Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The stuff that dreams are made of...

We spend a third of our lives sleeping, in theory anyway. Most of us are sleep-deprived from late hours, uncomfortable beds and snoring partners, among other things. Yet obtaining good sleep is one of the most restorative things you can do for your body. So how can we get better sleep? No, this isn't an ad for temperpedic mattresses. Here are some thoughts from an eminent home economist, Martha Van Rensselaer, of the 1920s:

"The ideal sleeping-room is the outdoor porch with only curtains for protection. An indoor sleeping-room should have simple furnishings. Unnecessary draperies collect dust and exclude air and sunshine. The floor should be bare save for a few small, easily cleaned rugs. The wall paper should be of a soft restful color,either plain or with small inconspicuous figures.
An iron bed is better than a wooden one because it can be more easily cleaned. A mattress is more healthful than a feather bed, because the body is not so enveloped as to hinder the escape of waste matter from the skin. The bed covering should be warm but light. Several light-weight blankets or comforts are better than fewer heavy ones." A Manual of Home-making, Martha Van Rensselaer et al

Except for the sleeping outside and the disgusting reference to "waste matter from the skin" I agree with Martha. My bedroom carpet always has issues with pet hair, dryer lint, baby powder, etc. We're switching it out to laminate flooring later this year. I also agree that bedrooms tend to collect dust and that the air gets stale. I don't tend to dust in the bedroom as often as the living room, which I should. My plan is to have a few hours with the windows open to "air it out" on the days that I change the sheets.

And speaking of sheets, here's a recipe for linen water that you can spritz on your sheets for some aromatherapy goodness. Make some extra and you have holiday gifts a plenty. Pleasant dreams.

"Linen Water
by Natasha Palewandrem

Glass or plastic bottles with caps (or spray bottle)

Essential oil (try lavender or rose for traditional scents, jasmine or
plumeria blossom for exotic scents)
90 ml non-flavoured, high proof vodka (approx. 3oz)
750 ml distilled water (approx. 25 oz)


If you are using a glass bottle, sterilize it with boiling water. If
you are using a plastic bottle, pour a little very hot water into your
container to rinse it. Let it dry before mixing your linen water.

In the cooled bottle, mix the vodka and 1 teaspoon (5ml) of essential
oil together. Close the bottle and shake it well to mix the oil with
the alcohol. (The alcohol emulsifies the oil so you will have an
evenly mixed solution.)

Add the 750 ml of distilled water to the bottle. Close the container
and shake again to mix the scent and the water.

Use your linen water when making the bed, pressing your linens or
simply by misting the air to freshen a room. You can also try misting
linen water while you are ironing or try adding a little into your
dryer while your table linens are drying. You can store your linen
water for 6 to 8 months. Cap your bottles tightly and store them in a
cool corner to make them last."


Seattle Coffee Girl said...

Ooh, thank you for the linen water recipe. I'll be trying that very soon. I loooove the scent of lavender. And there is nothing more delicious than when a gentleman's handkerchief smells of lavender.

Now, do you have a recipe for anti-snoring water? My DH has recently taken up the habit, and it's a real hinderance to my sleep. Well, that and the newborn. :)

Buck said...

For years, I suffered from insomnia. That is, until I found my perfect mode of sleep: On the couch with the lights on low and CNN going all night. I haven't slept on a bed in years. And I sleep like a baby.

Sigh. It's a good thing I'm single.

Lorraine said...

Me too with the thanks for the linen water thing. That crap is EXPENSIVE but I love it.

Kimberly Ann said...

CNN, Buck? I sometimes do the couch thing but TCM takes me into dream land. Nothing like late night classic movies for a perfect nightcap. Of course, Wolf Blitzer can zonk me out so maybe you are on to something.

The only cure for snoring, SCG, is a nice fat pair of ear plugs. :-)

Anonymous said...

Martha must have lived in a warm climate. The weather here would only be conducive to outdoor sleeping about 1/10th of the year.

I've found that I have to sleep next to a fan. I like the air and I like the white-noise effect it has.

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Linen water is so lovely! Thank you for the recipe!