Those of us in, or remembering, baby days know the key to peace and happiness (and sometimes survival) can be as simple as a good night’s sleep. Too rarely do we make it a true priority, though. Our bedrooms are an afterthought. It’s the one room where friends generally aren’t traipsing through, so we don’t give it the same attention when it comes to décor or even comfort. And in the priority game of keeping the kids happy and healthy, crawling around picking up legos a little sibling might choke on, or making a platter of nachos or grilled cheese sandwiches for the “starving” soccer kids in the den, will always win out over taking the time to find the perfect bedroom rug or mattress.
Well, here’s a cheat sheet to some of our favorites. And on this month where the bedroom might pop to mind slightly more than most other months of the year*, if someone in your life is pressing you for what you might like for Valentine’s Day, one of these little splurges might be just the thing to add a little pizazzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
*If you are staring blankly at us, new moms, we totally get it!
Mattresses were not meant to live forever. Good health dictates a change while the structure is still intact to avoid aches, pains and poor sleep. But we understand the dread of dealing with shopping the endless choices (why do mattress stores feel like used car lots?), then waiting a week or more while your final pick is ordered, then the exhausting chore of schlepping the new mattress in, waiting for at least two adults to be present to muscle it up the stairs and onto the bedframe. And many don’t even work with the newer sleek platform frames.
We loved that the LULL came in a shockingly small box that one grownup could handle solo. But near-instantly expanded (2-5 hours) into a substantial comfy base that not only offered what the traditional un-named memory foam options did, but a special gel layer ideal for those hot SoCal nights. Keeping our body temp cool at night is crucial to restful sleep patterns. What I love about this option is when you have those little ones who tend to come visit in the wee hours (mine would arrive for an extra hour or two of zzzz’s every morning at 5:30a.m), or are upgrading your toss-and-turn wild child’s bed, you could even just use this mattress directly on the floor and then shift to a platform frame or box spring later. (Also, these sort of mattress don’t have a lot of bounce when little people are flopping in and out of your bed.)
From $550, www.lull.com
VANT Wall Panels
Okay, so this is just pure style love. But it also happens to be a simple fix to platform frames sans headboards or the desire to dress up a growing tween or teen’s room with a mature look, without spending thousands on a bedframe you won’t need once they are off to college. These padded wall panels arrive through the mail, are simple to attach to the wall and add instant texture (metallic, vintage leather, microsuede) and a chic reno’d vibe. They also work great to break up a room into different “zones” so if you need to have a desk in the room, it can exist in a different mental space than your actual bed. You can also differentiate between sibling’s bed spaces tailored to their unique taste. Endless combinations can be created, using multiple color or finishes, and arranging in shapes that please your eye.
These carefully-curated pillows are tested with real sleepers and use a special online Pillow Quiz to ensure they are the right fit for your snoozing needs.The sustainably-sourced materials resist premature clumping and flattening and are designed to support, based on the manner and body position in which you sleep.
From $60 to $225, www.slumbr.com
Lorena Canals Rug
Not only do these cushy rugs scream comfort from the first time you sink your toes in, they do something even more important for your relaxation…they can be tossed right in the washing machine. Keep your air purer and free from allergens with a frequently freshened floor covering for restful sleep, not to mention you won’t lose any sleep when the cat/dog/toddler explodes in some manner or another on the floor.
From $160, www.lorenacanals.com
Dyson AM09 Hot + Cool Fan Heater
Keeping the temp just right can lead to a more restful night sleep, but little hands or curious pets might be a concern for leaving a fan running at night. Dyson’s AM09 is bladeless, putting the safety worries to bed, and offers a choice of jet-focus or wide ranging air flow to personalize your environment. New sleep timer, oscillation features, touch tilt and a remote control have made us a fan.
A key to good sleep, which should be obvious, is a cool, dark space for snoozing. This can be difficult to achieve with our sunny SoCal days, especially as the time changes and those days start getting longer and longer. We loved the style of these blackout curtains that look fresh and offer nice movement, but do the job. The thermal version not only keeps the sun’s light out, but the heat as well, saving energy and money on cooling.
From $35 panel, www.eclipsecurtains.com
Krups EA815050 Essential Espresso Machine
Gratuitous addition to a sleep piece? Not really. If you actually had a machine that could replicate the coffee you spend 20 minutes or more waiting for at your local ‘bucks, you could spend that extra time in bed. We suggested popping for the proper Burr Grinder to get the extremely fine grind you need for a true espresso. This ultra-compact machine is ideal for the space conscious who want maximum taste. Make your favorite specialty drink (espresso, ristretto, cappuccino) at home with a brainless (or not-yet-caffeinated) one touch button, or bring it to work to keep you going all day.
Still not sold on how important sleep is and how it can change your everyday experience? Read on to learn about the benefits of sleep for the whole family.
Children often have a hard time balancing school, homework, sports and other after school activities, which can create stress for them and their parents. This can directly affect sleeping patterns and the quality of sleep you and your child receive on a daily basis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), school-aged children need about 10 hours of sleep a night, while seven-to-eight hours is best for adults. Lack of sleep can cause poor general health, more frequent physical distress, and anxiety.
CalOptima, the health insurance provider for thousands of adults and children throughout Orange County, suggests the following in order to improve your sleep quality:
- Have a consistent sleep routine: Having a set time you and your child go to bed and wake up every day helps the body regulate how much sleep it gets each night. Try to have your children avoid sleeping in—even on the weekends! Sleeping in can disrupt the much needed sleep routine.
- Avoid screen time: A bright LED screen, like a phone or TV screen, stimulates the brain into thinking that it is daytime, making it hard for your child to fall asleep. Limit screen time prior to bed and instead, encourage your child to read a book or listen to music.
- Exercise daily: The more your child moves his or her body during the day at recess, lunchtime or after school, the higher quality rest he or she will receive at night. Walking the dog at night with your child or to the car after a soccer game is a great way to incorporate exercise into the family’s daily routine.
- Watch what your child eats before bed: Heavier food eaten just before bedtime can negatively affect sleep. If your son or daughter is feeling hungry, encourage them to eat a light snack like fruit or cheese and crackers. A general rule of thumb is to eat no later than an hour before bed.
- Improve the sleep space: Sleeping in a space that is quiet, cool and dark can improve your child’s nightly sleep patterns. Having a fan on to drown out other noise and setting the thermostat down a few degrees can help the entire family rest more peacefully.
If your child is having trouble sleeping, consult your primary care doctor. Remember, the benefits of a good night’s sleep will help everyone in your family.
CalOptima is a county organized health system, and provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County. In total, CalOptima serves more than 800,000 members with a network of more than 7,500 primary care doctors and specialists, as well as 30 hospitals.