Our modern-day bedrooms may be cosier and safer than the caves our ancestors slept in. However, they can also be brighter, noisier and warmer, all of which all can affect our ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
Top Ten Tips
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. Then 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
Along with a decrease in light a decrease in core body temperature 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 tidy.
A tidy, de-cluttered and organised bedroom has been proven to improve sleep , presumably because it creates a relaxed space to sleep in. Making your bed first thing is also linked with better sleep at night.
4) Remove all technology.
This includes your TV, mobile phone and tablet. By keeping your work outside your bedroom it reinforces to your brain that the bedroom is a space reserved for sleep (and sex) only.
5) Keep it smelling fresh.
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.
A clean bedroom 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.
Calming colours include light blue, but especially 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.
This is more important 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.