Revive Your Bedroom Just In Time For Valentine’s Day

Give the gift of a good night’s sleep this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a really great article that we found about how to make sure that both you and your partner get a good night’s sleep. Dan and I have had many late night ‘conversations’ on our differing views about how the bed should be made, how many blankets to put on the bed, how the sheets should be tucked in, when the bed should be made – on and on…

As a couple, this has been one of the very few sore points in our relationship. You see, I like to be warm and cozy with little regard to sheet alignment, while Dan requires very little cover and perfectly aligned sheets and blankets before he gets into bed. Considering that I normally go to bed before him, his aligning the sheets at 1am has caused many a late night squabble.

We’ve actually implemented several of the suggestions in this article and they’ve made a huge difference for us. The great tips in this article are sure to improve your relationship and help you both get a better night’s sleep – together!

Revive Your Bedroom Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

From Tango Magazine

Bunking together is all fun and games—until somebody steals the covers. Contributing editors Lauren and Anne Purcell tell you how to negotiate common bedroom quandaries, and wake up happy.

Scientific studies abound on how many hours we Americans spend in bed sleeping, having sex, or lying awake wondering when we’ll get to sleep or have sex. The level of scrutiny is somewhat mystifying, given the fairly obvious findings. (In round figures: not enough, not nearly enough, and is it any wonder Ambien sales have skyrocketed?)

Bottom line: on average, we’re between the sheets for more than a third of our lives. Any place you spend that much time should make you happy, and never more so than when it’s 60 by 80 inches and there are two of you. Your bed should be supremely, beckoningly comfortable, so you can rest; and as co-habitable and conflict free as possible, to help you nest.

Sheet smarts

In the last couple of years, thread counts­ – the number of threads in one square inch of fabric­ have crept into the four digits. But do higher numbers indicate softer sheets?

Only to a point…

After about 500, what you’re paying for are the salaries of those tricky folks in the marketing department who realized they could describe a 500-thread-count sheet as a 1,000­ if it’s woven with two-ply thread. The truth is that you’re likely to find 300- or 400- count sheets plenty luxurious (and easier on the checkbook). Guests staying in the presidential suite at the Four Seasons in New York City, one of the priciest hotel rooms in the country, pay $15,000 a night and they’re resting their weary, wealthy bodies on 220-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets.

Egyptian is the key here – ­that variety is acknowledged to have the longest fiber, another contributor to softness. Once you’ve selected sheets, of course, you have to share them.

And there, the troubles too often begin.

One couple we know disagrees on how to tuck in the top sheet. He likes to anchor a generous swath so his feet don’t poke out. She likes enough covers to form a turtleneck at the top. The solution is simple, though it took them a while to figure it out: they tuck in the sheet at an angle.

A more common cause for conflict among couples is the side-to-side shortage, caused by a sleeper who rolls over… and over and over. On a queen bed, a king-size top sheet can ease the tussle. For hardcore cases, we suggest two top sheets overlapped in the middle. At bedtime, the illusion is that you’re cozily covered by the same sheet. Later, the roller winds up in his, or her, own little burrito without uncovering his bedmate.

Dan and Jennifer: This one is a non-issue for us – we both love soft! Egyptian cotton is definitely the way to go and we recommend 600-800 thread count sheets. Macy’s Hotel collection is awesome if there’s a Macy’s in your area.

Topper tips

In the bed-as-battleground department, second to sheet spats are temperature tantrums.

One partner prefers to set the A/C on “cryogenic” while the other lies shivering in flannel pajamas ­in August. Clearly, this is grounds for a blanket intervention. The most heated arguments we’ve heard between partners with a body-temp differential are caused by down duvets, which have taken bedrooms by storm.

Unfortunately, no matter how “summer weight” a duvet claims to be, it always seems to make someone sweat. And try throwing off a duvet when you feel a little steamy. It becomes a fabric-and feathers snow bank threatening to avalanche. So we’re fans of the sheet-and-blanket combo. The enormous variety of fabrics and weights lets you fine-tune your comfort level: cotton for summer, wool for warmth and pleasing heft in winter.

The point is to layer independently: cover the entire bed with a lightweight cotton blanket, then on your side, add a cashmere throw. (Electric blankets are a retro, but remarkably effective alternative. Equipped with dual remotes­ and no wires­ you each control the temp on your half of the bed.)

Dan and Jennifer: Dan has a light weight down blanket on his side and I have an added quilt, folded in half on my side of the bed – that way we are both comfy and cozy.

Mattress matters

But even the finest bedding can’t make up for a bed with bad ergonomics.

Unfortunately… Buying a mattress (you need a new one about every ten years) can be as confusing as selecting a cellular plan.

What you’re looking for is a mattress that conforms to your spine’s natural curves. It should be neither so firm that your body touches down only at three or four points, nor so soft that you sink into it like marshmallow cream. That can be tough to determine in a quick test-drive at the mattress shop.

One hint: you can change positions up to 40 times while you sleep, so shift, turn, and try out multiple arrangements of limbs. Still, the best way to avoid mattress remorse is to sleep on the one you’re considering ­preferably for several nights in a row.

That may explain the growing popularity of hotel mattress-purchase programs, which have cropped up in hotels from the Ritz-Carlton to La Quinta. You slept soundly every night of a weeklong trip? Bring the bliss home by buying the identical mattress. If that’s impractical, you should find a dealer with an exchange policy that gives you a week or more with a mattress before you commit (many do).

An easier question to answer than “how firm?” is “how big?” If you’re often joined in bed by kids, dogs, and his-and-her laptops, then a king-size bed (76 inches wide) might be right for you. But we’re fans of the 60-inch wide queen, because it better fosters a “couple connection”.

Yes, each of you sacrifices eight inches of elbow room, but that means you’re always within snuggling distance. Remember, we’re talking a third of your lives. You shouldn’t be at each other’s throats. You should be in each other’s arms.

Dan and Jennifer: Dan gets way too hot to snuggle in bed.  We make up for it with lots of hugs and kisses during the day, but at night, we keep our distance and stay on our own sides of a great big King Size mattress.

Our bed, which we think is the single most comfortable bed in existence, is a Stearns and Foster, no flip mattress (one of those really thick mattresses that you see in luxury hotels). The mattress is so comfortable that it makes you want to stay in bed all day!)

Get more advice from contributing editors Lauren and Anne Purcell at purcellsisters.com.

Good Night… and Good Luck!


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