If you’re currently browsing the internet in your bedroom, you may be sitting less than ten feet away from something absolutely filthy. In fact, you may be sitting on it right now!For all the time we spend cleaning our clothes, counters, and floors we spend just as much time ignoring some of the dirtiest things in our house that can seriously throw off our sleep habits.
Sleep hygiene is more than just setting a routine and sticking to it: You need to sleep on something clean, too.
Your bed is the culprit, as you probably already guessed. Mattresses aren’t terribly clean in the first place and leaving them without proper cleaning only magnifies their inherent problems.
Before you know it, a new bed might become a breeding ground for all sorts of unseen critters that negatively alter how well you sleep at night.
Thankfully, staying in control of your sleeping space is as simple as a few minor alterations to your cleaning schedule. Here are five quick ways to get a handle on your bedding and bedtime routines.
1. Wash your bedding regularly
Did you know we spend upwards of a third of our lives sleeping? For the average person, that’s around 56 hours a week in bed on the same sheets and under the same blankets that may not be as clean as they could be.
That’s a lot of time to sweat in the same spot! Washing your sheets and pillowcases once a week can seriously cut down on just how funky your bed gets. Still finding odd funks? Placing lemons by your bed makes for great air freshening power with some surprising side effects.
2. Double-check your pillows and mattress for substandard materials
Cotton and other cheap fabrics are all well and good, but they may be leading to allergy and dust mite aggravation we should be avoiding.
Swapping to latex and memory foam can have a profound effect on keeping mites and other pests out of your sleeping space when used in conjunction with proper washing techniques and anti-mite pillow covers.
You’ll have to adjust your pillow-washing habits, but learning how to wash a Tempurpedic pillow isn’t as hard as you might think! Since you’ll be replacing them anyway, consider swapping to pillows that promote better sleep in your chosen sleep position.
Side sleep can help circulation and might require a pillow upgrade, but it’s worth the investment.
3. Clean more than just your sheets
Ever vacuumed your bed? For some of you that may seem like an outlandish suggestion, but there are creepy crawly reasons to pay more attention to your mattress.
Vacuuming, steam cleaning, sunning and even adjusting the temperature in your bedroom can make a serious difference.
You can take your sleep hygiene a step further with proper pillow cleaning to go with your change in pillow materials, as washing standard bedding and non-cotton bed covers can be very distinct experiences to contend with.
4. Give your mattress the care it deserves
Spending a third of our lives on something as important as a mattress helps us justify its cost and upkeep.
It’s important to pay a healthy sum for quality materials when a mattress is all that keeps you from sleeping on the cold, hard ground during those winter months, but all too often we hang on to old mattresses and bedsprings far past their proper lifespan.
Materials break down over time no matter how new or expensive and your mattress is hardly immune.
Good news, though: Taking good care of your mattress can extend that lifespan! Most of these changes are simple enough to take care of, such as ensuring your mattress is regularly rotated to ensure it wears evenly and cleaning it often enough that it never becomes a haven for anything you’d rather not share a bed with.
If you’re looking for something less obvious, baking soda can be used to treat odors as your mattress ages; Simply sprinkle some on, wait for a while, and vacuum it up again. If you combine that trick with regular cleanings you’ll keep a fresher bed without much fuss at all.
5. Clean up your sleep schedule!
Last but most certainly not least comes the hardest concept to follow through with: Sleep hygiene as a broad concept. All too often our bedrooms become offices and centers for entertainment, throwing off our natural sleep rhythms and leaving us unable to get the proper sleep our bodies crave.
Adhering to good sleep habits in a literal and figurative sense might help you avoid morning fatigue and caffeine jitters right before you tuck in for the night.
If you’re going to these lengths just to keep your room clean but aren’t sleeping well as a result, you may be allergic to more than just dust mites. Try keeping your phone off for a while before bed and see if your sleep improves as a result!