With the festive frolics behind us it's time to get back into a healthy sleep routine. By focusing on the foundations of a good night's sleep you'll help improve your sleep, boost mood and raise energy levels.
Ways to improve sleep
Just as Goldilocks’s porridge had to be not too hot or cold but ‘just right’ so too does your bedroom. Typically, bedrooms over 24°C (71°F) can lead to a restless night’s sleep. Likewise, a room cooler than about 12°C (53°F) can make it harder to drift off.
While the young and elderly can need a little more warmth, the ideal bedroom temperature is around 16-18°C (60-65°F). For someone in the UK that’s a warm spring day! Investing in suitable bedding for the season can help you achieve that temperature sweet spot. Draft-proofing will also help to keep a room energy-efficient and pleasantly warm.
Expert tip: “A plush wool rug or soft jute rug can help a room feel ultra-warm and cosy underfoot." Emma Hooton, Studio Hooton
There’s nothing quite as inviting as a puffy winter duvet. That said a good quality 10.5 tog duvet usually provides the best all year-round duvet comfort and warmth. For a hotel-grade sleep experience layer cold beds with lightweight blankets, rather than anything heavy that will flatten the duvet filling and weaken its insulating power.
Expert tip: “Adding a mattress topper can be the single most important thing you do to create year-round comfort and warmth.” Robert Lancaster-Gaye, Tielle Sleep Panel expert
The circadian clock (body’s internal clock) sets the rhythm for waking and sleeping and is influenced by environmental cues, especially light. When it’s dark the body releases melatonin – often referred to as the sleep hormone - which helps us relax and drift off to sleep. When we see light, our body assumes it’s time to be awake and alert, hence why you should ditch your phone before bed.
To send the ‘sleepy-time’ message to your brain, make the bedroom completely dark (tip: it needs to be dark enough so you can’t see the other side of the room) and consider your window treatment. Light-blocking curtains will help you stay asleep for longer, whereas light-filtering curtains will make you more likely to wake at the crack of dawn.
Expert tip: “Going for a short walk to catch some sun rays and physically moving before work can support your wake/sleep cycle” Dr. Kat Lederle, Somnia
Noise can irritate at the best of times but at night it can really get in the way of your Zzz. Unwanted sound can also trigger the release of the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, which plays a major role in regulating sleep. The best way to combat external noise is with double glazing. Failing that, white or pink (deeper, lower pitch than white) noise, or noise cancelling headphones can help. If you live in a busy household with hard floors, laying soft rugs or carpet can help to absorb sound.
Expert tip: “Aside from helping to insulate and reduce noise, rugs can tie a scheme together and provide a striking focal point around which to frame the decor.” Emma Hooton, Studio Hooton
“Having a calm space promotes better sleep”, says Dr. Kat Lederle in Success Starts with a Good Night’s Sleep. Along with getting the basics right, keep the bedroom attractive and organised to prevent sensory overload. See our guide to creating the perfect bedroom sanctuary by interiors expert Emma Hooton.