The Big Sleep: Seven simple ways to ensure a better night’s rest

Sort it: With better choices in the bedroom you’ll be bouncing out of bed in the morning

The  bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture you will ever have to buy, so do your homework and choose the very best one you can afford

The bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture you will ever have to buy, so do your homework and choose the very best one you can afford

 

The dark, cold weather can make it difficult to start the day with a pep in your step. You can’t do much about it, but it is possible to redecorate to ensure you are getting a great night’s sleep and waking up refreshed in the morning. Here are seven simple improvements you can implement straight away to turn your bedroom into a your sleep sanctuary.

Invest in a great mattress

Probably the most important element when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom is the right choice of bed. There’s a quote by shoemaker John Wildsmith that says: “You are either in your bed or in your shoes so it pays to invest in both.” It is one of the most important pieces of furniture you will ever have to buy, so do your homework and choose the very best bed you can afford.

Natural materials are the key to a great mattress. Cotton (a natural hypoallergenic), natural rubber, natural latex, coconut fibre, or horsehair (a natural humidity regulator) are all excellent choices. Not only do each of these materials greatly benefit sleep, but they will also ensure that your mattress will last a very long time.

Consider the colour of your walls

The colour of your bedroom can play a part in the quality of your sleep, so it’s important to select carefully. Warm colours tend to be a stimulus, while cooler colours, such as blues, pale greens and greys will have a more calming and relaxing effect.

Good colour choices to benefit sleep are soft, muted shades. Darker tones such as deep plums or rich burgundies can create a luxurious and cosy environment. Try to stay away from high-energy colours such as bright greens, strong reds, or bold, vibrant shades.

Get the light right

Another important consideration is lighting. This will have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere of the room. Make sure to use warm-toned light bulbs. This will make the room feel cosy and ideally swap switches for dimmers so that you can control the lighting levels.

Blue light from mobile phones and tablets can trick the mind into thinking it’s daytime, thereby disrupting sleep, but it turns out that bright lights can have a similar effect too. If your lamps or lighting don’t have dimmer switches, another option is to swap your regular bulbs for a wifi-enabled version such as Philips Hue. Not only do these bulbs allow you to control brightness but you can also adjust the light colour temperature. Moving into the orange spectrum at night will encourage relaxation, while white or blue will energise in the morning.

Tread carefully

Flooring depends very much on personal preferences. Some people love carpets in a bedroom while others prefer harder finishes such as timber. If you opt for a hard floor finish consider introducing a rug, not only are carpets and rugs soft underfoot when you get up in the morning, they will also help muffle sounds that might otherwise keep you awake.

Black it out

Street lights and morning light can be disruptive to sleep. Blackout curtains and blinds are always a smart choice to create the ideal sleeping environment. This is especially true in children’s rooms. I recommend a blackout roller blind and a roman blind; or curtains with blackout lining to ensure the room is completely dark. It might just buy you that life saving extra half-hour’s sleep in the morning.

Upgrade your pillow

My sister-in-law had been complaining for a long time of shoulder pain that was disturbing her sleep. After changing her pillow the pain disappeared and she is sleeping much better. She had availed of Harvey Norman’s instore pillow measuring service. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all pillow, and choosing the right pillow is as important as the choice of mattress. Pillows should be chosen based on body type, weight, sleeping position, breathing habits, and injuries. Find the perfect pillow and it can greatly improve sleep quality.

Banish screens

To get the best night’s sleep possible the bedroom should be a screen-free space. The type of light screens emit can suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain. A study by The National Sleep Foundation in the US found that from a group of 1,500 people studied across the globe at least two-thirds of those who watched TV an hour before bed didn’t get a good night’s sleep. The circadian clock – the body’s biological timekeeper – is disrupted by interference with the light-dark cycle. Light exposure from TVs and other screens tricks the body into thinking it is still day time and delays the production of melatonin. So for a great night’s rest, swap Netflix for a book. You’ll be bouncing out of bed in the morning.

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