What constitutes a good night’s sleep? The generally held consensus on the appropriate amount is 8 hours per night for adults. The average American gets less than seven hours per night and that’s not enough for them to function at their best. A lack of sleep can have a variety of negative impacts on our lives from an increase in disease susceptibility to an unhealthy gain in weight.
Making a Good Night’s Sleep Great
When we are overly tired, we also have slower reaction times which can have consequences when we are driving. Lack of sleep can result in a rise in blood pressure and can trigger hormonal imbalances that increase our appetites while making us tired during the day and less likely to exercise. This can lead to obesity and diabetes. Many obese Americans suffer from sleep apnea where normal breathing can become interrupted as many as 400 times per night.
When we are able to sleep well the benefits are immediate. Our memory improves, losing weight is easier and so is fighting depression. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, make sure your bed is comfortable and your mind is clear at bedtime. Drink caffeine-free herbal tea and avoid checking your electronic devices which can throw off your body’s natural clock.
You may have heard that you can save energy by putting curtains on your window. You may be wondering if that’s true or just a way for curtain manufacturers to sell more of their curtains. Let’s pull the curtain back on the rumors and find the truth!
Curtains Save Energy and Money?
The answer is yes, curtains can save energy and save you money. There are, however, some caveats to that answer. You need to use curtains correctly and use the right type of curtain. If you use energy-efficient curtains in your home, including blackout curtains where appropriate, you can save money. The curtains will retain heat from inside your home during the winter. They will reflect heat from the outdoors in the summer. You will see lower heating and cooling bills. You’ll also control the amount of sunlight and heat in your home by adjusting the curtains as you like.
Fix Your Windows First
Before you rush out and buy energy-efficient curtains, however, you need to take a look at your windows. If you’re like many people, you have no idea if your windows are properly sealed or letting in outside air. Check the caulking around all of your windows. If you’re not sure whether the caulking is in good repair remove it and apply new caulk. This will prevent drafts and allow your curtains to do their job.
Buy the Right Curtains
You should buy sturdy, solid curtains that will block light and heat. While sheers and lace curtains are pretty, they don’t count as curtains when it comes to saving energy. The best type of curtains are either blackout curtains, which you might like to have in a bedroom or other room where you want to block the sun completely, or lined draperies. You might also want to buy a drape and a separate energy-efficient curtain which hangs as close to the window as possible. These curtains prevent air from escaping around the edges of the drapery if the drape hangs farther from the wall.
Managing Your Curtains for the Season
During the summer you need a drapery with a light-colored backing. The light backing will reflect the sunlight and not absorb heat. You can also use these same curtains during the winter. In the summer you should keep the curtains closed during the heat of the day. This keeps the heat from warming the air in your home and allows you to run the air conditioner less. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a white curtain lining can reduce home heat intake by 33 percent.
In the winter you should open the curtains during the day if the window is in the sun. The more sunlight you use, the less you need to heat your home. Close all of your curtains as soon as the sun sets to keep the heat inside the house. The DOE estimates that closing curtains could reduce heat loss by 10 percent.
Hang Your Curtains High and Close
Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible or mount a cornice over the curtain rod to keep heat from leaking in either direction around the top of the curtain. Consider sealing the curtain to the wall with magnetic tape. Put a strip of tape on the wall and one on the curtain. Use floor-length curtains to trap air and keep it from leaking at the bottom of the curtains.
Just think – not only will using curtains improve the decor and style of your bedroom, using them correctly can also save you money!
More Screen Time = Less Sleep Time
It would probably be no surprise to anyone that we spend about half of our waking hours staring at a screen. Whether that’s a desktop or laptop computer screen, a cell phone or a tablet, we are completely engaged with our electronic devices for much of our waking hours. It is now believed that this much exposure to the artificial lighting of these screens can adversely affect our sleeping patterns.
As the use of these types of technologies increases, so does the amount of sleep disorders we experience. With so many of us watching TV in bed on our smartphones and checking messages or using our tablets right before bed, we are disrupting our body’s normal and natural sleep routine.
Good Night Tech, Good Night Moon
The lighting used to illuminate these devices may be tricking our bodies into thinking it’s daylight. The natural production of melatonin is affected by the amount of light outside. When the sun goes down our bodies start telling us that it is time to go to sleep. The use of gadgets with artificial lighting sources may be interfering with this natural process which makes it harder for us to fall asleep at night.
As great as technology is and with as many great benefits as the Internet delivers to us on a daily basis, there’s always a tradeoff. In this case, it may mean that checking your e-mail in bed will have you feeling groggy in the morning.
