DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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22 May 2009

Good night and sweet dreams

Are you wanting to simplify and don't know where to start? Here is s small step everyone can do. It's easy, won't cost any money and will make a big difference to how you spend many hours every night, and the following daylight hours. Simplify your bed. Those of you who have been reading for a while know I've written about my bed before but as it's one of my favourite subjects, it gives me great pleasure to write about it again.



Beds are important parts of our lives. The bed is one of the few pieces of furniture that changes with us as we go through life. We start out in a tiny cradle or cot (crib) and as we grow, we move up to the 'big' bed. Beds mark that stage of life for us, children feel "grown up" when they make that progression from cot to bed. We have our teenage beds - we bought king size singles for our two tall sons, and we have our marital beds - the quiet and private symbol of a new life with our beloved. And so it goes until we die, and many of us do that in a bed too, completely the cycle from the bed we were born in. Beds, we live and die in them.

My bed is an important part of my life. I spend hours every night sleeping in it, so I have to make it as comfortable and secure as I can. I need to know that when we fall asleep each night, we'll be warm and cosy, capable of deep, uninterrupted sleep that will take away the fatigue of one day and replace it will the vitality to face another.

And this is where the focus on your bed in your daily life comes in. If you make sure your bed is clean and comfortable, it will reward you by helping you get the sleep you need to perform at your best. Take time every day to fluff up your nest. Your bed should be made every day - not just by pulling the cover up over the sheets, but by giving it the energy it needs. Whatever effort and time you give your bed, you'll get back many times over.

I make sure I have sheets that reflect the season - flannel in winter and cool cotton in summer. We have been sleeping between our flannel sheets for a couple of weeks now but yesterday I changed our summer doona/duvet to a heavier woollen winter one. The cover is a flannel one now.

So every morning after hours of rest, I make sure I prepare the bed for another night of sleep and dreams. I take care making up the bed. The top sheet and doona/duvet are taken off and the bottom sheet is smoothed out firm on the bed; I don't want any creases or wrinkles to cause discomfort during the night. The top sheet is placed on the the bed again, even on both sides, and the doona/duvet replaced after a shake. Pillows are fluffed up and replaced at the top of the bed. All is ready, there the bed will sit until nightfall. Clean sheets are a necessity. I put clean sheets on the bed once a week, or more frequently in hot weather. There is nothing better than sleeping that first night on sheets that have dried in the sun. Make sure you have the things you need on the bedside table - I have a box of tissues, a spare pair of glasses and a book. Hanno has a glass of water and a radio on his side. He likes to listen to the news and a favourite radio program before he gets up in the morning. Make sure you vacuum and clean the bedroom frequently, you don't want to be spending all that time in a dusty room.

We are used to sleeping in a quiet and dark room. We have block out curtains and the only noise we hear during the night is an occasional train in the distance. There is no noise from neighbours, traffic or animals. My son, who lives in the midst of a busy city, Surfers Paradise, asked me last time he slept here: "It's SO quiet here at night. How can you stand it?" He spent many hours in deep sleep here before he left home, but now he is used to the noise of the city around him and wonders how we can sleep without it.

We all have our varying preferences for what we are used to while we sleep, but our beds still need to comfort us and make us feel safe and warm during those hours of unconsciousness. Hanno and I do more physical work now than when we were working for a living. The daily chores of our home and garden make us tired at the end of the day and if we are to continue living this way we need to sleep well every night. I am sure most of you feel the same way. So think of your bed as more than a soft platform with sheets. It is the place that cares for you while you sleep and prepares you for tomorrow.

Being mindful of where you sleep and the attention you give your bedroom is an important part of your daily routine. If, like me, you've just woken up, we will soon be fluffing our nests again. And if you're about to go to sleep, good night and sweet dreams. Take care, enjoy your weekend, I'll see you again next week.


48 comments:

  1. I am so with you on this Rhonda..a well made bed with fresh smelling bedding is so important..I know I sleep better!

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  2. I am glad I am not the only one who completely remakes the bed every morning. My husband thinks I am crazy. There is nothing like crawling into nice smooth sheets at the end of the day!!

