It seems like there is a day or month devoted to everything these days. (Hello, National Talk Like A Pirate Day.) It’s not surprising, then, that the world celebrates National Sleep Month in March. The funny thing is that given how important sleep is, we don’t really take it very seriously. Really, have you even heard of it? Maybe it’s time that we all begin paying attention.
Ready for some surprising numbers? Did you know that in the average lifetime, most of us spend about 208,185 hours of sleep? That’s 8,674 days just sleeping! As for our bedding products, we spend about 20,000 hours on a mattress in its lifetime. That’s 833 days of sleep on your mattress over the course of about seven years. Factor in that sleep (or the lack thereof) greatly impacts health–both physical and mental–and you begin to see that maybe the most important “awareness” month just may be National Sleep Month.
Throughout the month of March, we’ll be offering tips and ideas for better sleep over on our Facebook page, all in honor of National Sleep Month. We wanted to start the month out, though, with some simple (and often free) tips and steps to create the ideal space for not just your best night’s sleep but a whole year’s worth of best nights. Here’s to your…sleep!
Design your bedroom as a single-purpose space
Bedrooms were meant for one thing: rest and relaxation (sleeping, reading a good book, romance). We’re all so busy that it can be tempting to use the bedroom as an extension of the office or as a family entertainment room full of DVDs, board games, and kids’ toys. Your first step? Clear out the extra “stuff.” Even if it means a mess in the living room for a day or so, move all the non-rest items out of your room. It may take some time to change your own mental image from what the room was to what it should be, but it will be worth the time and effort.
Banish bedroom clutter
After you’ve banished the non-bedroom essentials, it’s time to straighten what is supposed to be there. One of the worst things you can do is make the entire bedroom your closet. Add shelving in the closet, buy some under-bed storage boxes, or get creative with storage ideas throughout the house…but give everything a place and keep it there!
Control dust bunnies
Dust can trigger allergies. Dust mites, those tiny microscopic creatures that live in all bedding–yes, everyone’s bedding!–can even trigger asthma attacks. The easiest way to stop these problems is just simple, routine cleaning. Make sure your sheets are washed at least every week. Dust your furniture and sweep or vacuum. For even better allergen control, vacuum the mattress periodically, as well. Less dust can mean fewer nights spent stuffed up or sneezing.
Darken your windows
If light is infiltrating your room, you may find that you don’t sleep. And we aren’t just talking an early sunrise. Even the security light from your backdoor neighbor can sabotage your sleep. Try buying blackout curtains, or achieve the same effect by layering with blinds, sheers and drapes.
Find the right mattress and pillows
If your mattress is more than 7 years old, there’s a very good chance that it is worn out. For pillows, the lifespan is even shorter…1 year. Besides the fact that bedding–mattresses, toppers, pillows–wear out and become less supportive, they also just become too allergen-riddled to save. Gross? Yes, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Here is one area Spa Sensations can help! Remember that a “good” mattress and pillow is personal choice. It isn’t buying the most expensive that saves the day…it’s the most comfortable for you.
Create a restful bedroom design that you love
Do you love your bedroom? Do you look forward to going there each evening…not just because your bed is there but because you love the room? If not, it’s high time for a makeover. While red and charcoal colors look striking in home decor ads, these dense colors are not conducive to a great night’s sleep. Studies show that mellow natural hues are more restful. Choose a linen color, a sage green, or a sea blue. They don’t have to be soft and pastel; the goal is to use a tone that is earthy and meadow- or water-inspired.
Happy National Sleep Month! Take some time to consider your bedroom. Is it helping or hindering your restfulness? We would love to hear about what you’ve done to make your bedroom the best. Stop by and tell us on our Facebook page!
Ah, February. While many of us tend to think of the shortest month of the year as the season of love and romance, it’s also a month devoted to the heart in a very different way. February is American Heart Month. Bearing very sobering statistics, heart disease claims the lives of many every year and is the number 1 killer of women in the U.S. It’s also a disease that is largely preventable with diet, exercise, stress management, and physical rest. Not to minimize the diet and exercise part, we do know a thing or two about the latter. And, really, our heart-healthy tips are absolutely affordably-indulgent. (No tofu and carrot sticks here!)
For a healthier lifestyle, treat yourself to…
Have a Cup of (Green) Tea: With its powerful antioxidants, green tea is widely recommended by healthcare professionals for a number of health benefits. And, in fact, a recent study from the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation found that human blood vessels functioned better within 30 minutes of drinking a single cup. (Source: WebMD.) Besides being so relaxing, green tea is also an affordable luxury.
For about $10, pick up Keurig K-Cups featuring Bigelow Green Tea at Walmart.com or at your local store.
A Yoga Session: Yes, time is hard to come by but in as little as 12 weeks after incorporating yoga into your day, many see a reduction in cholesterol and lower blood pressure. (Source: American Heart Association.) As a bonus, you may experience a greater feeling of relaxation, leading to better sleep and rest.
Whether for cardio or relaxation benefits, you should always consult your own doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. When you are ready, the yoga set featured above garners rave reviews.
Read a Good Book or Begin a Journal: No matter your favorite book or magazine genre, simply taking a few minutes to read each day can reduce your stress level and, therefore, benefit your heart. The American Heart Association recommends finding just 15 minutes in your day to do something enjoyable, whether reading, having a cup of tea with friends, or writing in a journal.
Recording the day’s events or special memories in a journal like the one featured above both beats stress and creates a lasting memory to share with others or just yourself.
Enjoy Aromatherapy During a Relaxing Bath: When it comes to rest, relaxation, and better sleep, aromatherapy and a warm soak each evening can be the ultimate indulgence. Even for just a few minutes between the kids’ bedtime and your own, there’s plenty of time to reap the benefits of this lavish, beneficial stress management technique.
For the ultimate multi-tasker, try this lavender-scented bath product (less than $5!) to calm and relax for a better night’s sleep and, ultimately, greater stress management.
This year, instead of anticipating candy and chocolates for Valentine’s Day, celebrate good heart health with one or all of these feel-good ideas and products.
Welcome to Spa Sensations’ Simple Luxuries blog! As you may already know, Spa Sensations truly believes that comfort is a fundamental human need that should be available to everyone. For that reason, we are committed to designing and creating luxurious, feel-good sleep products that are affordable and therefore accessible to every single person. That’s what we do but our mission is much, much greater. To all of us at Spa Sensations, mattresses, pillows, and toppers are just the beginning. Our goal–our true mission–is to see our customers living a life of health and great wellbeing, and feeling just a bit pampered at the same time.
This blog is one way we hope to accomplish this goal. If you’re looking for a hard sell, you won’t find it here (refreshing, isn’t it?). Simple Luxuries is your place to visit for tips, discussions, ideas, and suggestions to treat yourself and live well. Think of it as the ultimate non-guilty pleasure. Please come back and visit often. We also invite you to visit our Facebook page to share stories, offer feedback, and get the lowdown on new products.