Spring Cleaning Your Sleep Schedule
Spring cleaning is not just about throwing out those wilted old flowers from Valentine’s Day or finally getting rid of that pair of too small, light up Rudolph socks your aunt got you for the holidays. Spring cleaning goes beyond just cleaning around the house; it starts with your sleep.
An easy place to begin is by washing your bed sheets. It is recommended that bed sheets should be changed about once a week. Whether it is pet hair, your hair, bodily fluids, crumbs, or last week’s makeup, some pretty nasty stuff can build up on your sheets. So throw them in the wash every week to ensure you get a good, clean sleep.
The type of sheets you use should change in the springtime as well. If your sheets are ripping or have seen better days, then it is a smart idea to invest in a set of good quality bed sheets that are thin and breathable for the warmer months. These classic white 300 thread count Eight sheets are an excellent option that allows you to embrace the natural warmth of the season in a cool way. The last thing you want is your sleep to be disrupted by an unregulated body temperature, and purchasing breathable sheets will ensure you do not wake up drenched in sweat. Heavy sheets are so last season: literally. We at Eight recommend having at least two or three sets of light sheets on hand; you never know when that sleepy time Chamomile tea might spill.
In addition to switching to lighter sheets, depending on your comforter type, a comforter switch may be in order as well to ensure a restful, uninterrupted sleep as well. Transitioning to a thinner comforter with less feathers or down in it during the spring and summer months can prevent sweating or overheating during the night.
One of the most obvious changes in springtime that can potentially affect sleeping patterns is Daylight Savings. Let’s be honest: no one likes losing that precious extra hour of sleep in spring. The loss of an hour throws our internal systems that tell us when we are tired out of whack. To deal with this change, avoid activities like drinking alcohol or caffeine near bedtime as caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep. Alcohol can be deceiving because although it may cause you to fall asleep quickly, it often causes disruptions in your sleep once you have passed out for the night. So it is best to stick to teas like lavender and chamomile before bedtime.
If the earlier sunrise is waking you up before you had your recommended approximate eight hours of sleep, then try falling asleep wearing a sleeping mask to block the sunlight from your eyes in the early morning. It is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule during this time. Make sure you do not lose an hour out of your regular sleep schedule just because we lose an hour out of the day. Make the required adjustments so you maintain the proper amount of sleep each night. Even just slowly adjusting your bedtime by about five to ten minutes each night until you are back on track can prove helpful.
Another aspect of your sleeping routine that should change with the seasons is your humidifier. When you turn your heating system off for spring, you should also turn your humidifier off. Otherwise, the air will be too moist. Air that is too humid can be a breeding ground for many problems. Too much moisture and humidity can potentially lead to allergies and worsening of asthma related breathing issues. With all the pollen in the air, springtime can be challenging enough for many people with allergies. Do not make it even worse on yourself by leaving your humidifier running all season.
In order to combat allergies if you have them, use a nasal rinse before bed since allergies can worsen during the night and prevent a good night’s rest. Additionally, make sure to clean or change the filter in your air conditioning units. Take steps to ensure your air conditioner is running correctly so you have the right amount of air to breathe properly and sleep well. If your air conditioner’s filter goes unchecked for long periods of time, dust that triggers allergies can accumulate. While cracking your windows to let in a breeze can be a nice alternative to air conditioning in the months of spring, if you find that too much pollen accumulates in your room consider closing the window a few hours before bedtime. Try not to put the clothes you were wearing outside during the day on your bed because pollen and other particles can cling to them and potentially transfer over to your sheets. This can trigger allergies that make sleeping difficult.
If you are sneezing and wheezing outside due to allergies, the last thing you want when you come home is for your bed to make you uncomfortable too. A lumpy mattress with worn out springs is the farthest thing from comfortable. Sometimes when it comes to cleaning, people miss the biggest, most obvious objects. Dust does not only exist in the corners and crevices of your house and in the back of your closet on your pile of old yearbooks. Dust mites are most likely in your very own bed feeding on your dead skin. If you have owned your mattress for over seven years or it feels uncomfortable, it is time to toss it to the curb (maybe alongside those old yearbooks).
Take advantage of all the new season has to offer and spruce up your bedside with some freshly bloomed flowers or plants. A small bouquet of bright flowers on the nightstand can not only brighten up a room, but the right varieties can also provide a calming aroma to help you fall asleep. Dried lavender for example is known for providing a soothing scent that lulls you to sleep. Jasmine or gardenias are great choices as well, and the spring provides the ideal air and light they need to survive. If you find that these worsen your allergies, sleeping oils are always an alternative option. Rubbing a few drops of lavender oil on your wrist or putting some in a cup of tea can ease stress to enhance your sleep.
Messy rooms can also contribute to a lack of sleep. If you are the type of person who needs a clean, uncluttered environment, then living with too much clutter can cause stress. And as we know, stress can greatly hinder our sleep. Spend a few minutes tidying up every night before you climb under your new, lightweight spring sheets and comforter.
Spring brings new life and new energy, often restless energy. If you find yourself with extra energy before bed even after cleaning up a bit, try to channel that energy into creating something. Write out some new ideas in a journal or read a good book before bed to tire yourself out and help you sleep better. Either of these are great options as opposed to using electronics with luminous screens before bed that can prevent a restful sleep.
You can also put that restless energy to good use by shifting your activities from indoor activities to more active ones outdoors. There is more daylight to enjoy after working all day, so take advantage of it! Activities such as outdoor sports, yoga, and jogging will not only make you feel healthy, but they will tire you out more so you will want to go to sleep at a reasonable time. And a well maintained, healthy body needs sleep just as much as proper exercise.
Another aspect of a well maintained and healthy body besides exercise? Food. Eating healthy is crucial to sleeping well. If you feel too full or bloated at nighttime, chances are you will be unable to fall or stay comfortably asleep. In winter, we tend to eat heavier foods as they provide some solace from the cold. It can be tempting to eat unhealthy comfort food all year long, but your eating habits must change when the leaves begin to grow back on the trees. Meals that contain high levels of carbohydrates can induce sleepiness, but be careful not to over indulge in these types of food because a too full stomach can lead to a restless sleep.
Melatonin is naturally found in many foods and beverages, so eating foods rich in it close to bedtime can be beneficial for your sleep. Reader’s Digest gives a thorough list of such foods and beverages. They suggest picking up a crateful of fresh cherries that increase melatonin levels to munch on before bed or sip a glass of cherry juice. Walnuts and almonds provide protein and a restful night’s sleep when eaten close to when you fall asleep. Dairy and calcium are also known to cause your eyelids to droop with drowsiness, but for those of us who have a dairy allergy or just simply choose not to eat dairy, there are other options as well. Rice, pretzels, and kale have all been known to produce similar effects as well in helping you fall asleep.
In order to have energy to thoroughly de-clutter your home this season, you have to be well rested. And helping you have a good night’s sleep is our top mission at Eight. By following the above tips, investing in some new products to incorporate in your nightly routine, and slightly adjusting your sleep schedule, you will be able to spring out of bed in the morning this season feeling totally rested and renewed.