    Best Wishes,

    Melanie

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  3. I absolutely agree about how important making the bed and having fresh cleans sheets can be! It's true that my husband and I both sleep better and are happier at bedtime when the bed and the linens are properly made and comfortable.

    I really like to use my hand embroidered pillowcases on our bed as well. Even though I'm the one who stitched them, feeling the stitching as I'm falling asleep makes me feel very safe and connected to my grandmothers.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely bed!

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  4. I'm a regular little Princess and the Pea about our bed. I feel every little crease and wrinkle if they're not smoothed out each day. I also have to have 100% cotton sheets - percale in the summer, flannel in the winter. All sheets Aries had with any polyester in them are now re-purposed out in the garden as frost-protection or as patio furniture covers.

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  5. Gosh. With a bedbug epidemic rampaging throughout the U.S., your piece couldn't be more timely. I'll wager that a bedbug doesn't stand a chance under your regimen.

    Now, if you could only come up with a scheme for those pesky nighttime North Woods mosquitoes in the bedroom, I'd look forward to that better night's sleep you talk about.

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  6. I think the bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. Ours is as peaceful as I can make it. I am amazed that some folk have large t.vs and music centres in their bedrooms. These appliances belong in the living rooms and family rooms as trying to sleep after watching the trials and tribulations in the world today must be very difficult.
    Much better to get a good nights sleep after reading a couple of pages of a gentle book.
    We hope you are still safe from the floods and awful weather, Rhonda

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  7. Yeah..but: WHERE DO YOU GET THOSE SHEETS?! You and Jewels of Eyes of Wonder have the best sets. I realize your stores in your country and mine (USA) are probably not the same (!LOL)...but still. I am scratching my head, woman.

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  8. Thanks Rhonda. Off to make my bed *properly* now. I enjoy making the beds with my little boy - it can be lots of fun with him climbing under the sheets when I lift it in the air and it falls to the bed. Takes a bit longer but you;re right about sleeping better on non-wrinkled, fresly cleaned and dry sheets.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    xx Miriam

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  9. We bought a new mattress a year or so ago; I was unable to sleep properly because the old one was so bad. We did research, tried plenty of beds and ended up buying one that cost twice as much as our old one. But it is sheer heaven!!! I know you're not really writing about the cost of a bed, Rhonda; I totally agree with the care that we deserve to take with our beds and bedrooms; sleep is a blessed thing and we need it to be as good as possible. We threw out our old, cheaper mattress after two years! What a waste; there was no way we could pass it on to anyone else; no-one we hated enough! It's surely greener and more frugal to buy the best you can, if you can. I feel the money we have saved by living simply and frugally has given us a good bed and great sleep.

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  10. I always make my bed each day and change my sheets once a week. It's become a ritual with me. I love the smell of clean sheets.

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  11. Good morning Rhonda,
    I really agree with all you have said. When we lived on the farm our bedroom was near our back fence and at night when the sheep came up near the house yard we could hear them bighting off the grass and chewing it and it was so pleasant. Now we are in the city and we hear the noise of syrens and traffic and I long for that quiet again. Have a restful weekend and I pray the sun shines on all the poor folk who have been deludged by heavy rain.

    Blessings Gail.
    p.s. Did the creek flood into your garden?

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  12. I just switched to our summer bedding.Before I out it all on I hung it out on the line so when we went to bed that night our dreams were filled with the scent of fresh air.
    Rois

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  13. I too, love a made clean bed. I have been struggling with my sheets lately... they have been pilling and they are not cheap, low thread count. Urgh... I take care of my things so this is perplexing. Any ideas from other readers?? Thank you!!

    cathy c

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  14. Donna in CO USAMay 22, 2009 9:32 am

    Hi Rhonda,
    I agree, not only with you, but with Bethany -- I love using my hand embroidered linens. It lets me go to sleep with a smile on my face.

    Stay safe and dry!
    Donna in CO USA

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  15. I know we sometimes reject the things our mothers taught us, but bed making was ingrained in me when I was tiny and, thankfully, I've never lost the habit. I often wonder if a lot of sleep problems aren't tied up with unmade or poorly made beds and dusty poorly ventilated rooms.

