The Dos and Don'ts of a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom

Do: Adopt a Two-Blanket Strategy
One for you and one for your partner. Having individual blankets is a common practice in Europe, and it eliminates any cover-hogging disputes while making you less aware of each other's movements throughout the night.

Do: Follow These Mattress Commandments
1. Pick the Right One—The ideal width is around 71 inches, according to sleep researchers, which falls somewhere between a queen size (60 inches across) and a king (76 inches across) and leaves enough space for sleepers to stay an arm's length from each other. As for firmness, studies suggest that medium-firm is comfortable for most people. If you or your partner move a lot at night or you two don't go to sleep and get up at the same time, a memory-foam model can make you feel like you're the only one in the bed.

2. Prevent the Dreaded Trench from Forming—You're probably not rotating your mattress often enough. Single-sided models (e.g., memory foam and pillow top) should be rotated from end to end every two months, meaning the foot of the mattress is now at the head, according to Consumer Reports. Double-sided mattresses should also be rotated, then flipped, with the same frequency.

Don't: Let Fido in the Bed
Pet dander can trigger nighttime allergies, and an animal's movements, purring and snoring can push you out of deep sleep and into a lighter, less restorative sleep stage. We're betting your pet probably has its own bed somewhere in the house that's going unused.

Don't: Fall into the "I'm just going to get back into bed tonight, so why spend time making it in the morning?" Mentality
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation showed that people who make their bed every day are 19 percent more likely to get a better night's rest, possibly because it keeps them from crawling in for sleep-disruptive activities like watching T.V. or answering a few more work emails before bed.

Don't: Forget the Basics
Keep your bedroom cool (between 65 and 72 degrees) and dark (lights should be dimmed at least 30 minutes before bed; layer blackout liners behind curtains to block morning rays that could wake you up) and maintain quiet (use a white-noise machine or app or a fan to drown out disruptive sounds).


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