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July 10, 2017

Our Sleep Guide

How to Create the Perfect Sleeping Space

our sleep guideCreating the perfect sleeping environment may be easier than you think. This may not be a room guests and others spend much time in. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create a welcoming, cozy comfortable space for yourself. Especially when this is the place that you will be coming to unwind, relax and rest every night. Our sleep guide is here to help find the all that you need for plenty of rest.

Dedicating a space for yourself is the first step in creating a perfect sleep space. All the details that make your room your personal haven will aide you in a successful and pleasant night’s sleepBelow we will go through some of these details and help you figure out what is best for you when creating your perfect bedroom.

Our Sleep Guide – It’s All In The Bed

Let’s be honest, they call it a BEDroom for a reason, the bed is the star of this room and it is meant for sleeping. Hence why this part of your bedroom should be focused on to create the best sleeping experience for you. There are many decisions that go into creating the perfect bed from the mattress to the sheets to the pillows and even foundation. Below is our sleep guide and we explain the differences between some of the choices you will make when creating YOUR perfect bed starting the with mattress.

#1: It’s All In The Bed: Mattress

our mattress guideYour comfort & support, and quite a bit of the budget go into the mattress. The mattress is really your main piece of furniture and where most of your time will be spent. Since the mattress is the main event we have an entire guide dedicated to finding the best mattress for you in just three easy steps. These steps include price, feel and materials. To sleep like a baby and figure out what mattress will be your perfect fit make sure you check out Our Mattress Guide.

#2: It’s All In The Bed: Foundation

The foundation is basically referring to the base of what your mattress is sitting on. For any mattress you want a solid, flat surface that will support the weight, be the right height and function and look the way you would like. There are a few different options you have when it comes to what your mattress will be placed on. Below we will go through these options and help you find what’s best for your mattress foundation.

  • Frame & Box Spring

our sleep guideA frame and box spring will be the most common foundation for your mattress. Typically when mattresses are bought at a store they are sold as a set, including the box spring. However, many online mattresses are sold as mattress only so options other than the traditional frame and box spring may be more appealing. A box spring uses wood or steel to create a box structure that makes a flat, sturdy surface for your mattress to sit on. This can than be placed on a metal frame that creates a stand to raise your mattress off the ground. In total your mattress will roughly be raised 16″ off the ground with the use of a standard frame and box spring. This is usually a good height to bring the top of your mattress up to the ideal height with being level with your hip.

  • Platform Bed

our sleep guideThe platform bed has gained momentum in the last several years. It basically combines the function of a box spring and a frame in one product that doesn’t take up much space and is fairly inexpensive. They also are easier to ship and keep the mattress lower to the ground if you want your bed to sit lower. Typically platform bases use a frame like structure but instead of resting a thick box spring on top a series of vertical slats from side to side or use one solid piece to create a uniform, flat surface. This surface creates plenty of support to hold a mattress without a box spring. These bases vary in price, detail and design and can be very simple to more complex to put together.

  • Adjustable Base

our sleep guideAn adjustable base may be just what the doctor ordered(pun intended). Adjustable bases may have had a rap in the past for being associated with hospital beds, but they are so much more. These foundations are great for so many reasons. They help with: snoring, restless leg syndrome, sciatica, acid reflux and are just convenient for reading or watching television. They are also great if getting in and out of bed is a struggle too. These bases are going to be quite heavy and much more expensive than the standard frame or platform options. However, they are worth every penny if they make sleeping and using your bed that much better. Adjustable bases can start in the $400 range and go up from there depending quality, function options and manufacturing locations.

Read our Frames & Adjustable Base Reviews.

#3: It’s All In The Bed: Mattress Protector

our sleep guideNow you have your new mattress and what better way to protect and shield your new investment from stains, debris and allergens than with a mattress protector. Mattress protectors have evolved over the years to not only protect your mattress. They now can also be an additional layer of cooling or comfort or made so thin and soft you hardly even know they are there. Getting a protector with your mattress should be a no brainer. Not only does it keep your bed clean it literally protects your investment. Many manufacturers won’t consider any kind of warranty if for some reason your mattress is stained or has any signs of wear and tear. So not having a protector could void your warranty. Below we go through a few different styles of protectors to help you narrow down which one will be best for your new bed.

  • Thin Protector

Mattress protectors can vary as much as sheets or pillows can. They come in several options with a different price tags too. Some people prefer different feels and protection options. A thinner protector will still be as durable and protective as a thicker counterpart, but may be better if you want it to feel like nothing is even there. These lighter barriers will keep your mattress clean and dry but not add to or alter the feel of your mattress. If this is a concern to you than choosing a durable, quality thinner mattress protector is a good idea.

There are several thinner options out there but finding one that is comfortable, uses good materials and has the necessary protection is even better. Having a five sided protector that fits under your fitted sheet will have the best protection. You also want to make sure it is protecting you against everything from dust and allergens to a liter of fluid and everything in between. Another thing to look for is the breathability and heat dissipation factor. If this is important to you make sure you find a protector that won’t add to retaining heat. Also making sure that it will fit your mattress and is easy to care for is a good idea too.

