Or, Just Sleep in the Nude
If no fabric seems to be the right fabric when it comes to keeping you cozy in bed, why not just ditch it altogether? In a survey of 3,700 participants, just eight percent sleep naked. And the rest of those people might be missing out: Experts say it's been shown to help keep you cooler at night and even enable you to get a more restful sleep. And to learn how to sleep better as you get older, read up on the 40 Ways to Sleep Better in Your 40s.
Grab the Ear Plugs
It's nearly impossible to get comfortable in bed when you're dealing with the loud noises coming from the apartment above you. (Thanks a lot, neighbors!) To actually fall asleep—and stay asleep—the Cleveland Clinic recommends buying some earplugs or using background noises, like white noise.
Turn Down the Thermostat
What you wear to bed plays a big role in keeping you at a comfortable temperature while you sleep, but the temperature of the room plays a big role in helping you drift off, too. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best temperature to keep your room at is 65 degrees, which tends to be the most optimal temp for sleep, making sure you're not too hot or too cold.
Go for 400-Thread-Count Sheets
How can you be comfortable in bed without super-cozy sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding? The fabrics you cuddle up with at night are incredibly important in getting quality rest. Experts recommend choosing a sheet thread count between 200 and 400 for an option that's soft and breathable and going with natural materials—like cotton, bamboo, or linen—to avoid overheating and sweating all night.
Choose the Right Mattress
Your mattress makes a huge difference in how comfortable you are when you're in bed. With one that's crappy quality, it's going to be nearly impossible to sleep well. According to Michael J. Breus, PhD, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when picking the perfect option: comfort and support.
"Every individual experiences comfort on a mattress differently. For some people, a firmer bed will feel just right, while others will experience greater comfort with a softer mattress," he writes. And you'll also want something that "supports your body without sinking at the hips, allows relief and comfort at pressure points, including the knees, hips, shoulders, and head, and lets your muscles relax throughout the body—especially at your back."
Spritz Some Lavender on Your Pillow
When you're trying to calm down at night, there's nothing that's going to help you zen out more than spritzing some lavender on your pillowcase. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the scent is backed by science in its ability to put you in a more relaxed state, helping you get a deeper sleep and making you more calm and comfortable over all.
Give Your Mattress Pad a Tech-y Upgrade
If your mattress pad is making you feel too hot, it might be time to give it a tech-y upgrade. Michael J. Breus, PhD, recommends trying out the ChiliPad, which has a cooling and heating temperature control system that can keep your body at the perfect temperature all night long. "You can use it year-round to control your actual in-bed sleep environment," he writes.
Wash Your Bedding Regularly
How long has it really been since you've washed your sheets? To get more comfortable, the National Sleep Foundation recommends washing your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. But don't stop there: Also wash your mattress cover and comforter on a regular basis, too. You can even stick your pillows in the washing machine.
Choose the Right Pillow for Your Sleep Position
Did you know not just any pillow you can grab at the store is going to meet your needs as a sleeper? There are different types of pillows that are designed specifically to meet the needs of stomach-sleepers, side-sleepers, and back-sleepers that all have different levels of firmness and materials to keep your head and neck comfortable.
Keep Screens Out of Your Space
Scroll through your phone on the couch all you want, but leave your screens out of the bedroom—if you want to stay calm and comfortable, that is. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exposure to light-emitting screens right before bedtime is going to make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Buy Blackout Curtains
It's hard to create prime sleeping conditions these days—especially if you live in a city or residential area. Street lights shining in your eyes can prevent you from getting comfortable in bed, and that's exactly why blackout shades are a must-buy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, they can make it much easier to doze off and get quality sleep. And if you have a trip coming up, check out 10 Best Tricks for Sleeping on an Airplane.
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