Our modern-day bedrooms may be cosier and safer than the caves our ancestors used to sleep in. However, they can also be brighter, noisier and warmer, which all affect our ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
Here are ten tips on how to design your bedroom to help you sleep peacefully…
1) Total darkness is vital to falling asleep easily
Try to eliminate all light from your bedroom. To test ‘light pollution’, switch all the lights off, allow a few minutes for your eyes to adjust, and then look for areas and items where you can see light.
Eliminate all light leakage; blackout blinds are great, especially in summer, a towel under the door can help too if light is coming under. Turn your alarm away from you or swap for a dawn simulator. If all else fails, get a high-quality sleep mask.
2) Keep it cool
A decrease in temperature as well as a decrease in light is a natural cue that it is time for sleep. The best bedroom temperature for you to get to sleep easily is between 15.5 and 20 degrees Centigrade. Too far above or below this range, makes it more difficult to get to sleep. If your partner prefers it warmer, buy a cooling pad for your side or an electric blanket for their side.
In the summer keep your room cool by closing your blinds & curtains during the day and have a fan or open window blowing through a damp sheet at night. You could even put your sheets/pyjamas in the fridge before using them if it’s especially hot.
3) De-clutter your bedroom and keep it clean and tidy to create a calm, organised and relaxed bedroom to sleep in.
4) Remove all technology, including your TV, mobile phone and tablet. This prevents you from bringing work into your bedroom, reinforcing to your brain that the bedroom is a space reserved for sleep (and sex) only.
5) Wrong smells can stop us from getting to sleep easily. Lavender oil helps get you into a deeper sleep. Plants can also help the air quality.
6) Clean your bedroom regularly this improves your sleep and keeps you healthier, by ridding your room of dust, pet hair, pollen and bacteria. This reduces the risk of asthmatic attacks and allergic responses.
7) Change your sheets at least every two weeks
Washing your bed linen in hot water, keeping your bed crisp and fresh helps you get to sleep more easily, and reducing dust mite risk at the same time.
8) Use calming pastel colours in the bedroom and avoid red, which will keep you awake.
9) Reduce outside noise
Tape over gaps in windows or double-glaze them to reduce street noise. Use earplugs or a white noise generator such as SleepPhones if you can’t reduce outside noise or your partner snores loudly.
10) Get as big a bed as you can, especially if you sleep with a partner. Super king size gives you twice the size of a single bed, whereas a double bed only gives you the same room as a baby in a cot. More space to sleep in means you get a better, less disturbed night’s sleep as a couple.