Adequate sleep is vital to health and happiness, but many of us just don't get enough sleep and relaxation. There are lots of factors that can be detrimental to a good night’s sleep, but unbeknownst to most they can usually be remedied easily and affordably. Of course you should make sure that your general health is in check but from an interior design point of view, I can probably help a great deal....
Anytime is a great time to give these simple tips a try to help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Light Light is one of the most significant external factors that influences sleep. Either your room is too bright because of external sources, such as street lamps or morning sun, or the disturbance is coming from inside – this could be light from an alarm clock, computer or phone screen. Switch to heavier curtains or add window blinds or curtains that block out external light, and turn off all electronics that emit a glow before going to bed. Adding a dimmer, or using light bulbs with a lower wattage in the bedroom, can also aid rest by reducing stimulation before bedtime – lessening exposure to light helps increase the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Electronics In addition to emitting distracting light, electronics – including your television, tablet and mobile phone – release low-level radiation that contributes to insomnia. Late-night use can also encourage cognitive stimulation, the exact opposite of what you want when you’re trying to wind down. Ideally, you should remove all electronic gadgets from the bedroom, but if that’s not possible then at least pack them away into a drawer or switch them off before you snooze.
Yes, that means you!
Allergies Can’t sleep because of an itchy nose, watery eyes or irritated throat? Allergens such as dust mites, laundry chemicals and animal fur could be to blame. Clean your bedding as often as possible using a hypoallergenic detergent. Give your mattress time to air out, and vacuum both the floor and the mattress regularly. Lastly keep pets out of the bedroom – or at the least keep your furry friend clean and brushed.
Whether it’s coming from loud sounds outside (traffic) or indoor distractions (a humming refrigerator or ticking clock), noise can be the cause of many late-night disturbances. If the noises are external (such as late-night revellers or the 6am garbage collection), wearing earplugs and hanging heavy curtains should be the first step.
Failing that, you may want to look into floor insulation or relocating to another room. For quieter but equally bothersome sounds such as snoring or a dripping tap, a white noise machine (or even a fan) could help to drown them out.
Clutter Studies have shown that hoarders are more likely to have sleep problems, with the stress caused by clutter and mess in the bedroom contributing to poor sleep patterns. Piles of laundry and paperwork can be a visual reminder of the work that needs to be done, so it’s no surprise that a disorderly space means less sleep.
Keep your bedroom clean and tidy, eliminating clutter ‘hot spots’ where mess can accumulate such as a side table or desk. Pack clothes away and keep decor simple and fuss-free. Focus on storage if necessary and work on creating a calming and stress-free environment. if you create a bedroom sanctuary, you'll have an escape from your busy day. A place for quiet reflection and hopefully sound sleep.
Temperature Your room is either too hot or too cold. Research shows that an individual’s ideal temperature range for a good night’s sleep varies, but what we can be sure of is that sleep is induced when the body is relaxed and comfortable. This is best achieved when the room temperature is around 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. Try experimenting with different temperatures until you find one that suits – usually cooler is better. Fans, bedding and open windows can help to regulate the heat. I've always been a fan of feather down quilts and I love a ceiling fan in the bedroom for circulation.
In conclusion, I feel that the bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to design. After all, your sleep is what keeps you strong, helps to maintain a sharp mind and really is the basis of good health.
Don't forget, your interior designer can help you even if you only want to decorate one room in the house. The bedroom.....what better room to start with?