How to Create the Best Sleep Environment
in the Home

By Kalina MacKay

Sleep is one of the most important, and often overlooked, parts of life and getting a good night’s rest allows you to be more productive and efficient in the day to come. Since your home plays a huge role in your ability to get a more restful sleep, our team at House Method put together some tips to ensure that you always wake up on the right side of the bed.

Perfect the science behind the ideal bed 

There are a few components that go into making your bed the ideal place to rest and recover.

Choose a mattress size that best fits your needs 

Everyone wants a big bed, but do you really have the space for it? Take your room dimensions into consideration before choosing a mattress size. Ideally, you want two feet of space on all three sides of your bed to comfortably move around and avoid feeling cramped for space. 

You should also consider your budget, height, and partner’s sleeping habits before committing to a mattress.

King-size mattresses are great for couples and individuals who sleep with small children and pets. If you purchase a king-size mattress, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Accessories are cheaper and easier to find (you can walk into almost any retail store and purchase bed sheets, mattress toppers, and pillows for your king mattress).
  • This type of mattress provides optimal sleeping space for couples—it’s the equivalent of each person sleeping on their own twin XL bed.
  • The extra bed width allows restless sleepers to move around while their partner remains undisturbed.
  • This mattress fits in rooms that are 10 ft. x 12 ft. or 12 ft. x 13 ft.

Decide if you want a box spring 

A box spring is a wooden support that lifts your mattress off the ground, keeping it and you away from dust and cold air. Inside the box spring, there’s a system of large, gauge wire coils or metal rods that functions as the mattress support system. The exterior of the box spring is covered with a skid-resistance fabric that acts as a dust barrier.

Box springs were first created to help absorb shock for thinner mattresses and improve ventilation for sleepers. They usually came in a set with a mattress. Some are used in conjunction with a bed frame to elevate your mattress and provide storage underneath the bed.

Some people choose to forego a box spring for comfort and health reasons. For example, the firmness of a box spring may cause poor sleeping habits and back problems if the mattress it’s supporting is too thin or doesn’t have enough support.

While a box spring isn’t necessary, having support for your mattress is. Without a proper foundation, your mattress will sink and become uncomfortable, cause aches and pains, and give you a poor sleeping experience.

Think about mattress specifics

The mattress you sleep on can determine how comfortably you sleep. People want different things in a mattress, so it’s important to find the one that best fits you and your needs. Before making a purchase, set your budget, research your options, read reviews, and test it before you buy it.

Because of materials, where they’re made and how far they’re shipping, labor costs, brand, reputation, and more, the price of a mattress can quickly add up. However, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep for a mattress that doesn’t break the bank. 

Some of our favorite affordable mattress brands are Bear, Layla, Brooklyn Bedding, Nectar, Yogabed, and Zinus. You can also save on mattresses by shopping online to compare all your options and browsing for deals and coupon codes.

Of course, there’s more to a mattress than just the price. Eco-friendly mattresses aren’t made with harmful VOCs and don’t cause adverse health effects. Unlike conventional mattresses, eco-friendly mattresses are made of natural materials like organic wool or organic cotton, and are made with sustainable manufacturing processes.

Avocado, Casper, Eve, Ghostbed, Leesa, Saatva, Zenhaven, and Live and Sleep are some of the top eco-friendly mattress brands. An eco-friendly mattress will not only help the environment, it can also improve your sleep and health. 

Overall, two of our top picks for mattresses are Brentwood Home and PlushBeds. 

All Brentwood Home mattresses are made from non-toxic materials—wool, a silk/cashmere blend, latex, non-toxic gel memory foam, and organic cotton. Instead of a toxic flame retardant, Brentwood Home uses a naturally fire-resistant woven silica and sand top layer.

Similarly, PlushBeds mattresses aren’t made with prohibited phthalates, mercury, lead, heavy metals, chloroform, or other chemicals. PlushBeds also gets a nod from our team for providing luxurious comfort and innovative, quality materials that give customers a good night’s sleep.

Don’t forget about your bedsheets 

A good set of bed sheets is just as important as your comforter or pillow, but many don’t put in the research to find ones that are a perfect fit. These are the five major factors you should consider when choosing bed sheets.

  • Thread count—Though many believe that higher thread counts equal softer sheets, you can still find comfortable, high-quality sheets at a lower thread count. For a combination of comfort and quality, look for a thread count between 300 and 500.
  • Weave—There are two common types of weaves in bedsheets: percale and sateen. Percale sheets offer a cool, crisp feel, making them a perfect option for those who sleep hot. Sateen sheets are often praised as being incredibly soft and warm, though they’re not as durable as percale sheets.
  • Mattress Depth—Standard bed sheet sizes don’t account for mattress depth, so if you have a tall mattress or use a mattress topper, make sure you measure the depth of your bed before you buy and remember to account for some sheet shrinkage after washing your sheets.
  • Measurements—In addition to depth, measure the width and length of your mattress and match these measurements with those found under the product specifications of each bed sheet set.
  • Price—Bed sheets vary greatly in price, largely depending on material, thread count, durability, brand, and other factors. Remember: expensive doesn’t always mean better.

