Vacation is a great opportunity to determine the amount of sleep your body needs. Last time I performed this test, my body was happy with 9 hours. Day to day, I need an alarm clock. Eight hours allows me to function with no caffeine but is often too luxurious. Frequently, I slip to 7 hours in order to have a life beyond my work and my bed. This amount is still within doctor’s orders of no less than 7 hours. Below are some tips to enjoy your most comfortable, hygienic, and restorative sleep.
Invest in a sound machine. Nothing fancy is needed. My travel friendly plastic machine has two settings: low and high. Many machines retail for less than 20 dollars. They muffle outside noise and snoring. The sound reminds my husband of his childhood window unit air conditioner.
Develop a bedding laundry schedule. I admit I will add a completed item to my task list just to cross it off. Still, bedding dates in my planner help. My schedule is sheets weekly, mattress pad every other week, and duvet every other week. I alternate the weeks of cleaning the mattress pad and duvet to include only one more bulky item each week. Wash your bedding in hot water to kill germs.
Adhere to a nightly routine. My husband usually sends me up early if we want to go to bed together. It takes me almost 30 minutes for the full beauty routine. Sleep is a time when I perform more intensive skin care and apply thicker moisturizers. I enjoy layering on sunless tanner to wake up with a golden glow and softening my cuticles with oil that would be washed away by the frequent hand washing of the day. Even without an extensive beauty regimen, develop a 30 minute routine where you may read, bathe, or organize items for the next day. The habit will become a signal to your body that it is time for bed.
Unplug in the bedroom. Use the bedroom for sleeping, reading, and sex. No television in the bedroom was a big adjustment for my husband at the beginning of our marriage. It was a strict rule in my childhood. As an adult, it encourages connection in my marriage rather than numbly watching re-runs. Use the phone as only an alarm clock.
Turn on your ceiling fan or buy one and install it. A ceiling fan is a must. My fan runs independent of season or thermostat. It provides an extra layer of white noise and regulates body temperature along with a cozy down comforter. You will be surprised at the temperature regulation of feet and shoulders with this system. Placing these body parts out or under the covers will feel like a 10 degree difference.
Sleep on your back and change pillow cases nightly. For vanity, the back position prevents wrinkles. Any side sleeper over 40 should be able to detect some increase in wrinkles on her preferred pillow side. For medical health, the back position maintains the natural curvature of the spine. A fresh pillow case will help those with any skin issues like acne. Our pillowcases absorb hair products and sweat. I prefer a new one each night like I prefer a clean face each morning.
These tips are intended to benefit sleep quality, but the number of hours is also important. Remember the importance of sleep quantity. Both play a big role in the hours you are awake.