If true Spring weather is proving elusive, as it is in many regions across the United States and Canada, focusing on cleaning indoors in ways that improves your quality of life can turn this late blooming season into an opportunity. What better place to start than the bedroom where most adults spend roughly a third of each day; if you live to age 75, that’s 25 years spent sleeping.
Many older adults have difficulty falling and staying asleep but with a few minor changes, sleep can be improved and seniors can wake up feeling more refreshed and with greater energy. And with allergy season approaching, a deep clean that includes vacuuming the mattress, floors and blinds can help prevent itchy eyes and runny noses. Pillowcases should be washed at least once a week and sheets and duvet covers every two weeks; if you let your pet sleep with you, wash bedding more often. Dozens of bacteria and viruses can survive on bed sheets so be sure to wash everything if someone has been sick and using hot water will keep sheets brighter and fresher looking and feeling.
Besides doing a deep clean of bedding, check that layers are not too hot or scratchy and make sure the mattress and pillows are supportive and not the cause of tossing and turning or back pain. Investing in firm but not too hard mattress can make a big difference in quality of sleep. Keeping the bedroom cool, dark and quiet, with perhaps a ceiling fan to circulate the air, can also be instrumental in achieving a full 8 hours sleep.
Clutter in a bedroom is not only a tripping hazard for seniors who may get up through the night to use the bathroom or get a drink, visual messiness can make it difficult to settle into a peaceful rest. Research has also found that we sleep better when screens are turned off about an hour before heading to bed. Try starting a relaxing evening ritual that might include reading, listening to music, enjoying a decaffeinated cup of tea or a warm bath. Reading lamps should be 60 watts or under and filter out blue light which may suppress melatonin production, interrupting the body’s normal circadian rhythm. According to Harvard Medical School’s Health Letter, exposure to light at night may even be linked with an increased risk for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
So while rain, or even snow may delay your work in the garden, think about how cleaning and decluttering inside can make your life less stressful and more joyful.
For more tips and trick about spring cleaning, visit The Laundress Clean Talk Blog here.