You may want to look for brands that follow the Responsible Down Standard when selecting your bedding. This is a voluntary global standard that safeguards the welfare of geese and ducks in the process of gathering down and feathers and also provides traceability in supply chains and validates where the down came from.

Consider ditching the bed altogether

Sleeping on the floor has been a heavily debated topic between medical experts and Paleo enthusiasts, with proponents claiming that it can alleviate back pain and provide for a better sleep and others saying that it can cause adverse health effects. 

Some people love sleeping on the floor because it’s said to alleviate pain, reduce stiffness, align posture, improve blood circulation, and provide a cooler sleep experience. Others argue that this method provides a lower quality of sleep, causes adverse health effects, exposes you to dust and allergens, and creates an unsanitary sleep environment. 

It may seem tempting to ditch your mattress and start sleeping on the ground, but this choice isn’t for everybody. If you’re suffering from a health condition that requires you to sleep on a comfortable mattress, we advise not sleeping on the floor.

Tailor bedroom sounds 

While some people can doze off in complete silence, others need a little white noise to clear their mind and drift off. If you do need sounds, they have to be just right, otherwise they’ll keep you up with your mind wandering much longer than intended. 

We tested the Marpac Dohm and determined that it was the best white noise machine for sleep, and we tested the Marpac Rohm and found it helpful for getting a good night’s sleep when traveling. 

The Dohm is a “natural” noise machine in that the mechanism by which it creates sound is physical—the Dohm is basically an enclosed fan (though it creates no real perceptible air movement). The simplicity of not having a dozen noise options is nice to just flip a switch, no disagreements about which noise you’ll zonk out to.

If you don’t want to purchase a whole machine, you may be able to find the perfect fix in your phone. These are some of our favorite white noise apps that will get you in the relaxation mindset:

  • White Noise 
  • MyNoise
  • Coffitivity 
  • Relax Melodies
  • Noisli
  • Rain Rain 

Recognize what keeps you up 

You may have the most perfect bed setup, but still can’t seem to fall asleep at night. If you experience back pain, this is a struggle you probably know all too well. On one end of the spectrum, there are people who go to bed with back pain and have a difficult time falling and staying asleep. On the other end, there are people who experience poor sleep and wake up with lower back pain.

For most people who are experiencing this issue, a medium-firm surface is recommended. Medium-firm mattresses will have more resistance and response than soft mattresses and tend to be better for stomach and back sleepers. 

It may not be pain that keeps you up, but just an average busy lifestyle that you can’t seem to escape. Luckily, there are some easy solutions you can try to fix even the problems you can’t quite pinpoint. 

Prioritize your sleep. Keep a close eye on the calendar to ensure that it’s not filling up with late nights and early mornings, and if it begins to look like you’ll be spread too thin, remember that it’s OK to say no to invitations and engagements.

Be mindful of your caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, and food habits. Diets low in fiber and high in saturated fats and sugar can prevent healthy sleep, so please don’t skip the pie, just remember that moderation is the key. 

You can also try CBD oil, or cannabidiol. It’s a non-psychoactive substance that’s growing in its use for treating anxiety and depression. There is evidence that CBD can aid in the treatment of insomnia, but it should be noted that some experience alertness when taking CBD, so it’s best to test it in small amounts before you use it as a sleep aid.

Use your iPhone to your advantage 

You can use your iPhone to help you get better sleep, but the first thing you need to do is stop using your phone before bed. Use the built-in features like night shift and bedtime to help regulate your duration and quality of sleep.

If you want to take a super close look at your sleep quality—when you truly fall asleep and wake up, how much you toss and turn, your temperature, heart rate, and snoring, even the room temperature and humidity levels—check out the Apple Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor.

Lay the Beddit sensor under your fitted sheet and sync it with your Health app. It can sync with your Apple Watch if that’s your thing, but there’s no wearable necessary to use Beddit. This device will give you some seriously detailed data on your sleep and will even provide a SleepScore that aggregates a variety of factors that influence the sleep quality and spits out a single number to let you know how you’re doing.

Try a different method of waking up 

If you’re not a morning person, waking up may be the worst part of your day. Luckily, you don’t have to wake up to the harsh banging of your alarm clock at the crack of dawn. 

Sunrise clocks, also known as wake-up lights or dawn simulators, help wake sleepers with a simulated sunrise instead of a loud alarm. By slowly increasing the intensity and brightness of light in a dark room, sunrise clocks can advance the biological clock of a person who has an unbalanced circadian rhythm, allowing them to wake up more easily and experience better and longer sleep cycles.

The theory behind this is that exposure to the right kind of light can speed up the waking-up process and help people comfortably start their daily routine. With a sunrise clock, you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. 

Maximizing your sleep is crucial to maximizing your day. Putting these tips into action will ensure that you always get a good night’s sleep, no matter what is going on in your life.

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