    BTW, I bought the caustic soda yesterday. Tony has found goggles and gloves for me, I'll report in Monay! :)

    Enjoy your weekend Rhonda.

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  16. Thank you for reminding us to take another look at our beds and the rooms we spend so many hours in.

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  17. Our bed is so easy to make since I got rid of that over-fluffed comforter and replaced it with a quilted spread I made myself. The spread is so easy to smooth into place. Yep. A well-made bed is a pleasure to climb into at night.

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  18. Yes, one of life's pleasures. The whole combination of clean sheets, lucious covers and side table accessories contributes to deep restfulness and contentment which is essential for that good night's sleep we truly need to replenish the soul. I often think when walking in the room during the day how much I love sliding into bed each night. Yah for bed beauty.

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  19. What a beautiful post.

    I have pictures of our baby silkie chickens (chooks as you so dearly call them) on my blog...

    We are proud new "parents" again.

    The four hens will soon be suffering from jealousy and curiosity as they share the other side of the chicken run.

    Have a wonderful day. It is so exciting that you are in the midst of writing a book.

    I read here often but comment rarely. Just know that you make a difference.

    Thank You.

    Becky K.

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  20. Oh I do so agree with ALL of this! Last year when I was battling breast cancer, our bedroom became my sanctuary and it was absolutely necessary that everything there was simplified. And I do so appreciate that bed and the room even more now that I'm well again. It's such a joy to go there at night and be smiling as I'm drifting off to sleep. :)

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  21. I so agree. My bedroom is my sanctuary and I LOVE my bed! It's a must that it be well made every morning after a good night's sleep. I just know I'd feel grotty for the rest of the day if I didn't make it properly.

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  22. Nothing beats a nicely made bed with line dried sheets. What can climbing in between smooth clean sheets compaire to.

    Our windows are open tonight and there is a brisk warm breeze, I will sleep well.

    Karyn

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  23. What a sweet reminder to care of ourselves in this special way. Tomorrow, I will fluff my nest in my room, wash my sheets and spread and dry them outdoors, then make my bed with love.

    Thank you!

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  24. Slowly slowly I am learning to take more time. To nurture that place - thanks for your inspiration. I feel my bedroom is very important - it is tidy calm, neat and clean. It is always the first room to be tidied in the morning. Seeing however as I am a later riser and have needy little ones in the morning I spend less time on smoothing the wrinkles. It is all pulled up but it is not as tidy as it should be. Actually my husband often makes the bed up in the evening after my having washed the sheets. He is just so speedy and neat and tidy - every wrinkle gone. I guess being in the Defence Force has impacted that :) Once again you have inspired me. To see my bed and my children's beds as places of nurturing. I really like that analogy. Thanks Rhonda.

    We recently bought some new sheeting - Sheridan for half price and a cotton mattress protector to replace our old poly one that had torn and torn after all my repairs. We feel "treated" each night to sleep in comfort and my commitment to my bed is renewed again.

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  25. Hi Rhonda, thank you for your thoughts, always. I have been following your blog for a little while now and I am always inspired by your ideas and words. I'm in Melbourne and am getting together the ingredients to make some, if not all of your homemade cleaning recipes. With 4 kids, I like the look of the heavy duty washing powder in particular....however, I'm unable to find the napisan soap . I bought some sard soap, but am hesitating between using that grated, or the napisan powder as a substitute. What would you recommend and where do you buy your napisan soap? Many thanks

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  26. Maybe I'm odd, but I always strip the bed back during the day to let it air and remake it at night before I get in. I once read we lose pints of water as sweat during the night and that image of a 'wet' mattress never left me!

    Also my father used to tell me horror stories as a child about bedbugs hiding under his covers (he lived in the run down tenements in South London), and how he used to whip the covers back and slap wet soap on top of them before they scattered. I think I have been mentally scarred and it comes out in the form of odd bedmaking habits. Lol!

