Science Explains How Much Sleep You Need Depending on Your Age
8 Changes Your Bedroom Needs So You Can Sleep Better
To get a great night's sleep, you need bedding that does the tricky double duty of keeping you cozy and cool. The secret is light, breathable layers. "When you first go to sleep, your body is warmer," says Phyllis C. Zee, M.D., Ph.D., director for the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University. "But in the early morning, your core body temperature drops, so you might need another layer." Start with a soft, fluffy down duvet, say the experts, because it's insulating but not stifling. Our top pick: Splendor lightweight white goose-down comforter, 7; warmthingsonline.com.
1. DUVET COVER.If it's not easily washable, it's not exactly relaxing.
2. PRETTY SHEETS.Look for ones that have complementary or similar colors to the duvet. Also, sets that are 100-percent cotton will be the most breathable.
3. THROW BLANKET.You want it to be light in case you need to kick it off in the middle of the night.
4. DECORATIVE PILLOW.Here's your opportunity to have fun with color and texture. It should also be firm to support you sitting up in bed.
Pictured here:Duvet & Shams:PCH Parama, 8 and each; zincdoor.com.Sheets:Lacoste printed percale set, ; .Pillow:Surya Gilmore pillow, .80; laylagrayce.com.Blanket:Rio Collection throw, .91; lampsplus.com.
The average person keeps her mattress a little over a decade, but "if you're waking up and your back hurts and you're not feeling rested, it's time to think about replacing it," says Clete Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. When you do, don't be lulled into thinking that softer equals better. Kushida says it's crucial to find a mattress that's as firm as you find comfortable in order to support your spine. There are so many brands out there that you should also create a list of personal priorities before you start shopping, according to Michael Magnuson, founder of the unbiased mattress-review site goodbed.com. To help you zero in on your options, here are a few things to consider:
COMFORT:Do you want to be able to adjust the softness of your mattress?
CONSTRUCTION:Are natural materials a priority?
STABILITY:If your partner is a fitful sleeper, do you want a mattress that minimizes the bounce?
AND DON'T FORGET TO READ THE FINE PRINT:"Always, always study the return policy!" Magnuson says. "They are even more important when you're ordering online and don't get to test it in person before you buy it. Even if the return is free, there's no such thing as a no-hassle mattress return." Know the details, then you won't lose any sleep over them.
The 2019 way to shop for a bed? Online. These companies aim to make mattress shopping simple, offering just one or two options in various sizes. You can't lie down on them, but many offer lengthy trial periods, long warranties, and free returns. Check these out:
TUFTANDNEEDLE.COM. The company says its proprietary foam, made in the United States, maximizes comfort and support. On Amazon, it has an impressive 87-percent five-star rating.
CASPER.COM. Its triple-tiered foam strikes a balance between supportive and springy, and ships to your doorstep in a surprisingly compact box. (0 for a queen)
LOOMANDLEAF.COM. Green is the word: Choose between "relaxed firm" and "firm" mattresses made with plant-based foams and organic cotton covers. (9 for a queen)
WRIGHTBEDDING.COM. This company's mattresses are made with some of the most durable foams available and include one of the longest trial periods and warranties of the online-only brands. Someone will also come set it up for you and haul your old one away. (,785 for a queen).
"If someone complains about neck pain, chances are they're sleeping on the wrong pillow," says Magnuson. Your predominant sleep position will determine which one is right for you, so the best way to test a pillow, he says, is to lie down with it: It should hold your neck in the same position as when you're standing upright. And waking up chronically congested or with a dry mouth could be a sign of sleep apnea, according to Rosen. "There's a chance you could be sleeping too flat, and raising your head with pillows may help." Here's what to get, depending how you sleep:
SIDE SLEEPERSshould choose a fluffy pillow that keeps your neck parallel to the mattress.
BACK SLEEPERSdon't need quite as much support. Too much plushness and your chin will be pitched forward toward your chest.
STOMACH SLEEPERSshould opt for the thinnest of pillows to keep their necks from overarching.
"The more cave-like your room, the better for lulling yourself into a long slumber," says Ilene Rosen, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Since light signals "wake up" to your brain, street lights can keep you from producing melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep. For a night of five-star-quality rest, try these blackout shades. They also happen to look great.
From left:STAMPED DOTS,printed Roman shade with blackout liner, 9 to 9; .SUITE RIBBON,cordless Roman shade with blackout lining, 9 to 9; .
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