#4. Choose your sheets
Sheets are an important component to ruling your bedtime kingdom. They cocoon your body, keep you from sweating all over the blankets, and the best ones are perfect for pulling up under your chin and burrowing into.
The best sheets suit the temperature of the room, have a good texture against your skin, and harbor no allergens to jerk you from sleep by making you cough or sneeze. Let’s look at four materials your sheets might be made of to see which work for you.
Luxurious silk sheets are the warmest sheets for the winter months. Their fibers are natural heat reflectors, so all your body heat under a silk sheet gets sent back to you, like in an igloo.
These sheets are smooth and surprisingly cool to the touch. They’re also 100% natural, a byproduct of the silkworm that has been harvested for over 5000 years.
Flannel is a loose knit fabric that’s usually either made from wool or from a blend of wool and cotton. It’s not quite as warm as silk, but it’s still snug and toasty enough for most cold nights, and flannel sheets often half the price of silk ones.
Polyester is a catch-all term for any sheet that’s a blend of synthetic, man-made fabrics. That’s why polyester sheets have such a broad range of textures and temperatures: no two polyester sheets are truly the same material. On the plus side, polyester sheets are usually cool, washable, and inexpensive, so they’re good for a king on a budget.
Cotton jersey sheets
Cotton jersey sheets are better for higher temperature places. Cotton is a natural product from a plant, and cotton jersey is an inexpensive method of weaving, similar to the method used to make cotton t-shirts.
With cotton, thread count becomes important; higher thread-count sheets are more comfortable than scratchy, lower thread-count sheets, and they’re less likely to bunch up.
#5. Choose your pillows
Pillows are the crown of the bed. The ideal pillow is soft enough for you to feel comfortable, without putting strain on your neck by propping you up too high. Pillows can be full of goose feathers, or they can be full of cotton or synthetic materials.
If you find your body is often sore, it can help to incorporate a u-shaped travel pillow to your sleeping routine, or to prop your knees up over a folded body pillow when you lay on your back. There’s really no wrong way to use pillows.
#6. Set the scene
Now that you’ve got your bed in order, it’s almost time to lie in it. But, before you do, it may be vital to cultivate a soothing ambiance in your room, in order to help you drift off to sleep.
People have different auditory preferences when it comes to drifting off, but for many, absolute silence can be jarring. We would recommend purchasing some means of infusing your bedroom landscape with quite, soothing noise instead.
This could be from a white noise machine, or it could be a rejuvenating spa-themed playlist on YouTube or Spotify; these playlists are easy to find if you search for “soothing ocean and piano” or “guitar and rainforest.” Simply choose your favorite instrument and natural environment and voila.
Another sense to soothe as you drift off is your sense of smell. Help your nose relax by infusing the air with scents. Choose floral evening scents like jasmine and orchid over bright daytime scents like citrus to get into sleep mode.
And, finally, don’t forget the obvious: dim lighting. Lights, especially LED lights from phone and computer screens, are shown to make people anxious when they’re trying to sleep. If at all possible, use only natural, yellow lighting in your room. Otherwise, it may be useful to purchase an inexpensive eye mask to keep yourself in the dark.
#7. Cultivate a routine
The last, and potentially most important, aspect of ideal sleep is cultivating a bedtime routine. Try to shut off all electronics, including your phone, at least an hour before you go to bed.
Contrary to popular belief, while watching television may not be active, TV can often be stimulating to your synapses, which means unwinding in front of a rerun of Friends may not help you relax as much as you need to for deep sleep.
Make sure your bedtime routine begins as close as possible to the same time every night. Incorporate enjoyable analog activities like reading, knitting, or soaking in the bath in addition to things like making your bed and maintaining your personal hygiene.
One aspect of a routine that helps many is to purposefully put work items, like a laptop, in a drawer for the night, physically showing yourself that work is done for the day.