Want a thinner protector? Read our Malouf Tencel Protector Review.

  • Thick Protector

Thicker protector styles are also available in several options and price points. The benefit of having a thicker protector is the little bit of extra cushion it can add over your mattress. It isn’t necessarily thick enough to make a huge difference but just enough were you feel just a hint of plushness. Many of these protector also focus on adding cooling properties too. This is great if you want a thicker feel but are worried about feeling too warm.

our sleep guideThere are several thicker options out there as well and you will look for many of the same qualitied as you will with a thinner protector. Comfort, materials and necessary protection will be the best things to focus on outside of having a thicker feel. Again a five sided protector that fits under your fitted sheet will have the best protection. You also want to make sure it is protecting you against everything from dust and allergens to a liter of fluid and everything in between. Another thing to look for is the breathability and heat dissipation factor. If this is important to you make sure you find a protector that won’t add to retaining heat. Like stated earlier many thicker mattress protectors actually have many added properties to help wick away moisture as well as dissipate heat. Also making sure that it will fit your mattress and is easy to care for is a good idea too.

Want a thicker protector? Read our SlumberCool Preotector Review.

#4: It’s All In The Bed: Sheets

our sleep guideHaving the right sheets can make a significant impact on how well you sleep and how comfortable you will be. There are many styles and materials used in sheets and sometimes if you aren’t sure what you like it can be a little confusing. We are breaking down sheets into four different categories based on season, which translates into how heavy they are. Many prefer a heavier set of sheets during the cooler months to add warmth and lighter ones during the warmer months. The other factor we look at is the feel. Some people like a crisper feel while others prefer soft and that can make a difference on what you would prefer more. 

  • Soft Summer Sheets

our sleep guideSheets for the warmer months are usually a little lighter in feel and don’t add a lot of heat or weight. If you want a lighter sheet but still like a soft feel finding a sheet set made of TENCEL is going to be a great option for you. These sheets are so light that you can practically see through them. However, they have a surprisingly strong, durable yarn that also allows them to be super soft too. This style of sheet is going to work great for any time of year but will be particularly nice in warmer months because it is also moisture wicking, breathable and smooth against the skin.

Read our Malouf TENCEL Sheets Review.

  • Crisp Summer Sheetsour sleep guide

Some people like a nice breathable, moisture wicking sheet but instead of a soft feel prefer it to have a little more of a crisp, just ironed smooth feel. Sheets made of a high quality Egyptian cotton would be a great starting point. This fabric is a cotton produced only in Egypt that produces cotton fibers that are extra long and therefore are more durable and have a more luxurious feel. These sheets are going to be very breathable as well as wash up nicely and have a softness that is smooth and crisp against the body.

Read our Egyptian Cotton Sheets Review.

  • Soft Winter Sheets

our sleep guideSwitching your sheets with the seasons is as common as switching your wardrobe. Especially in climates that get the full range of four climates. I know that when the nights start to cool and the leaves start to fall I want is a pumpkin spice latte, pull my sweaters out of storage and put flannel sheets on my bed. These cozy sheets are so soft and warm that they are necessary for anyone who likes climbing into a warm bed. The great thing about quality flannel sheets is that they keep you warm but don’t make you hot. These are the epitome of winter bedding in my opinion and the comfort they bring makes sleeping that much better.

Read our Flannel Sheets Review.

  • Crisp Winter Sheets

our sleep guideSome people may find the feel of flannel sheets to be too warm or too thick or maybe just not crisp enough for their preference. A nice sheet option for the cooler months that will be crisp and be just a bit heavier is one that blends cotton and polyester. This option is going to have the benefits of cotton but also the wrinkle resistant properties of polyester. They also have a slightly thicker feel than 100% cotton and make them ideal for winter. They are going to be soft against the skin but still have a very crisp, smooth feel. They also wash up great and should add just enough extra warmth to be comfortable during cooler months.

Read our Cotton Blend Sheets Review.

#5: It’s All In The Bed: Pillows

These days your options for pillows can vary as much as your selection of mattresses. The materials, support and price can all make a difference in what will work best for you. This is why we have found it useful to dedicated an entire guide to helping you find the perfect pillow in three easy steps. This will be similar to Our Mattress Guide but tweaked specifically for this very necessary bedding accessory.

Our Pillow Guide is coming soon! In the meantime, check out our Pillow Reviews.

Our Sleep Guide – Setting the Sceneour sleep guide

Your bed is really where you will be spending the majority of your time. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other aspects of your bedroom that don’t play a part of how you sleep. Having your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, plenty dark as well as introducing a soothing scent can play a big part in falling asleep and staying asleep. Below is our sleep guide’s recommendations for a few easy ways to “set the scene” per say for your perfect nights sleep.

