How smell affects your sleep
While you're designing a bedroom for better rest, don't leave your nose out of the picture. Interestingly, there is some evidence that certain smells may have an effect on your sleep. For example, lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state. In one study, researchers monitored the brain waves of subjects at night and found that those who sniffed lavender before bed had more deep sleep and felt more vigorous in the morning. Another study of infants found that they cried less and slept more deeply after a bath with lavender scented oils. Of course, lavender is not a cure for insomnia, but having oils, candles, or sachets in your room could be a calming part of your bedtime routine. More ►
Surrounding yourself with the scent you like could help you drift off and, in fact, one study found that smells (both good and bad) influence our dreams. Most importantly, keep your room clean and use laundry detergents and other scented products with a pleasing smell, or no smell at all if that is your preference.
Allergies and sleep
Sniffles and sneezes are bound to break up your sleep (not to mention your partner's). Many people experience year-round or seasonal allergies to elements like dust, pollen, or mold and symptoms can be especially uncomfortable and disruptive at night. More ►
If you have allergies, take steps to protect your sleep. Especially if dust mites are the culprit, wash your sheets in hot water once a week and your blankets regularly. If your pillow is washable, you can launder it as well, or simply dry it on a high temperature, which kills mites. It's also important to fit your mattress, box spring, and pillows with a cover that seals them completely (not just on the top) and keeps mites from taking up residence in your bed. You can find covers that are made from a comfortable and breathable micro-weave fabric.
Vacuum your house regularly and consider using an air purifier that is able to remove allergens from the air. If you're allergic to an outside irritant such as pollen, keep your windows closed to reduce your exposure when pollen counts are high. Also follow tips for cleaning and replacing your mattress and pillows.
Fresh sheets for better sleep
In a recent Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, more than three fourths of people said they are more excited to go to bed when the sheets have a fresh scent, and roughly three quarters of people say they get a more comfortable night's sleep on sheets with fresh scent. More ►
Try to wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week, and keep a good quality spare set to use while the others are being cleaned. Find a laundry detergent with a smell that is pleasing to you, or no smell at all if you prefer. You may also want to do some upkeep on your mattress and pillows to freshen the smell and feel of your bed: wash your mattress cover in hot water and try cleaning the surface of your mattress with an upholstery cleaner or sprinkle baking soda to draw out moisture and vacuum it the next day. Most pillows can be washed as well. Keeping your sleep surfaces clean, with a pleasing scent, may make the bedroom more inviting and help your body relax and sleep peacefully.
did you know?
71% of Americans said they get a more comfortable night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Bedroom Poll.