In an ideal world, the bedroom should only ever be used for one thing – sleep. Well maybe two things – sleep and sharing a snuggle with your favourite special friend.
But romance and sleep aside, an increasing amount of us use our bedrooms for a multitude of other things; anything from watching tv, to working, exercising, knitting or combing the cat’s hair.
All of these distractions are having a negative affect. And as a society, we simply don’t get enough sleep.
If, like me, you’ve had struggles with sleep, it could be because your bedroom no longer resembles a bedroom. Look around you – have you turned what should be a dedicated Temple of Slumber into a cinema, office, gym or cat’s home?!
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then stop what you’re doing, read this handy guide to the perfect bedroom set-up for sleep and prepare to get your snooze on…
Find the perfect mattress –
Unsurprisingly the single most important item in your bedroom – nay, your entire home – is your bed.
Every single day starts and ends with our mattresses, so why do so few of us pay them the attention they deserve? After all, we spend one third of each day lying on one!
Problems with sleep, sore shoulders, niggling necks, bad backs or even stuffed noses, all of these could be a result of sleeping on an old, dirty, poor-quality or simply unsuitable mattress.
If you suffer from nightmare sleep, then it could be time to take the plunge and invest in a new one. While it’s certainly a big purchase, it needn’t break the bank. It does, however, require time and research.
Fortunately for you, these days a lot of the big mattress companies have money-back guarantees that let you test out your new purchase for a few weeks – or even a few months – before committing completely. That’s nice of them.
But with so many brands out there, it can be hard to even know where to begin. Luckily the team at the Sleep Advisor blog have a great free guide to get you started.
Time for a bit of blue –
You may dream of making a bold statement with your interior design, but if that statement is a bright colour scheme for your bedroom, chances are that you won’t be dreaming much.
Stepping into your bedroom should be an instantly calming experience and the best way to achieve this is with appropriate furnishings and a calming colour scheme.
Soft colours work nicely. Light and muted greens, yellows, oranges and greys are all good choices – but blues are that bit better.
Maybe it’s because blue evokes the calming effects of the sea or the sky. Or maybe the Smurfs are secret sleep genies. For whatever reason, painting your bedroom in blue hues has been shown to actively encourage longer and deeper sleep.
Get the light right –
Mood lighting is not just about setting the scene when it comes to romance; it’s also about getting your body in the mood for sleep.
We have all evolved to associate sunlight with being awake. Bright artificial lights mirror daylight and have been shown to trigger an involuntary response in our bodies that keeps us alert. So it’s no wonder your mind gets a little confused when your bedroom lights are too bright.
What can you do? Well, less powerful, low-wattage light bulbs work. Dimmer switches are great, as are well-placed lamps – the subtler the better. Candles can be perfect…but only for the safety conscious amongst you!
Blacker the better –
Most of us have a set of curtains in our bedrooms, designed to keep out the light and keep everything else in. (Apologies to the exhbitionists out there who like to give the neighbours an eyeful when getting changed – more power to you!)
But while most curtains are sufficient to prevent Peeping Toms getting their rocks off, they are frankly terrible at preventing light pollution.
Just like our mattresses, millions of us just make do with something that often isn’t up to the job.
Shut your curtains, pull down your blinds and turn out the light, and I bet your room is still pretty bright. Check now. Go on. I’ll wait. I bet I’m right.
Our circadian rhythms are important and need to be respected – and, just as having bright lights inside our bedrooms can affect the duration and quality of our sleep, so can light leaking in from outside.
Investing in a good set of blackout curtains can have a huge and instantly noticeable impact on the quality of your sleep.
So there you have it, the ultimate bedroom set-up for a better sleep. It may require a little time and investment on your part but it will be worth it. So much so that you’d be wise to invest in a good alarm clock at the same time. Follow these tips and unscheduled lie-ins are guaranteed!
*This is a collaborative post