10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Way to Better Sleep!
Now that we’ve sprung forward into spring this National Sleep Awareness Month, what better way to celebrate than with some much-needed spring cleaning? This spring, we encourage you to get your home ready to for better sleep! After all, that’s kinda what National Sleep Awareness Month is all about. To help you do that, we’ve prepared ten spring cleaning tips that are geared toward getting you better sleep! But first, we realize that some of you might be wondering…
Where Did We Get “Spring Cleaning” From, Anyway?
SHORT ANSWER: Nobody knows for sure.
Instead of boring you with the long answers, here are some quick theories that you can spring on your friends to impress them as you ask for their help cleaning. (Hey, it’s either this or beg):
- Spring coincides with Passover, which commemorates the Jews’ freedom from bondage in ancient Egypt. As slaves, the Jews only ate stale bread, so in spring they traditionally clear out all the old bread – and anything else old – and start anew.
- There’s an old Persian festival called “Nowruz” around springtime, which begins by thoroughly cleaning your home.
- The Chinese get ready for the new year with a thorough cleaning. These festivities end around springtime.
- Decreased winter light leads to more melatonin – the sleep hormone – in our bodies, making us tired. In spring we have more energy, so it’s easier to clean.
- Back when homes were heated by a fireplace, soot and grime built up over winter. When spring came around and fires were no longer needed, it was an opportunity to clean it all out.
Now that we have a sense of why, we can move on to how to best clean up for spring and sleep better as a result!
1. Get Some Fresh Air
Since it’s not freezing cold outside anymore (or do this when it’s not, depending on where you live), open your windows! Nothing helps you breathe and sleep better than having some nice, clean oxygen to fill your tired winter lungs. In fact, 15-20 deep breaths of clean, fresh air has been shown to help with insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders, so take advantage! It’s free!
2. Lighten Your Top Layer
In winter we bundle up, using heavy blankets, thick comforters, or even quilts if we live in colder climates. When National Sleep Awareness Month rolls around, spring free! Ditch the quilts for thinner, cleaner, and softer blankets! The National Sleep Foundation’s bedroom poll showed that 75% of people slept better when their bedding had a fresh scent too, so if you’ve got one, change or wash that duvet! You’ll thank us in the morning when you get better sleep!
3. Clean Your Carpet
Though hardwood floors have become fashionable these days, the bedroom remains a place where we tend to like a nice carpet. They keep the room warmer, make it “feel” softer, and generally help us create a comfortable atmosphere for sleep. Unfortunately, they also trap dirt and dust which can get into the air and make it difficult to breathe. Worse, if they’re not cleaned regularly, they can start to smell, and that’s not something you want to experience when you’re trying to catch some shuteye.
Luckily, with some borax, white vinegar, salt, a steam cleaner and your regular old vacuum, you can do a nice deep cleaning for spring. By following these simple instructions, you’ll have a fresh, clean carpet for the rest of National Sleep Awareness Month and beyond! Carpets may look nice, but if you don’t treat them right, they could keep you awake at night. Make sure yours helps rather than hinders you in getting the best sleep possible.
And a nice clean carpet will also help you…
4. Eliminate Allergens
As wonderful as spring can and should be, it’s known as allergy season for a reason. Keeping a clean carpet eliminates the various particles in the air that could activate your allergies. Washing your bedding weekly in hot water helps too, as does cleaning your curtains. Putting an air filter in your furnace or air conditioning system will take it up another notch, as will dusting on a regular basis. Dust, pollen, dander and mold build-up can lead to allergies and asthma, which can make it really hard to sleep. You definitely don’t want to leave dusting out of your spring cleaning plans!
5. Better Your Bedding
Hopefully, we all have some nice sheets already – ideally cotton, as it’s comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle, and is easy to clean. Thread counts are a bit overrated, so if you’ve got a thread count of 300-400, you’re good to go. Here’s the thing though: it’s spring! Why not add a splash of color?
Here’s Vogue’s forecast of what colors will be “in” this season. Why not see if you can find sheets to match? After all, sleeping well is not just about having the most scientifically comfortable bedroom, but having one you enjoy sleeping in too. With a little creativity, National Sleep Awareness Month can be fun as well as functional; cute as well as clean. Spring cleaning is a great excuse to start fresh and make a bunch of changes – why leave your bedding out of that?
