The signs are in the air: falling temperatures, less and less sunlight, more and more cinnamon. And while many of us enjoy the way these subtle environmental shifts come together to form the unique and pleasant atmosphere of winter, there’s one place where the change of seasons often gets stalled—the bedroom.
If there’s any room where warmth and comfort should rule, it’s in the bedroom. From the mattress you sleep on to the sheets you choose to the temperature you set the thermostat, creating the perfect sleep sanctuary is all about the details. So, with winter tidings from Saatva, here are seven ways to get your bedroom caught up and cozied up for the season.
1. Check Your Duvet Tog Rating
You may have seen this term thrown around the bedding world, but it’s actually a scientific unit that tells you how well an item insulates. When it comes to duvets for the winter, you’ll probably want to look for a higher tog rating—10 or above—to help keep you warm through the night. Tog ratings are indicated on some labels, or you can check the manufacturer’s website for specs.
2. Change Your Fan Rotation
Once you get over the shocker that ceiling fans provide different benefits depending on which direction they turn, go ahead and flick the fan switch so the blades move in a clockwise rotation. This setting will help push the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down to the lower parts of the room.
3. Adjust Your Room Temperature
Your body temp actually drops as you get closer to sleep, and you can use this knowledge to your advantage by creating a room temperature that helps facilitate the process. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature between 60 degrees and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Take it to next level during winter with a digital thermometer for bedroom. Not only will the thermometer help assure that you’re in the recommended range (especially if you’ve got an unreliable thermostat), but you can narrow in on your exact and best sleep temperature.
4. Layer Your Bedding
A truly comfortable night’s sleep starts with the right set of sheets. The material next to your body should breathe, especially when you’re snuggled under a winter-weight blanket or quilt. Cotton is the default sheet material because it breathes well and wicks away moisture. (Another consideration is thread count: the National Sleep Foundation recommends a 400 thread count or less because anything more traps body heat and could cause you to sleep too hot.) The key to a cozy winter bed is layering: start off with lighter layers, such as throws, and then move under the warmer layers, such as your duvet, when your body temp signals that you’re ready for sleep.
5. Curb Your Exposure to Artificial Light
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body that helps regulate your sleeping patterns. Melatonin levels are affected by exposure to light, both natural and artificial. The challenge of shorter days is that we tend to ratchet up the use of artificial light, which has been shown to suppress melatonin production—especially the blue-spectrum light emitted by TVs, computers, and other electronic devices. As the days grow shorter, consider reducing your exposure to screens at least an hour before bed, and dimming bedroom light well before you want to go to sleep.
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6. Paint Your Walls a New Shade
Did you know colors can impact the quality of your sleep? Research has shown that vibrant colors, such as reds and yellows, have an energizing effect, while cooler blues and greens create a peaceful and relaxing environment. Take advantage of color’s physiological effects by incorporating calming tones in your bedroom decor, starting with the walls. (Paint finish matters too: a less reflective, softer satin finish is better suited to the bedroom than a glossy surface.) If repainting the walls is too tall an order, you can achieve some of the same benefits by opting for accents, such as bedding and rugs, in colors that incorporate the relaxing shades of nature.
7. Light a Seasonal Scented Candle
Scents, like colors, have the ability to influence our emotional state. Your olfactory system, the area responsible for the sense of smell, has direct pathways to the emotional centers in your brain. The takeaway for winter sleep is to identify your favorite seasonal scents and integrate them into your bedtime routine in the form of candles, essential oils, or other scented products. In addition to smelling good, some herbs, such as lavender, have been shown to improve sleep quality.
With classic innerspring, ultra-premium memory foam, and natural latex mattresses, Saatva is where the search for a better night’s sleep comes to rest. For more sleep tips and advice, visit Saatva’s sleep blog.