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How to make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep

How to make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep

Make your bedroom a sanctuary for a good night’s sleep by following these top tips and starting a healthy pre-bed routine. Sweet dreams!

When it comes to sleep, it’s not just about the quantity we are getting but also the quality, that determines how well our bodies can recover and rest on a nightly basis. Not getting enough sleep is something we’ve all experienced and it can take a serious toll on our wellbeing if it becomes a frequent problem.

Creating a space that we feel relaxed in is the first step to helping our body unwind each evening, and the way we utilise our bedrooms can play an important role in making a safe and serene environment at home.

Bedroom basics

bedroom basics
Lara bed linen in Charcoal, £105 for a double set, Feather & Black

Factors including temperature, humidity and light are all key when it comes to getting a good night’s rest, so start by making sure your bedroom is able to adapt and cater for these.

Check that all radiators and heaters in your bedroom are working correctly and can be adjusted depending on the time of year. The optimal temperature for sleep is approximately 18.5C and being too hot or too cold can force our bodies to wake up during the night to readjust, meaning our sleep cycle is broken. Set thermostats to this temperature during the night and make sure the room has adequate ventilation; try sleeping with the door open if possible to help with air flow during the night.

Install blackout blinds if you’re prone to being woken up by daylight at early dawns or street lights outside. Many of these come in stylish designs nowadays, but you can always hang a pair of pretty curtains over the top if you prefer the softer look of curtains inside your bedroom.

Like any room in the house, choosing the right lighting for your bedroom can greatly affect the mood of the space and set the tone for the type of environment you want to spend time in. Wall-mounted lights often give off a softer and less direct glow than overhead lights, and consider installing dimmer switches so you can control the light levels before going to sleep.

Bedside table lamps should give off enough light for reading but, where possible, opt for bulbs with a yellow hue rather than white or blue.

Setting the scene

soak and sleep
Clerkenwell double bed, £720; bedside table, £225; chest of drawers, from £525; Artisan bed linen throw, £60 for a double; cotton cable knit throw, £55; lambswool throw, £75, all Soak and Sleep

Creating the ideal environment to unwind in depends on the individual, but there are several universal theories you can apply to your bedroom décor to make it a more calming space.

Start by considering the colour palette of the room: muted colours tend to be better suited to aiding relaxation, whereas bold colours can be overstimulating and therefore have the opposite effect. Blues, soft greens and even pale purples are a good option for walls and bedding, as these shades have calming properties and promote a sense of balance. White provides a tranquil, uncluttered backdrop for a bedroom but tends to reflect light, meaning it may appear too stark in larger bedrooms.

Cluttered spaces create a sense of chaos and unease, so try to keep your bedroom a mess-free zone. Clear surfaces before going to bed and avoid having anything work related in the room, as this can trigger thoughts that will make it hard to completely unwind.

TVs and laptops should be kept out of the bedroom as a healthy habit, as they emit a stimulating glow that can trick our brain into thinking it’s seeing daylight. Mobile phones do the same, so consider downloading an app such as Twilight that puts a subtle red filter onto the background illumination, and remember to always turn down the brightness to a low level.

Bedding down

bedding down
Ville de Province 3D floral embroidered cushion, £10; white pintuck bed linen, £30 for a double set, both Sainsbury’s

Choosing the right mattress and bed linen is a key part of ensuring we get a healthy amount of sleep each night. If you suffer from dust allergies, go for bedding that is hypoallergenic and remember to wash your pillows and duvet several times each year to keep them fresh and mite-free.

Wool is recognised as a fibre that can reduce exposure to allergens, as well as having properties that mean it can regulate temperature and moisture; take a look at The Wool Room for a range of clever bedding options and mattresses.

According to a study by The Wool Room, 71 per cent of us sleep at a different preferred temperature to our partner, so wool bedding is a great solution for regulating our body temperatures under the duvet, due to it being both a natural insulator and very breathable.

Time to unwind

time to unwind
All seasons deluxe bedding set, from £322.97, The Wool Room

Getting into the habit of relaxing before bed is a good way to teach your body when it’s time to wind down. Everyone has different ways to switch off before sleeping, so try out different techniques to see what works for you.

A warm bath can be very beneficial as it causes your muscles to relax; try adding in lavender-scented oils or light a scented candle, too.

Avoid eating too close to getting into bed and replace late-night snacking with herbal teas to aid digestion whilst you’re sleeping.

Listening to music or a relaxing podcast can become an effective nightly habit that you can work into your routine and begin to associate with bedtime.

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