8 spring cleaning tips for the best night’s sleep
Sleep is key to a healthy and productive life, but 45 percent of Americans are suffering from a lack of quality sleep night after night, according to a study from the National Sleep Foundation.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be you. Use the following tips to spring clean your way to a better night’s sleep.
Declutter the room
A cluttered room can cause a cluttered mind, and that can keep you up late tossing and turning. For an optimal sleep environment, clear out clutter and store clothes and other items out of sight.
Don’t forget to sift through the storage under your bed. Whether you have dedicated storage or follow the “out of sight out of mind” habit of kicking those unpaired socks and old magazines away, it’s a good idea to periodically sift through the junk and reorganize the necessities to prevent your stuff from piling up.
Keep your body and mind in tune with a healthy sleep cycle by making your bedroom a dark-friendly space.
This means turning off devices like your cell phone and computer an hour before bed. Both the blue light emitted from digital screens as well as the mental activity needed to focus on them trigger the brain to stay active and wakeful, delaying sleep and decreasing sleep quality once you finally manage to drift off, said the Sleep Foundation.
Additionally, if your room gets a lot of ambient light from outside (like streetlights, cars or even a full moon), consider investing in blackout blinds or curtains. Blackout curtains are heavier linens designed to keep light out during the night to maintain quality sleep.
Weed out your closet
It isn’t proper spring cleaning without a good sifting through the closet. Go through your closets and drawers and weed out old, damaged or unused items.
By periodically purging your wardrobe you can prevent clutter from building up and overwhelming the space (and your mind). There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done for a good night’s sleep.
Air out the room
Fresh air can do wonders for the comfort and freshness of your bedroom. Take advantage of the spring weather and open up windows and doors in your room to clear out stale air and any lingering chemicals from cleaners you may have used.
Give all the nooks and crannies of your room a good vacuuming while you’re at it, as well, to remove some of those air passage irritants that can be so harmful.
Replace old pillows and mattresses
Old and flattened pillows and mattresses aren’t just less comfortable, they are also less supportive, and that can harm your sleep quality.
A typical mattress has a lifespan of about 7 to 10 years, but even if you haven’t reached that milestone, evaluate whether your mattress meets your needs.
Your mattress should be firm enough to support you without feeling hard and causing pressure points on your body. If you wake up sore or have back or neck pain, consider replacing your mattress or pillows.
Clean window treatments
Whether you use vinyl shades or cloth curtains, don’t forget to give them a good cleaning. Dust and other allergens collect on these surfaces over time and can affect the quality of your sleep — particularly if you have asthma or other allergies.
Wipe down shades and air out or wash cloth window treatments.
Wash your pillows
You spend a lot of time on your pillows, so it’s important to keep them clean and fresh. We’re not just talking about the pillowcase (though you should regularly wash those too), but your pillows can and should get a good dunking about twice a year, recommends Consumer Reports.
Machine-wash foam-filled or synthetic pillows on the gentle cycle with a quality detergent. If your machine is large enough, wash two pillows at once to balance the load.
Hand-wash down and feather pillows in a tub of warm water and detergent, kneading gently. Wring out as much water as you can by hand and roll in a dry towel.
Toss the pillows in the dryer or hang outside to air dry. Be sure the pillows are dried all the way through to avoid mildew.
Wash your mattress
While you can’t toss your mattress into the washer, that doesn’t mean you can’t clean it up.
As unappetizing as it sounds, your mattress can be a breeding ground for dust, allergens, and yes, mites — all potential sleep irritants, says the Sleep Council.
To keep your mattress as clean and fresh as possible
- Vacuum the mattress to pick up loose dust and debris (like crumbs or pet hair).
- Spot clean any stains with 1 part laundry detergent and 2 parts warm water. Rub the stain in circular motions from the outside in, being careful not to soak the mattress.
- Take it outside. Air out the mattress for a few hours during the day to keep it smelling fresh.
- Rotate the mattress to prevent uneven sagging.
After you’ve freshened it up, cover the mattress with a mattress protector. This will protect your mattress from stains and reduce the buildup of dust and other allergens.
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