Providing adequate lighting, heat and ventilation conditions
Riyadh: Dr. Abeer Mubarak
Most people spend about a third of their lives in the bedroom, making it one of the most important places in the home in terms of taking care of their health conditions. And when the bedroom is not in a healthy condition and specifications, it has a number of negative health repercussions.
The different types of sleep disorders not only affect the psychological state of the person, his productive abilities at work during the day, and the quality of his social relationship with family members around him, but there are medical indications of their relationship with heart diseases. , diabetes, weight gain, blood pressure and others.
Medical sources also indicate the role of heat, humidity, ventilation, quality of furniture and level of hygiene in the bedroom, in cases of skin and respiratory allergies.
It also confirms that the quality of pillows and bed mattresses plays a role in the possibility of suffering from cases of snoring, sleep apnea, neck and back pain, and other negative health effects on different parts of the body.
According to medical statistics, the bedroom, in addition to the bathroom, is one of the places where the chances of tripping and falling, and the resulting fractures, are high, not only for the elderly, but also for adults, especially when they wake up during the night without full awareness, and with the lack of elements Safety in lighting and bedroom furniture.
Speaking of fall and trip-free home protection, the US National Institute on Aging says: “To avoid falls and ensure your safety, there are several changes you can make in your bedroom: Put light switches near your bed, keep a lamp handy your bed in case the power goes out and you have to get up, and keep your phone near your bed.”
When talking about healthy sleep, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists a number of tips for better sleep, saying: “Some things can improve your sleep health, including making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature. And remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers and smartphones, from the bedroom.”
* Intensity of lighting. The lighting in the bedroom should be balanced between achieving good vision and not making it difficult to fall asleep.
Reducing exposure to light at the beginning of the night is known to aid sleep, and vice versa. The reason is that dim lighting stimulates the brain to produce melatonin, according to the natural rhythm of the circadian clock. Melatonin is a hormone secreted daily by the brain after sunset to help us sleep naturally at night, and it reaches its peak at eleven o’clock at night. The strong night lights deprive the body of the feeling of darkness, and prevent the brain from producing this natural hypnotic hormone.
* temperature. Changes in bedroom temperature, even slight ones, have an effect on the circadian rhythm, and can significantly affect sleep quality. Although some sleep researchers define the optimal room temperature as between 21 and 22 degrees Celsius, the ideal sleep temperature may be slightly higher for some, especially children, the elderly, and those with certain chronic cardiovascular diseases or thyroid disorders. .
A warmer bedroom shortens the time a person spends in important stages of sleep, such as slow wave sleep and REM sleep. They are considered one of the stages of sleep necessary for the body to rest sufficiently throughout the night.
Some medical studies have also shown that low temperatures during sleep stimulate the activity of brown fat cells, which increase fat burning and increase metabolic processes to produce energy.
* Ventilation. Regarding the ventilation of the bedroom, the American Lung Association (ALA) states the need to keep sources of pollution away from it. The first step is to make it a smoke-free zone.
The people most vulnerable to the harmful effects of bedroom air pollution are the very young, the elderly and people with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, who usually spend more time in the bedroom. Healthy bedroom ventilation can therefore contribute to preventing asthma attacks and allergy symptoms and to breathing.
The first step is to open the windows for half an hour, at least once every day. If you rely on the air conditioner to purify the air in the bedroom, it is worth taking care of the maintenance of the air filters in the air conditioners. And maybe use a good and practical type of air purifier.
Cleaning carpets, floors, bedding and curtains also helps prevent the build-up of allergens. Also arrange the places where the bedroom furniture is placed, and make its decorations simple so that dust does not accumulate and insects multiply behind and in its folds.
To choose the best pillow for sleep, says Dr. Andrew Bang, a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic: “Each pillow has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no one type of pillow that meets everyone’s needs. But choosing a pillow that properly supports your neck at night should help you sleep comfortably and pain-free.”
