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Video:How to Apply Bedroom Ergonomics Principles

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Applying a few bedroom ergonomics principles to your space can help create a better sleeping environment. See how easy it is to use bedroom ergonomics to sleep more soundly.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Apply Bedroom Ergonomics Principles

When you hear the word "ergonomics," you usually think of desk chairs, computer screens, or carpal tunnel syndrome. But really, it's a science that's devoted to making the very act of living efficient - and as a consequence, easier on your body. And since your body spends a lot of time in the bedroom, it's time to get ergonomic.

Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good physical, mental, and emotional health, something that many of us often overlook. You can maximize the time you actually spend in bed by making sure your bedroom is ergonomically set-up. This way, you can increase your odds of not waking up on the wrong side of your ergonomic bed.

The Four Zones of Bedroom Ergonomics

Start by mentally dividing your bedroom into four quadrants: the first is where you actually sleep - your bed or futon; the second includes everything within reach of your bed, like your nightstand; the third, your dresser and closet space; and fourth, the outer edges, which include your walls, windows, and your room's climate.

Bedroom Ergonomics for the Bed

Your bed should be absolutely level, and at a height that's easy to get in and out of without straining. Choose a mattress that is firm, but resilient, allowing for the support of the natural curves of your body - lighter bodies generally require a softer mattress and heavier ones a mattress that is firmer. Make sure your bedding is breathable and does not restrict your natural nighttime movements.

If your mattress is older than your car, you might consider investing in a new one. Springs and cushioning do wear down, and believe it or not, if you haven't shopped for a mattress since 1983, you might be impressed with 21st century mattress technology.

Bedroom Ergonomics for the Nightstand

Your nightstand should be situated within arms' reach, and is a place where you might keep things like your alarm clock, medication, reading material, or your nighttime glass of water. If your clock is digital, you might consider using the dimmest setting, or even blocking the light all together, which can interrupt circadian rhythms.

And speaking of light, you might also consider banning your TV from your bedroom––focusing on bright, rapidly changing pixels isn't exactly the best way to prepare your brain and body for sleep. But if you insist, just make sure your neck and head are properly supported and not straining to see your screen.

Bedroom Ergonomics for Storage

The most important aspect of the storage zone of your room is that you keep it tidy. Make sure dirty clothes go in the hamper before your go to bed, and that clean clothes are folded and put away in your dresser. Be sure you don't overstuff drawers, which can lead to clothes falling through the cracks and disappearing forever.

Bedroom Ergonomics for Outer Edges and Climate

And finally, be sure your bedroom's environment is as dark and quiet as possible while you're sleeping. Windows should have curtains or blackout shades if possible, and if you live in a place where noise is an issue, consider a fan or humidifier to provide a steady white noise, which just might have you sleeping like a baby. A good, quiet, sleep-through-the-night-baby, that is.

I'm Jonathon Stewart with About.com.
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