Bed.chalkboardWe all know the importance of a good night’s rest — not sleeping well makes it hard to think clearly, stay awake while driving, and, most importantly, can lead to weight gain. Five ways to create the perfect space for restful sleep include:

1. Cleanliness: wash bedding at least once a week. If you want to create a posh spa-like atmosphere, give the pillowcase a light misting of linen spray (fill a spray bottle with water, and add your own drops of essential oil, such as lavender, and apply as needed).

2. Texture: find sheets you love, whether all-white no-nonsense cotton, comfy flannel, or sensuous silk. The right texture goes a long way in creating major comfort zones.

3. Lighting: install dimmers when practical, and find a lamp for the nightstand that has an opaque shade for added softness, while still providing enough wattage to light the pages of a book.

4. Clutter: a sleep-centered environment is open and airy. Remove all unnecessary objects on the nightstand or keep them in a drawer nearby.

5. Electronics: sorry to say, sleep researchers have a real problem with electronics such as cell phones, tablets, and, even televisions in the bedroom. The light from these devices can interfere with our circadian rhythms that drive sleep time. That said, if you still sleep like a baby, so be it. Otherwise, try an old-fashioned book with paper pages (like the ancients) and see if it helps.

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