One solution is to rid your bedroom of tech devices, creating a sanctuary for sleep and signaling to your brain and body that your bed is a place meant for resting and sleeping, not tweeting and Instagraming.
When buying sheets, the most important thing to keep in mind is how they will affect your sleep. Sleep is obviously extremely important, and having sleep-friendly sheets and pillowcases is one way to prepare your best for a good night’s sleep.
Softness Matters for Sleep
Having soft sheets is the easiest and most conducive way to ensure a good sleep. When one’s body is comfortable and relaxed, there is simply less of a chance he or she will wake up. The question then becomes, how soft should sheets be to help one’s sleep? And what sort of materials make soft sheets? What thread count do you need for your sheets to feel extra soft? And is thread count all that matters? Satin sheets are long considered to be the baseline for any truly soft sheets. They have a silk-like feel to them, and have a cool/cold feeling to them upon touch. The feeling they emanate is very smooth, and are often preferred as the go-to material for the hot summer months. It’s also considered to be an affordable sheet for those who desire silk but don’t want to spend the extra money. Satin is often compared with cotton, though offer very different feels. Cotton is considered sturdier, warmer, and a bit heavier, which is why they are preferred in the cold winter months. It is also more affordable. That is why in terms of sleep, the best advice according to the calendar is simply this: one should use the cool and soft feeling satin in the summer in order to withstand the heat, and the warmer and heavier cotton in the winter. These two options are the most popular when it comes to choosing the best sheets for sleeping. But wait, there’s more.
How Soft Can You Get?
The buck doesn’t stop with satin sheets. The best thing about satin is that it feels like silk. Then why not the real McCoy? Silk represents the softest materials around, and silk sheets are considered to be much stronger than satin, because they are woven from longer threads. Also, the silk material itself is truly as soft as you can get because it is 100% silk. Satin, however, is a combination of silk, cotton, polyester, and other products. That is why, provided you can afford the higher price tag, silk sheets are probably the best product for achieving a good night’s sleep – by having the softest sheets possible, your body will be relaxed and have a higher chance of sleeping peacefully throughout the night.
Thread Count Matters
A sheet’s thread count is the number of threads per one square inch of fabric. It goes without saying that the more threads in the sheet, the softer it is, thereby making for a more pleasant night’s sleep. A sheet with a 200 thread count simply won’t be as soft as one with a 400 thread count. Of course, at a certain point, thread count doesn’t necessarily matter for softness, but maintaining a thread count of at least 400 is ideal for the optimum softness. Overall, the best sheets for sleeping comes down to softness and timing. Silk and satin are the softest, but better in the hot summer months. Cotton is warm and heavy, and therefore better in the winter. Regardless, make sure that you buy your bedding from a reputable source so that you can be sure that your sheets are made from top materials.
American Decor in 6 Decades
The decor of American bedrooms has been in constant change over the past six decades. From the bright pastel colors of the 1950s to the expansive bedrooms of the 21st century, how our bedrooms are decorated says a lot about the times we live in.
In the 1950s, American culture was much more conservative, and so were our home furnishings, especially in the bedroom. Married couples sleeping separately in twin beds was a popular theme on television, even if that idea didn’t quite translate to real life. Siblings did share bedrooms more often in those days, however, as most American houses only featured two bedrooms.
The 1960s saw many radical changes in popular culture and more Americans were taking it upon themselves to design bedrooms that matched the times. With psychedelic designs and far out posters and furniture, bedrooms were becoming an outlet for creative expression as well as comfort.
The 1970s were all about earth tones, but that didn’t mean things weren’t bold as well. Beds got bigger, waterbeds were common, and wood grain paneling and wallpaper was at the height of popularity. The excesses of the ’60s seemed to be welcomed in the ’70s and that was evident in home decor.
American Decor: The 80′s and Onward
Houses got bigger in the 1980s and consequently so did bedrooms. Designs became brighter and more futuristic in look. The number and size of our bedrooms got even bigger and so did the number of gadgets we put in them. TVs, video game systems and VCRs were all welcomed into the bedrooms of America.
In the 1990s, the ‘bigger is better’ theme continued with new homes containing even more bedrooms and more space. Luxury mattresses also gained in popularity, as did silk and satin sheets.
Today, our bedrooms are our own private sanctuaries. They’re big, they are full of technology and they’re quite luxurious when compared to past decades.
ShopBedding is your go-to resource for all modern bedding needs – don’t hesitate to contact us or make a purchase today!