Rest and Slumber

Setting ourselves up for a good night’s sleep, and for a new order to life.

The holiday season signals the end of the year. While some will be busy preparing for the flurry of festivities that mark this period, others take the last months as a punctuation; to pause, reflect and rest. Catching up on quality sleep is probably the best way to recharge, and there’s a science to it.

 

The Science of Sleep

Ah, sleep. For all the hours we spend doing it, we understand surprisingly little about how it works. We’ve struggled—for a long time, and for obvious reasons—to examine the act of sleeping in any meaningful way. But since the early 20th century, we’ve gradually begun to peel back some of the layers surrounding the activity (or lack thereof), and have made great strides towards enhancing our experience with sleep.

It has become widely accepted knowledge that what we do during our waking hours has as much effect on the quality of sleep we have, as do the bedtime rituals we perform. Sit through a particularly stressful meeting in the day, and we’re more likely to find ourselves lying awake in bed that night. Most of us, on the other hand, report our best sleeps while on holiday, away from the strain and bustle of daily life. In a bid to optimise our hours of rest, we work with MUJI to uncover the elements of an ideal resting space, and create environments where sleep comes easy.

 

Before Bed

Getting ready for bed involves more than just turning out the lights. A well-considered pre-bedtime routine can begin hours before the fact, and encourages not only a conducive physical environment, but a decluttered frame of mind that paves the way for peaceful slumber.

Aroma diffusers can usher a sense of serenity into the home. Used with essential oil blends like Relax (Lavender, Sweet Orange, Geranium, Horwood) and Sleeping (Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Cypress, Horwood), they ease us into a tranquil, mellow mood after a day of work. A portable aroma diffuser ensures the same restfulness is enjoyed when travelling, and can be used at stressful moments throughout the day to calm frazzled nerves.

Writing down any nagging thoughts or making to-do lists for the next day helps clear the mind and facilitate repose. A bed frame with a reclined headboard allows for a more relaxed sitting posture, so that we drift off to sleep comfortably after reading or journalling.

 

While Asleep

The pursuit of a perfect night’s sleep does not end after we doze off. Throughout the night, any number of factors can interrupt our rest, from the air temperature, to the height of our pillows, and even friction between our skin and clothes or bed linen. Taking care of these details before getting into bed reduces the odds of disruptions to our sleep.

Of the various elements that must come together for comfortable rest, three—room temperature, body temperature and humidity—are most easily regulated through our choice of bed linen. Flannel sheets made from finely brushed organic cotton helps maintain equilibrium across body and room temperatures, while the breathable material keeps bedding comfortable even on warm nights.

The benefits of using organic cotton extends to our sleepwear as well; they are ideal for wicking away moisture effectively, especially in tropical climates like Singapore’s. Harvested by hand to lessen damage to the fibres, the soft touch of organic cotton—designed without side seams and collar tags—minimises stress on our skin. In fact, putting on a pair of pyjamas provides more than just comfort; it functions as a cue for bedtime, and prompts us to gradually wind down.

Visit muji.com/sg for further suggestions for a good night’s sleep.