Getting a better night's sleep
This blog is about understanding the impact the state of a bedroom and our night time habits impact the quality of our sleep. If you are struggling to get to sleep at night or fall asleep only to wake a few hours later then keep reading.
I have always been a ‘good sleeper’, I typically go to bed before 11pm and wake around 7am, but during the pandemic like so many of you, I have struggled to sleep. I have read lots of articles and blog posts on how to get a ‘better’ nights sleep and I am going to share with you the tips that have worked for me.
Create a nicer space
You can do this in a number of ways.
Its proven that pretty things make us happy. I chose to put items in my room which are personal to me, pictures of my family, cherished objects and meaningful art. These items allow me to enjoy me being in the room.
Paint your room in a colour that makes you feel at ease. These are often softer warmer tones. If you are not sure what colour paint your room you can’t go wrong with a relaxing shade of blue. This colour is proven by colour theorists to create a sense of calm in a space. I would avoid the use of red as a main colour as it is proven to stimulate the senses. It’s the colour of passion which is great for a bedroom, but not when you are tying to sleep.
Many of you maybe renting a property which often restricts you from redecorating without the landlords permission. Think about using a well-placed rug, or a picture or photo to create a nicer space.
Be careful not to cramp the room with too much furniture. There should be easy access from your bed to the bathroom, and to complete your morning routine when getting ready.
Work free zone
Now this might not be such an easy ask in this pandemic with so many of us working from home and having children home for home schooling. You might be forced up into the bedroom for privacy to work.
If you have had to create a work-space in your bedroom then be sure you switch off all your tech at night. I am the worst for not shutting down my laptop but leaving it in standby. As my IT husband tells me ‘shutting down’ is good for your machine.
If you also have a monitor screen consider buying or creating a cover for it. This will not only stop you having to look at it but has the added benefit of protecting it from dust. If you have a stack of papers, notebooks, pens and the other items that come with having a home office be sure to either pop them away in drawers or a pretty storage box that you can easily access each day.
Finally be sure to return any mugs, glasses and ‘working lunch’ plates to the kitchen each day to stop the clutter building up on your desk.
Reduce the clutter
Having a untidy room and an unmade bed kills the relaxing vibe that you want to create in your room. Reducing the clutter reduces the stress that’s often experienced with “too many loose ends”.
Take a look around your room – is there a chair, or a surface that ends up being becoming the laundry pile, or clothes that can be worm again before washing. I used to have a wicker occasion chair that my husband threw all his clothes on at night. When we moved it went into the recycling, so now he just uses the top of the drawers. I purchased a new laundry bag which now seems to be getting more use.
Another piece of advice is not to keep your ironing pile in your bedroom. It may be clean clothes but the restless nights sleep that can be experienced from that one job you might keep putting off as it grows and grows with each load of laundry you do.
If you only take one action then remove the clutter from your room and focus on keeping it tidy. That doesn’t mean shoving it into wardrobes, or under the bed. It might not be seen but you will still know its there.
Reduce the light
At night a bedroom really only needs ambient light for reading in bed. Now that’s not reading on your phone as the blue light from a screen is shown to activate the mind making it harder to wind down for sleep.
Turn off any devices, or better yet, remove them from your bedroom to remove the glow of any ‘standby’ light. I personally don’t have my mobile phone in my bedroom at night, it rests overnight on its charging dock. Its usually had a tough day so needs a good rest. Consider going old school and using an alarm clock, or at least have your device set to ‘do not disturb’.
Make your room as dark as possible and shut out the light with curtains or blinds. These can be lined with ‘blackout’ fabric which reduces light absorption further.
Good bedding and good sheets
There is plenty of advice online about how to choose the perfect mattress, so I am not going to take that subject on here but be sure to have a good bed with the right mattress. Make sure you turn your mattress at least a couple of times a year to increase its longevity.
The topic of bedsheets is often overlooked. Try to go for 100% cotton sheets as these are more natural and have a softer feel, but be warned you will need to iron them if you don’t want to sleep in a wrinkled bed.
Get the right pillow – not an easy task but one that is worth getting right.
And have I mentioned it already – make your bed every day. Still something I have to remind my 19 year old daughter almost daily but I’d like to think I am slowly winning.
Want to create a bedroom retreat?
As an Interior designer I can guide you on how to create a visual space with a practical set up to help you not only get to sleep easier, but with the aim of sleeping more soundly.
If you’d like to book a free initial consultation to talk about your bedroom please get in touch by filling out the contact form or dropping me an email to Vicky@myclaybrickhome.com
You can also read about a bedroom concept design I worked on for a local couple here.