    In answer to your question Rhonda, yes! They are real hedgehogs rescued as underweight babies last November. They are very big girls now and are being reintroduced to the outside (and boy hedgehogs!) as we speak.

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  27. I agree 100%. Our bed is the one place I refuse to scrimp on to save a few dollars. I want to be comfortable.

    Life is just to short to live with an uncomfortable bed.

    I thought I had a good bed until I went on vacation and slept in the 5 star hotel bed! When we came home I still had a few hundred dollars left of my spending money and you guessed it, it almost all went into new bedding!

    Thank you for another great post and I hope you and yours have a great weekend.

    Caryn

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  28. I don't know how you always manage to post about something so relevant to me!
    My husband and I have just changed up our bed time routine in hopes of becoming more rested and relaxed.
    We bought a nice expensive mattress, and have started going to bed MUCH earlier (with no TV!).
    It's making a huge difference.
    Now I'll add your advice, and make the bed up every day (the sheets are on the line as I type this!), and see how much better we feel.

    -Melanie in Canada

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  29. So true! I've tried the magazine look for my bed -- dry clean only duvet cover that was stiff and uncomfortable + a zillion ornamental pillows. That was years ago. Now my more humble bed is made of all cotton quilts, heavy cotton sheets and pillow cases (just the pillows we sleep on!) in the summer and flannel in the winter. So much more restful!

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  30. How funny to read this as today is sunny and I plan to wash bedding to hang on the line today. My bedroom is one area that never gets taken care of unfortunately. We have a crib side carred next to our King for the one year old, a 3 year old in the middle, and 6 year old who is terrified of mummies (Apparently Indiana Jones the childrens series was too much) sleeping in a twin put on the end. I look forward to the day when I can make my bed because no one will be napping in it later. lol But right now I do enjoy waking up to slobbery baby kisses and going to bed snuggled up to some of the most precious beings in the world. I would not trade it for anything. One day our bedroom will be a santuary but for now its a place of family resting, giggles, and snuggles. :)

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  31. I haven't commented for ages, Rhonda, but I always laugh out loud (in a nice way) when you talk about your freshly made beds. It is such a simple thing to be passionate about and I can relate to it one hundred percent.
    I feel an almost "high" when I get into my bed when the sheets have been outside drying that very day.
    It is surely one of the purest pleasures that a human can enjoy - fresh, clean bedding and the thought of a good night's sleep.
    Karen (Scotland)

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  32. Rhonda, a new resource from Mother Earth News,in the States on keeping chickens you might want to check out. If you like share with your American followers. http://www.communitychickens.com/
    NatalieJoy

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  33. For Christmas this year my wife made a little pillow about 10" x 7" with a personal message embroidered on the front. She stuffed it with some of our homegrown llama wool mixed with a bunch of dried lavender blossoms. We keep it between our pillows in bed and throughout the night if we shift positions and happen to crush it just a bit, we are flushed with a wonderful aroma. I never thought I'd like it much until we tried it. Now I don't want to sleep without it.

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  34. I love my room and try to make it comfy for me..I make my bed every morning..I cant stand a messy room or bed..
    I always have to have the window opened, even if its a little...I cant stand a hot room..
    Your room looks cozy..

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  35. ahhh you have inspired me to finish painting and decorating my bedroom. To take some time to make it cozy.

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  36. On the day each week I change the bed and wash linens I also like to hang the pillows out on the line too. The sun fluffs the feathers up and the pillows seem new and fresh again. I do wash the pillows once in a while too and put them in the dryer for a while to get them fluffed before finishig drying them on the line. I have to do that the very first thing in the moring so our pillows are dry for bed time. Our pillows are not the huge heavy ones so if they were I would have to dry them in the dryer first longer I feel sure. Like you I feel snuggling down in those crisp new sheets is one of life's luxurys! :) Jody

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  37. What a beautiful post--Thank you for your wonderful perspective on our beds. I love my bed! It's my dreamed-for respite at the end of every day.

    Someone commented, “I am amazed that some folk have large t.vs and music centres in their bedrooms. These appliances belong in the living rooms and family rooms as trying to sleep after watching the trials and tribulations in the world today must be very difficult.
    Much better to get a good nights sleep after reading a couple of pages of a gentle book.”

