Out of all the rooms in the house, our bedrooms should be the tidiest, cleanest and most organized. Not because we spend the most time in there, the average person only spends around ten hours in their bedroom, but because having a calming, relaxing space where we can unwind after a tough day is vital when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. If you think the room’s too messy, looks dated, uninspiring or just doesn’t reflect your tastes then it can be hard to drift off in an environment you don’t feel safe and secure.
While many of us actively look to bring technology into the bedroom, be it through iPads, phones, laptops and even televisions you’ll sleep better if you make your bedroom a technology free bolthole. Why? Studies have shown that we’re more likely to get a better, uninterrupted night’s sleep if we refrain from using technology at least two hours before bed.
While you may be itching to check your work emails, there’s nothing you can accomplish past seven pm. Even the most dedicated offices will be closed. Instead, why not choose to read a book? Listen to the radio? Call a friend? Or play cards with your partner? These are all low impact activities that don’t require staring at screens for hours on end which, let’s face it, you’ve probably done quite enough of today already.
Get into proper pajamas and pop a robe and slippers on before going back downstairs. This way you’ll feel far more relaxed than if you’d spent all evening in your wrinkled, worn and stained work clothes. Don’t neglect the room itself as what colours, fabrics and even scents you have in your treasured sleep space can affect how much rest you get.
Between The Sheets
Ever climbed into bed last thing at night and immediately noticed how chilly, almost damp the sheets seem to be? Believe it or not, not all bedding is created equally. Warmer flannel sheets are designed for winter usage while cooler, lighter covers should be used in summer. However, it’s not just the thickness of the sheet you should pay attention to it’s also the thread count that matters.
Look for sheets that have a high thread count; we’re not suggesting Egyptian cotton although those are really something but anything between 200 and 800 is fine. When it comes to sheets the higher the count, the longer lasting and softer they’ll get with use instead of becoming harder and scratchy. Don’t forget your duvet! Choose one that’s fluffy and warm with a high tog, thickness count, as well as being made from a man made fibre instead of goose down or feathers as these tend to go a bit clumpy over time.
Kings And Queens
A common complaint amongst most couples is that one or the other party tends to hog the bed. Still, short of buying a bed divider is there anything practical you can do? Well, yes, in order to get the best night’s sleep you can it may be worth increasing the size of your bed from a double, to a queen or even a king. While expensive in the short term the long term health benefits are more than worth the initial cost. A good, supportive bed base will go the distance while a high-quality mattress such as those available from mattress specialists help to support your back, hips and shoulders reducing the chances of waking up sore. Not to mention being unable to sleep in the first place due to digging or sagging springs.
No one wants to come into a room and smell unwashed laundry or leftover food so make sure you keep your room tidy at all times. It’s not always feasible to open a window in the winter, especially at night time so to create a pleasant, welcoming fragrance why not light a few candles? Clean linen scents smell like fresh, warm laundry and provide a good neutral base as well as pine, or lemon. If you’re struggling to sleep pop upstairs and light a lavender, chamomile, or magnolia scented candle around an hour before bedtime, or if you’re planning on going back downstairs use a diffuser stick set instead.
Lavender has long been a herbal remedy for sleeplessness and it’s calming, flowery scent will soon have you feeling dozy. Remember, only light candles in rooms that you’re in and never leave one burning unattended. If you still want the flickering effect without the fire hazard, you could spritz a few drops of lavender perfume and use some LED light changing candles. They’re perfectly harmless and look stunning too.
Tone It Down
Our minds become stimulated very quickly so unless you want to be scribbling ideas down all night, we suggest keeping things calm. Try to avoid bright, strong colours in the bedroom, paint walls warm pale shades like buttercup or sandstone or if you’re after a more natural shade for wicker, cotton flower or snowdrop.
Try to avoid flat whites as you don’t want to feel like you’re a lab rat while intense reds and greens can make the room appear smaller than it is. If you’re looking for a way to let more light in why not add a skylight? Put up a few mirrors? Or add a low hanging fleur de lis chandelier that’ll give off a pretty glow but doesn’t dazzle you. Look for low-key art prints like Monet’s Water Lilies whose colours are soft, muted and aesthetically pleasing instead of jarring shapes that repeatedly draw the eye.
The Thicker The Better
Forget curtains that are thin, poorly hung and let the light through as you need the room as dark as possible to boost your serotonin, or happiness, levels. Velvet drapes are perfect, but if you haven’t got the budget a thick, hard wearing linen or polyester would be fantastic too. Look for curtains that cover the entire window, are hung evenly without bunching and check you can’t see any light through them. If your bedroom windows are longer you may be better off with floor length rather than mid-window drapes which can look cheap.