The biggest advantage of a proper pillow, explains Bang, is that it keeps your neck parallel to the mattress, without bending down or up. What is needed is a pillow that adapts to the position of your body, head, neck and shoulders. The quality of the cervical contour pillows is suggested as the best. The head rests in the lower area in the center of the pillow, and the neck rests on the slightly higher side area (from the lower center of the pillow).
Foam contour pillows, whose shape adapts to the relaxation of the head and neck. These include latex foam (if one is not allergic to this substance), or Memory Foam pillows. These are pillows that contain “memory foam” that (through the effect of the heat from the head and neck on it) forms a comfortable shape for the pillow.
As for feather pillows, they cause more neck pain because they don’t provide much neck stability. “You can feel very comfortable once you rest your head on it,” he says. But the springs move, and you sit without support after hours of sleep, which causes you pain.”
5 places where you need hygiene in the bedroom
> There are areas in the bedroom that are potential sources of dust, germs and insect problems, and that deserve proper hygiene. “Pillows and upholstery can carry germs of all kinds, and the biggest danger is actually insects, such as dust mites, bed bugs and fleas,” explains Dr. Amy Zack, a home medicine consultant at the Cleveland Clinic.
There are 5 places that need more attention to hygiene in the bedroom, which are:
Bed mattress: This is a place that is likely to harbor a lot of bacteria. It is also an ideal place for dust mites, as they are insects that feed on dead skin cell debris. So the first step in caring for a mattress is to cover it with a protective cover. Good quality mattress covers allow the mattress to ventilate, keep it free of liquid stains that may spill on it, and most importantly do not breed germs and insects in it. Bed linen is cleaned at least once a week, at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.
* Pillows: Pillows must be clean because they are very close to the eyes, mouth, nose, ears and scalp during sleep. Some scientific sources indicate that used pillows contain an average of 16 types of germs and fungi. The first step in taking care of pillows is to use good quality pillow covers, and to change and wash them every few days.
* Bedroom floor: Carpet can contain around 100,000 bacteria per square centimeter. Dust and dirt tend to get stuck in carpets, making it necessary to vacuum once or twice a week. And if one suffers from allergies, carpet is not the best option for him, but maybe hard type floors are best, like hardwood or tiles, which may need to be wiped once a week, or maybe more in dusty environments.
* Curtains and windows: Bedroom curtains are another place where dust accumulates and insects can hide, especially in the upper parts of them. Which requires cleaning by washing a few times a year. And the windows should be cleaned weekly, especially when you take care of ventilation by opening the windows.
* Electrical appliances: Dusting hanging light bulbs is an essential step, as these are potential areas where dust and insects can accumulate. And it is worth cleaning them with cleaning cloths. Side light covers are a very potential place for germs, due to frequent hand contact, and it’s worth cleaning door and window handles and wall switches to turn on the lights every few days.
8 elements for the safety of the elderly in the bedroom
> To make the bedroom as safe and comfortable as possible for the elderly, here are the following items for you to check:
* Avoid clutter and obstacles in the distribution of bedroom furniture. Crowded spaces will increase the risk of falling. Make sure your senior’s bedroom is free of any unnecessary furniture or bulky items.
* Remove any wires, connectors or cords from bedroom walkways, and keep them close to the wall and behind furniture.
* Make sure the floor space is safe to walk on even when there is no lighting, and avoid placing rugs or anything that can slide or cause the floor to be loose or uneven.
* Ensure that the elderly can comfortably get in, get into and get out of bed. Assess his needs for bedroom safety devices such as the Grab Rail grab bar to ensure he gets the right support while walking.
* Make sure he is comfortable in his bed. Assess his needs for a safety rail if he tends to toss and fall in his sleep. If he has any movement or breathing problems, he can also consider an electric adjustable bed, to give him more comfort and support.
* Keep his phone close to him, fully charged, and on a table within easy reach, before he goes to bed.
* Keep saved emergency numbers as favorites on his phone. This includes the usual emergency services, as well as neighbors or family members who can also help him in an emergency.
* Keep a flashlight handy on a table. This will help him see when the power outage is. Also make sure you have spare batteries nearby for the flashlight.