Creating the perfect sleep sanctuary is one of the best ways to give yourself some much needed self-care. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning not just well-rested, but energised – and it’s easier than you think.
Sure, we’ve all tried a little bit of Youtube yoga. Five minutes of reading before bed. Maybe those whale sounds are what you need to drift off – and you might have also heard of something called ‘sleep hygiene’. We know it sounds clinical, but we promise it’s not. It means creating an environment, and a daily routine, that helps you sleep consistently and without interruption. It’s all about making a few little (or big) changes to bring some peace and quiet to the bedroom, in an effort to help you snooze with ease. Here’s how we’d do it:
One of the reasons you might not be sleeping well? Your bed could be too small. If you’re sharing a standard double bed, or tend to starfish every night, you could end up feeling a bit cramped. Everyone has their own habits and sleeping positions. So if you’re partial to tossing and turning, it might be a good idea to get a queen – or even a king sized – bed. You’ll have enough space to find the perfect sleeping position, without having to dangle any limbs off the side.
Believe it or not, bed height can make a difference too. Even though most bed heights are standardised, there are taller frames out there. A higher bed with a large headboard can give off luxury hotel vibes, or go for boho and invest in a Japanese-style low platform bed. Bliss.
Whichever bed size you choose, the mattress is the key ingredient, and luckily your options are endless. Latex, memory foam, pocket sprung or open spring. Just like with bed size, your mattress is a very personal choice – choose wisely and you’ll be in the land of nod in no time. You should be spending a third of your day sleeping (that’s eight hours), so it’s worth investing in a mattress that makes you feel like royalty.
Once you’ve got the right bed size and found the ideal mattress, all that’s missing is the right kind of bedding. Bedding plays a huge role in how well we sleep. It’s not only about how the fabric feels – it can help regulate your body temperature, too. There are all sorts of fabrics to choose from, from stonewashed linen to super-soft cotton and luxury silk blends. Tend to get a bit hot during the night? Choose cotton, or a bamboo blend. They’re moisture-wicking, and will help cool you down.
Now, let’s talk about thread count. You might think the higher the count, the better the sheets (and the better sleep) but this isn’t actually the case. High thread count fabrics tend to trap a lot of heat, so they’re great in colder months when you need that extra warmth, but come at a price when it starts to heat up. Thread counts between 280 and 450 are great all year round, especially in fabrics that adapt to your temperature. (We mentioned those before.)
Bright bedding might look great, but could hinder your journey to cloud nine. Soft, muted colours inspire calmness and cosiness. Think pastel or earthy tones to sooth – we’ll allow millennial pink, too. Or go for crisp white sheets to give you that just-made hotel bed feel.
If you’re used to getting your eight hours a night, sleep might seem like the most natural thing in the world. But if you start to have trouble getting the recommended amount, that comfy bed and those cosy sheets might not be enough. All it takes is a phone buzz to snap us out of dozing off – if you’re really set on creating a sleep-friendly bedroom, here are our tips to help you get there:
1. Choose soft colours
Sure, you’ve sorted your bedding. But this goes for your walls, too. Muted greens and blues have the most relaxing effect on your mind, so they’re a great choice if you’re in the mood for a relaxing revamp. Not really your look? Just follow the rule that cooler colours work best, like grey or lavender, but make sure you find a paint that has a slightly warm undertone – this makes sure it doesn’t feel too stark. Bright, bold colours stimulate your brain, so that’s not something you want right before you go to bed. This goes for most interior accessories such as rugs, lighting and furniture. Soothing colours = a peaceful mind, so think soft and you’ll be asleep in no time.
2. Tech should be out of sight
You should try to leave your phone out of the bedroom. Oh, and the TV, laptop or tablet. Their blue light is designed to help you concentrate when working, but when you’re getting ready for bed, this will be way too stimulating. Sure, we all want to fit in one more episode. But closing the laptop and popping your phone on silent is the easiest way to get on your way to sweet dreams.
3. Declutter your space
Messiness around your sleeping area can really affect the way you sleep – scattered laundry, that floordrobe and piles of books can easily distract you. You know the saying – a tidy room means a tidy mind, and this leads to a better sleep. Stow away as many things as you can; keep your wardrobe doors closed, put all your dirty clothes in a hamper or basket, fold everything for the chest of drawers and instantly free up your space. Making the bed can help you fall asleep faster at night, so it’s worth making the effort every morning.
Sleep will take you over in no time – just make sure you’re set up in just the right circumstances. Before you go to bed, draw your curtains or black-out blinds fully to get as close to darkness as you can. Getting some fresh air in the room is another handy trick – a temperature of 16-18 °C is ideal for sleeping. Having the rest of your room cooler than inside the duvet is a surefire way to maximise your snuggle-down time.
With so many distractions throughout the day, your bedroom should be the place you feel the most zen. All it takes is a few changes to give yourself a good night’s sleep – without the need to count any sheep.