Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? There are so many factors that can affect the amount and quality of your sleep, from what you had for dinner to medical conditions, stress levels or the medication you’re on. But the good news is that while there are some factors you may not be able to control, something you have the power to change is the environment you sleep in - that is, your bedroom. Today we’re going to look at how to make sure your bedroom is the perfect sanctuary for you to get a restful night’s sleep.
Darkness is a signal to your body to produce melatonin, which helps you drift off to sleep, so if your bedroom is too light, this sends your body the wrong messages. That’s also why the advice is always to avoid phone screens when you’re getting ready for bed. If you have street lamps outside your bedroom window, or if you work night shifts and need to sleep during the day, blackout curtains and/or blinds are a must (an eye mask is a cheaper alternative). Make sure any digital clocks are dimmed overnight.
Temperature and air flow
The temperature of your bedroom makes a huge difference, as does whether it’s stuffy or draughty. It’s difficult to get to sleep in a room that’s too cold, but if the room is too warm you’re likely to wake up tossing and turning in the night. Your body temperature actually drops overnight, and experts believe that 16-18 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature for sleeping in.
This will probably mean turning the thermostat down overnight, and potentially opening the window if it’s safe to do so (this will also give you plenty of air, preventing stuffiness). If the room feels cold, a cosy pair of pyjamas, bed socks and a hot water bottle will help you feel warm when you climb into bed.
If you live on a busy road, you’re more likely to be affected by noise that can disrupt your sleep. Investing in double glazing helps reduce this, but if you want to have the window open, you might find ear plugs help to drown out street noise. Also pay attention to any background humming created by gadgets in your house, such as the dishwasher. Closing doors or switching some devices off overnight may help.
Of course, your temperature overnight will be determined not just by the ambient room temperature, but by the thickness of your duvet. It’s best to alternate between a lower-tog summer duvet and a higher-tog winter one so that you’re not overheating in summer or too cold in winter. You’ll also want to make sure your pillows are the right height and firmness for a comfortable sleep.
It’s not just your choice of duvet you need to consider; your mattress has a major impact on your comfort levels and therefore the quality of your sleep. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to mattress firmness, but the important thing is that you’re not sleeping on an old, sagging mattress, which can put pressure on your shoulders and hips. Your back needs the right support, and your mattress needs to be adequate for your weight and build.
The bed linen you choose also has an important bearing on your comfort; you don’t want your duvet cover or pillow case feeling rough against your skin. Opting for a smooth, high-quality organic cotton bed linen set will give you a feeling of luxury as you slip under the covers - just like you feel when you’re staying in a nice hotel.