Are you getting enough sleep? If you are aged 35-44 year old then probably not. We fall into the most sleep deprived age group of the UK. (yes, I am still under 44).
We all know a rubbish night’s sleep affects us. We are less productive, less focused and generally less enthusiastic about life (not to mention a bit uglier).
But consistently missing out those precious zeds can lead to serious physical and mental health issues that affect our careers and relationships.
If you struggle with sleep you’ll have probably read up on the rules. You’ll know that you shouldn’t scroll before bedtime. You shouldn’t keep your phone next to your bed. And that you should write down everything you’re worried about before you go to bed.
But do you know how to design your bedroom for a good night’s sleep?
The environment you are in has a massive impact on your mood and well-being. So before you resort to a bottle of wine to cure your insomnia and send you into a Tuesday night coma, take a look at your bedroom. Maybe there are some changes you could make.
Here’s 8 bedroom ideas that will help you sleep.
1. GET THE RIGHT MATTRESS
This is pretty obvious but it’s the single most important part of your bedroom so this is where you need to invest your time and budget.
Get the best mattress you can afford and take the time to choose it. I know sales people are super annoying (they have to be, it’s their job) but when it comes to buying a mattress you really do need to take their advice. There is all the technical stuff about supporting your spine and your hip being able to dip slightly when you’re on your side. They know their shit so listen to them. Some companies even have these ‘sleep match analysis’ gizmos where they go all sci-fi and scan your sleep position and then give you a shortlist to try out.
The alternative is getting one of the online mattresses delivered that offer a really long trial period and free delivery and collection. I’ve never tried one but they seem to be smashing it with consumer surveys and awards so definitely worth checking out. And that way you don’t lose three hours of your Saturday to a large showroom on some depressing retail estate – winner winner!
2. USE COOL COLOURS
Cool colours like blues and greens lower blood pressure and our heart rates. So they are not just very pretty they are also perfect for putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep. Wether to go light or dark is up to you. Light colours will always make a room feel bigger and brighter but dark colours can feel like a cocooning sanctuary. If you don’t use your bedroom during the day to work or hang out in (because you’re probably not 12) I would definitely recommend going for a stronger shade. It’s more romantic and atmospheric, just make sure you have a couple of lamps or wall lights to create a gentle ambiance and to avoid feeling like you’re in a cave.
3. LAYER TEXTURES
Once you’ve nailed your wall colour then give some thought to your fabrics and textures. Layer from the floor up with carpets, rugs, blinds, curtains, throws and cushions. A mixture of different fabrics will create a cosy and plush feeling. Think sheepskin, velvet and Egyptian cotton, anything that feels fabulous to the touch. And you can do all this with neutral colours or varying tones of one colour to keep things calm and zen like.
4. CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Whilst I am a huge advocate of personal and memorable possessions, the bedroom is the one place I would suggest limiting these. It’s good to have a few pieces of artwork and objects to personalise the space but don’t allow too many items to gather. Have some negative space that allows you to mentally breathe. And definitely put away piles of clothes and shoes and put your dirty washing in the laundry bin. Used pants lying on the floor is not conducive to the zen atmosphere we want. If you are the messy kind then imagine you are 12 again, make a concerted effort and put ‘tidy my room’ on your weekly to do list.
5. GENTLE LIGHTING
Bedtime is all about creating the right atmosphere and overly bright ceiling lights are not ideal. Think back to stays in posh hotels when you stumble in from the bar to find the room gently lit with your plush duvet folded down and pillows plumped up, that’s the look you should be going for. So bedside lights are a must, and where possible go for fabric shades that diffuse the light to create that warm cosy glow.
If you are short of space then you can hang pendants over the bedside tables from the ceiling, just avoid the industrial look of exposed bulbs as they can create quite a glare. If you are lucky enough to have the floor space then floor lamps create a lovely atmosphere. Dimmer switches and LEDS are also great for reading lights when winding down before trying to sleep.
6. CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE
So the rule goes your bed should be warm but he air temperature should be cool for the prefect night’s sleep. This is where all those layers on your bed come in handy. Blankets and throws not only look and feel amazing but they make it easy to control the temperature when in bed. Keep radiators on a low setting and cuddle up to get warm in bed.
7. BLACK OUT ALL THE WAY
We need darkness to produce Melatonin, the hormone we produce to tell the body it should go to sleep. It relaxes our muscles, initiates a feeling of drowsiness and reduces our body temperature.
So without it we’re pretty screwed. Give yourself the best chance by creating a dark atmosphere. Black out curtains will help, and a pelmet will finish the job. And no I’m not talking about hideous frills and drapes. Just an MDF box can create a great way of blocking the light coming in around the top of your curtains, just paint it the same colour as your walls and you won’t even notice it. Also avoid electronic devices that give off even the slightest emission of light. If you insist on sleeping with your phone, because we all need an alarm to drag us out of bed in the morning, then keep it in a drawer. Or if it’s charging keep it face down on the floor.
8. SMELLS SO GOOD
Smell is processed by a different part of the brain to the other 4 senses, which may explain why it can have such a powerful effect on us in evoking emotions and memories. So don’t neglect how your room smells. The right smell can really help you mentally and physically prepare for a good night’s sleep. This is a pretty cheap and easy thing to change as there are tons of products to produce your desired scent. Although lavender, calamine and bergamot have the best reputation for aiding sleep you just need to find any scent you love that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Even just freshly cleaned sheets could do the job.
So there are my top 8 tips to assist in your pursuit of the perfect night’s sleep. What changes are you planning to make?
If you live in Hampshire and would like some interior design ideas please get in touch here, I’d love to help you.