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How to Create a Sleep Sanctuary
6 decorating tricks to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Sleep is precious – a fact that anyone with young children or a full-on job will know. There are many factors that can contribute to lack of sleep, but your bedroom decor needn’t be one of them. These simple changes will (hopefully) have you drifting off in no time…
1. The Right Colour Scheme
You might expect white to be the optimum colour for a sleep-enhancing bedroom, but no. In fact, people whose rooms are painted blue tend to sleep longer than those in bedrooms of different colours. Blues are associated with feelings of calm, which helps to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn helps you get a solid night's sleep.
There are infinite shades and tones of blue to choose from, so whether you go for a pale powder blue or a deep navy is up to you, but one reason to opt for the darker end of the spectrum is light absorption. The darker you go, the more light will be absorbed, helping your bedroom feel cosy and inviting as well as lessening the disrupting effect of natural light entering the room. Dark & Light – one of our Colour Futures 2016 trends – draws on the idea of celebrating the beauty of the dark, and offers inspiring combinations of deep and mysterious hues, such as Hawaiian Blue 1 and Khaki Mists 1 (above). If you're up for going dark in your bedroom, download the free Visualizer app so you can try out a few different shades in your bedroom at the touch of a button. See? You needn't be so afraid of the dark, after all.
2. Sound Insulation
If you're one of those people who regularly sleep through their alarm clock, you clearly don't need to worry about noise disturbing your slumber. For light sleepers, however, external noise can be somewhat of a problem – especially if you live in an urban area, a flat or a terraced property. Adding rugs and soft textiles to your floors will help muffle external noise, as will having thick curtains and plenty of cushions to soften the acoustics in your bedroom. As if you needed an excuse to buy more cushions.
3. Type of Light
It sounds obvious, but bright overhead lighting isn’t conducive to a sleep sanctuary. Use low-wattage lightbulbs after sundown to help your body’s circadian rhythm and choose soft, yellow or red-toned lighting for the bedroom. Be sparing with lighting too – only illuminate the areas you need at night, and use lights that project a soft downward cone of light.
4. Tech-free Zone
We know indulging in a Netflix marathon in bed is tempting, but try not to have laptops, tablets, or a TV in your sleeping environment. Using devices such as these before you go to sleep can reduce melatonin levels, as the light emitted from screens is ‘blue light’, which resembles daylight and makes us more alert. Try to avoid using them the hour before you go to bed if possible.
5. Bed Elevation
A bed that has legs or that’s elevated up off of the floor will help air to circulate around your mattress and therefore help it to breathe. Try not to store things under the bed as this will reduce air circulation.
6. Natural Materials
Just like choosing fabrics for your wardrobe, the fabrics we sleep on play an important role. Opt for natural materials for everything if you can – from your bedding, duvets and pillows, to sleepwear and even your mattress. This will help keep your body at its optimum temperature as well as feeling comfortable against your skin.
To try out dark shades in your bedroom, download the free Visualizer app to help you create your sleep haven. Sweet dreams, indeed.