6. Pick the Right Pillow
Like everything else in your bed, pillows get old too. In fact, they can get so old that sleeping on the wrong one can seriously mess with your sleep. Spring cleaning is your chance to make sure you have the best pillow to get your best sleep.
The key to picking the proper pillow is the position you prefer to sleep in. Depending on whether you’re usually on your back, side, stomach, and whether you sleep alone or with somebody else, your pillow could be hurting your sleep. Pick the right pillow and you won’t be in pain this National Sleep Awareness Month.
And like we said about bedding, you deserve to sleep in a beautiful bed, and pillows can help with that too. Once you have the right pillow (or pillows) for your position, add, subtract, or replace pillows to get the look you want for your bedroom. The appearance of where you sleep can be as important to you as how functional it is, so knock yourself out. It’s another fun way to enjoy spring cleaning for better sleep.
7. Clear Bedroom Clutter For Just Snuggling and Sleep!
So here’s the thing: many experts believe that to get the best sleep, people should just use their beds (and by extension, bedrooms) for sleep, snuggles, and nothing else. The problem? Most people seem to think that you can use your bed for eating, watching TV, and chatting with friends. Worse, many people also think of the bedroom as the place where you can shove stuff you want to keep out of sight – coats during a dinner party, old clothes to donate, the dog, whatever is living under your bed – everything, it seems, can just be dumped in your sleeping area. Here’s our advice: stop the hoarding where you sleep!
Studies link hoarding to anxiety, depression and, yes, poor sleep! That clutter in your room is where your carpet gets its dust particles from, leading to all those allergies we mentioned earlier. In many ways, a cluttered room is sort of the gateway drug to all kinds of other sleep problems, both physical and psychological. So, make sure your bedroom is only for sleep.
8. Add a New Alarm Clock
We’ve mentioned that spring cleaning during National Sleep Awareness Month can be your excuse to replace a lot of stuff. If you’re still using your AM / FM clock radio from the ‘80’s, let it be a time to replace that too. You don’t necessarily need some fancy digital clock, but when turning over a new leaf for better sleep, it’s nice to have all new stuff. If you already have a fancy digital alarm clock, please don’t forget to…
9. Minimize Melatonin-Blocking Lights!
As we said earlier, less light in winter means more melatonin (the sleep hormone). But, we still use melatonin to sleep in other seasons, and a lot of other stuff can block melatonin production. You know that fancy digital alarm clock you have? It can keep your body from producing melatonin. Your phone? Can also prevent you from producing melatonin. The light on your computer that says it’s plugged in, or the one on your internet router? Same deal. Light and sleep just do not mix.
While you’re in spring cleaning mode, make sure your bedroom has fewer things that light up. In particular, blue light – the kind found in most electronic devices, is known to keep you awake by stimulating your brain and thus blocking melatonin. If you have electronic devices in your bedroom, make sure they’re in places where you can’t see them at bedtime. And while you’re at it, invest in thick curtains or a sleeping mask. National Sleep Awareness Month is all about prepping for your best sleep year round. Don’t let spring’s increased natural light become an excuse to use more digital in the bedroom.
10. Be Sure You Have the Best Mattress
The easiest and most enjoyable way to get better sleep at springtime and beyond is by getting an affordable mattress from Lull.com. Its sleep benefits are endless, and the highlights include:
- Three layers of gel-infused memory foam for comfort
- Motion transfer so partners can slip in and out of bed without disturbing each other
- A constant 69-degree temperature, scientifically proven for perfect sleep
- Perfect spinal alignment from a 1.5” transition layer of best memory foam
- Easy ordering online – the “bed in a box” practically sets up itself
- A 10-Year warranty
Bottom line, spring cleaning doesn’t just have to be about cleaning up your space. During National Sleep Awareness Month, make it a time for starting fresh with better sleep. Get over any lingering daylight saving time drama by using these ten tips to spring clean. And have your best sleep ever, year in and year out. Sleep well!