To sleep well is to be well. Think about it: Have you ever heard of a doctor prescribing less sleep? Nighttime rest is the great unifier in that all of us, no matter our age or schedule, could probably benefit from more of it.
Squeezing in the eight hours recommended for optimal vitality is easier said than done, though. Whether it's a hectic day, a nagging worry, or a lingering pain keeping you awake, there are simple steps you can take in your bedroom to promote more peaceful rest. Introduce these essentials to your space, and watch it transform into a cozy sanctuary.
1. Pick a purifying plant.
In addition to purifying the air of common pollutants like trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde, houseplants also have mood-boosting powers. Jasmine plants are thought to curb anxiety while snake plants are especially effective at purifying the air and increasing the oxygen levels that lead to better sleep. Plus, they don't require much upkeep and are nearly impossible to kill.
Try it: Head over to your local flower shop and pick up a detoxing houseplant of your own. Our top picks? Jasmine plants, snake plants, pathos, and peace lily.
2. Establish a tea ritual.
A mug of herbal tea (decaffeinated, of course) before bed is its own special kind of sleep potion. Eighty-three percent of participants in one study fell asleep shortly after drinking chamomile tea, while valerian and lemon balm also make for deeply relaxing brews with sedative properties.
Try it: Consider adding a piping-hot cup of chamomile, valerian, or lemon balm tea to your nighttime ritual, envisioning yourself relaxing more and more with each sip.
3. Bring on the natural light.
Our sleep cycles are dictated in large part by our body's circadian rhythms, or internal clocks, meaning we are naturally inclined to rise with the sun. Minimize your exposure to harsh lighting in the bedroom to tune into this inner knowing, and be sure to power off electronics at least an hour before bed. LED lights can mess with this rhythm and decrease serotonin levels, so swap out that iPhone with a good book.
Try it: Open your blinds to invite in that invigorating morning sun. Then, start turning your phone off 10 minutes earlier each night, working up momentum until it's powered down an hour before shut-eye.
4. Take a step on the mystical side.
Even if crystals seem too woo-woo for you, the stones can imbue your space with color and shape at the very least. For those of you who do believe in the healing power of these little remnants of the earth, amethyst, hematite, and citrine are all thought to carry a calming energy that's perfect for the bedroom. And if you have a bedmate, throw in some rose quartz for emotional healing and trust.
Try it: Place a crystal or two under your pillow to soak up the earth's powerful energy as you rest.
5. Tune out the noise.
If you're willing to shell out a little bit of cash on your restful revamp, noise machines are well worth the investment. By emitting a steady ambient sound, they tune out the noises that can disrupt our brains throughout the night, even during deep sleep. They've proven especially beneficial for young children and people sleeping in unfamiliar environments, so consider buying a smaller one that you can bring with you on travels. There are options across price points, and you can choose a pure white noise machine that mimics noises that naturally occur in the air or one that plays soundscapes like ocean, rain, or wind.
Try it: Put a noise-canceling machine on your Christmas list this year.
6. Write your way to calm.
Journaling is a great way to release pent-up thoughts and worries before bed.
Try it: Grab a pen and check back in with us next week for a primer on the ultimate restful journaling routine.
7. Sink into a dreamy bed.
Perhaps the most important item on the list, a comfortable mattress sets the stage for beautiful sleep. That's where Casper comes in. With four layers of foam, its mattress design supports a variety of different body types and sleeping positions. Last year, Casper introduced pillows and sheets to round out its cozy repertoire.
Try it: Pair your Casper mattress, pillows, and sheets with a blanket that leaves you feeling warm and protected, and get ready to welcome those zzz's.