Want to Sleep Better? Make Your Bed

Bedroom Comfort Affects Sleep, Survey Suggests

From the WebMD Archives

Jan. 26, 2011 -- Spending too many nights tossing and turning? You may want to vacuum your bedroom, wash your sheets, and throw out that lumpy mattress before you reach for a sleeping pill.

Results from a survey commissioned by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggest that people sleep much better when their bedrooms are comfortable and clean.

The group’s first ever "bedroom poll" surveyed sound sleepers and poor sleepers about how the bedroom environment affected their ability to get a good night’s sleep.

“We’ve looked a lot at how medical and behavioral issues affect sleep, but we really hadn’t looked at the sleep environment in such depth,” NSF Chief Operating Officer David Cloud tells WebMD. “Frankly, we were surprised to see that senses like touch, feel, and smell were so important.”

Making Bed May Lead to Better Sleep

The survey included responses from 1,500 randomly selected adults in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 55.

Less than half (42%) identified themselves as being "great sleepers" who got a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night.

Among the other findings:

  • Seven out of 10 people said they made their bed every day or almost every day. The bed-makers were 19% more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep on most days.
  • Nine out of 10 rated having a comfortable mattress and comfortable pillows as important for getting a good night’s sleep, while slightly less rated comfortable sheets and bedding as important.
  • Between two-thirds and three-fourths of respondents rated a cool room temperature; fresh air; and a dark, quiet, and clean room as important for a good night’s sleep.
  • Six out of 10 said they changed their sheets weekly or more often and roughly 3 out of 4 people said they got a more comfortable night’s sleep when their sheets had a fresh scent.

“People reported sleeping longer hours and feeling better about going to bed when their bed was made, their sheets were fresh, and their bedroom was comfortable,” Cloud says.