    We have a TV in our room, which isn't always very nice, unfortunately ;0) I have a never-ending supply of ear plugs to help...and of course, all of these wonderful blogs!

    A couple of you mentioned poorly-ventilated rooms. We always keep our room door shut because me husband doesn’t want the cats in, so it ends up getting pretty stuffy. Some night I wake up feeling like there’s no fresh air to breath. Luckily, we have a nice egress that I open, and that really helps.

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  38. Interesting topic! I hope no one has already added these suggestions- I've only time to skim comments at the moment.
    A couple of times each year you should turn your mattress, flip it bottom to top and head to toe. This prevents a ditch forming where each person sleeps.
    Don't have the bedroom too 'busy'.
    Lavender is believed to aid sleep- place some under your pillow or nearby.
    I'm not as particular as Rhonda, but I do like my bed to be made and my room tidied first thing each morning.

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  39. I so relish the beautiful aroma of cotton sheets dried out on the clothesline. My bed is also my haven, through some bad health and many healing times. And is a beloved gift from my dear Sister.

    Back in 1998 I had major "digestive" surgery. After recooperation with my dear parents I came home to the delivery of a new beddybise. I got to choose it, however dear Sister, resident in England, had decided on this as a gift. Such a healing gift.

    10 1/2 years on and I still love snuggling down in this bed. My rescue cat loves it too! His special polar fleece blanket, the fluffy scarves of mine that he has usurped and his wee soft toys cover the top.

    I hope you have a glorious sleep tonight in your beautiful bed, ready for happy writing, living and celebrating life, planning a certain wedding.......

    Michelle and Zebbycat in Wellington, NZ

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  40. Ah the joy of a bed well made ! I am a deep sleeper and need all of it.
    My husband is retired but I still work. Often I get up before him so I can't make the bed. When I get back from work and he has just throw the edredon over the sheets. I always take the time to make it straight.
    It's one of my little pleasure to "break" the bed before going to sleep.

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  41. wonderful post! i seem to leave the bedroom for last when i am cleaning, and this gives me a fresh perspective and inspiration to change the energy in my bedroom! thank you.

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  42. Hi,
    It is such an easy thing to do, and such an important room to take care of. I purchased an environmentally friendly lattex mattress with organic cotton covers last year. And I finished the job by purchasing organic cotton linen from www.biome.com.au and www.organicembrace.com.au - I believe that we have slept better than ever before. I take joy in changing the linen frequently - but haven't trained him yet to keep the clutter out of the bedroom.. might be one of my eternal challenges?

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  43. That is simply lovely Rhonda!! :-)
    elizabeth

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  44. Our bedroom is my favorite room in the house, and our bed is my most loved piece of furniture. Compared to all our second-hand, rescued furniture, we really splurged on our bed (which is actually two twin beds) - it's made from whole wood in a local factory, and has a wonderful, warm color. Our bedroom is the first room I straighten up in the morning. Even if the house is a mess, dishes pile up in the sink and we ran out of clean socks, my mind is at rest when I know that our bedroom is tidy and our bed is beautifully made.

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  45. This is so true, the bed is a very important thing. Take Care Hughs from Sweden.

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  46. Oh I agree!
    I just love to dry my sheets in the fresh air and sunshine here on the farm. Then put them back on the bed. They smell just like home!

    Thank-you so much for your nice comment about Belle.
    Have a great weekend.
    Pam

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  47. Rhonda, I'm from Michigan, USA, and love to check in with you whenever there's a quiet moment in our household of 8. I especially like the tone of many of your posts. I hear kindness, confidence, and hopefully you'll take this as a compliment, motherliness. To most of the gardening ideas, I merely aspire, but am inspired by all. Many thanks, Sonja.

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  48. Oh I just love all your posts, Rhonda Jean... you have such wonderful ideas! And I agree, a simple bed is the best bed.
    I love a no frills, simple bedroom.
    And I have to make the bed up before I do anything else in the morning!

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