#1. Setting the Scene: Sound Machine

our sleep guideWhite noise may be one of the things that may be missing from your room that might actually help you sleep better. Many people think perfect silence is the answer, but in comparison, having background noise might be even better. Granted, finding the right white noise may be key to helping you drift off to dream opposed to being distracted to annoyance. Many people have found that the subtle hum of a simple fan not only helps circulate the air but sets a rhythm to sleep to. Adding a sound machine can give you the option to enjoy waves crashing the shore or rain falling outside and even for the avid outdoorsman the sounds of crickets chirping. Adding a sound machine may be a great way to avoid counting sheep and starting getting sleep.

Read our Homedics sound machine review.

#2: Setting the Scene: Essential Oils

our sleep guideEssential oils have been around forever, however they have resurged in a very trendy comeback in the last few years. Using oils in various ways can not only help with your day to day mood, ability to relax and even aches and pains. They can be great when used in a diffuser in your bedroom to ease your mind and body into the best sleep. On top of that they are safer than candles and easily changeable and customizable to create your own perfect blend. Many have heard of the benefits of essential oils and sleeping, even to the point where you can purchase products already infused with these oils. Having a diffuser in your bedroom is another layer of comfort outside of the bed that may assist you falling and staying soundly asleep. It can also be used if you have a timer to set for the AM and incorporate an uplifting and awakening scent or even for those romantic nights to set the mood. Essential oils are a great idea to add to any bedroom for so many reasons.

Read our Peppermint Infused Pillow and Lavender Infused Pillow Reviews.

#3: Setting the Scene: Temperature

our sleep guideBeing too hot or too cold can have a miserable effect on sleeping patterns and finding the right sleeping temperature can have a lot to do with how well you will sleep. It is recommended to sleep in a slightly cooler environment, around 63 to 68 degrees on average. Your body naturally tries to decrease temperature to initiate falling asleep, so giving it a boost by keeping your bedroom a little on the cool side should help you fall asleep easier, as well as stay asleep. Having your room too cool or too warm may be a distraction from falling asleep, so finding a good temperature that is comfortably cool, if possible, is ideal. If you are too cold, layering on an extra blanket or putting on a pair of socks is better than increasing the temperature. If you either can’t control the temperature of your bedroom or don’t want to have an extreme drop, looking at an alternative option to help regulate the temperature of your bed might be good for you.

Read our Bed Jet Review if sleeping hot or cold is a concern.

#4: Setting the Scene: Lighting

our sleep guideNatural light as well as how you light your bedroom will play a role in going to sleep, staying asleep and even getting up. If you are fortunate enough to have a schedule that coincides with the sun than natural light may be less of an issue for you. However, most of us usually have some time we sleep that overlaps with the sun being out. Having a bedroom that has blinds or drapes that keeps your room plenty dark to not disturb you can make a big difference with how well you will sleep. If you are very sensitive you can even invest in black out shades that eliminate all natural light.

The lighting you have in your bedroom leading up to sleeping will make an impact on how well you will be lulled to sleep as well. Many people have lamps next to their beds, usually with a lower watt bulb that gives off a softer, more ambient light. This is ideal, any mood or more subtle lighting will help you and your body relax. If you don’t, than I would highly suggest getting one and this being your only light source right before bed. Having the ceiling light on at full impact will be jarring and not allow your body to calm down and relax. If you have a dimmer on your ceiling light than that would be better, but ideally not having something shining right into your eyes is best. Lighting, both natural and artificial is very important in a healthy sleep routine. Creating a space that takes both of these into account will help you sleep well.

#5: Setting the Scene: Relaxing

our sleep guideRelaxing may sound easy, but I’m guessing this is actually a step most people miss. Truly unplugging from your day, technology and all, is something that is getting harder and harder for people to do. I even bet there are several people reading this from bed right now trying to figure out what might help them sleep better. Screens of any kind are going to stimulate your brain instead of relax it and get ready for sleep. Even if you think reading on your phone will help, the bright light and small screen make your senses elevate instead of unwind. Having a television has become some people’s choice of white noise, which in the end creates the opposite effect. In this day and age it is hard to step away and cut yourself off cold turkey, but over time having less and less screen time before bed could make a huge difference in how well you are sleeping.

#6: Setting the Scene: Creating Routine

our sleep guideHaving a schedule is a good way for your body to get in a good sleeping rhythm and pattern. The best example of this is what you learn as a new parent. Creating a very scheduled bedtime routine for your newborn is key in sleeping success. How well you establish good sleeping patterns for your child can have lifetime effect on how well they will sleep and this alone shows how important bedtime routines in general can be. Going to sleep at the same time each night, following a routine of what you do before going to sleep and even having a regular morning routine will help you sleep better. When your body is on a schedule it functions better overall. The more consistent that routine is the more natural it will be for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

We hope that our sleep guide has given you some insight into what may be missing or might need to be altered in your own sleeping haven to create your best night’s rest. Focusing on every aspect of sleeping from your surroundings to your bed itself will help you design an optimal space in no time. If you have any questions for us, please feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help.

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