Get a Good Night's Rest With the Right Bedding

A good night's rest is at the core of personal health and well-being.
Nancy Staab

The importance of a well-made bed goes beyond simple appearances. Creating a pleasing environment with bedding is essential for a restful sleep. Throughout the day, our body temperature fluctuates, affecting our daily levels of alertness and how well we function during activity. We get drowsy at night when our body temperature drops. Here are tips for making your bed a cozy refuge that will carry you through the night.

The Art of Layering
The key to winterizing your bed lies in the concept of layering, says Kim Smith, a manager at Three Sheets linens shop in Homewood, Alabama. For winter, Kim suggests layering a sheet with a blanket, followed by a down comforter and/or a light quilt or coverlet. "This allows you to achieve maximum warmth and still be able to maintain a comfortable body temperature." Plus, layers are easy to remove.
 

Material Choices
The newest bed linens are designed for maximum warmth but are manufactured from lightweight fabrics that aren't oppressively hot or heavy. Current favorites include flannel sheets, fleece blankets, and down comforters. Flannel launders easily and has the same comfort and softness of a favorite robe. Fleece is as lightweight as it is warm and rustic. Down is the filling of choice for comforters. They can be found in many degrees of density or "fill," either as pure down or mixed with feathers. Some are made of synthetic materials that have similar benefits to down.
 

Sheet Sense
Use sheets with at least 200-thread counts (the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric). The higher the count, the tighter the weave and the greater softness and durability. Egyptian cotton is a popular fabric for soft sheets that can be machine washed. Opt for sateen sheets (cotton in a satin weave) if you desire a lustrous, smooth look.
 

Sweet Dreams
  • Keep your bedroom cool--around 65 to 68 degrees. Most people find it easier to fall asleep in a cooler room because it causes a greater drop in body temperature.
  • Pay attention to lighting, and experiment with different bulbs for a softer, more soothing effect.
  • Create a relaxing environment free of distractions such as bills, a computer, and a television set.