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How to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary 

Your bedroom can have a big impact on your mood, it is the place you spend at least 1/3 of each day and should be your sanctuary to recharge. 

However, our bedrooms tend to be the most neglected rooms of our house, with mismatching colour schemes and full of clutter. A well-thought-out bedroom, created with care will help you to sleep well and feel calmer and happier every day. 

If you’re looking to revamp your sleeping space into the ultimate sleep sanctuary for the summer months ahead, follow these tips below by Dr Lindsay Browning, psychologist, neuroscientist and sleep expert for And So To Bed

  1. Remove any electronics from your room 

Many of us turn to our phones or laptops as a form of relaxation before bed, but screens can stimulate the mind, keeping us more awake and active. You should limit your use of computers, tablets and phones before going to bed and don’t have the devices next to your bed during the night, since the bright light produced by those LED devices will also affect melatonin production. 

If you do need to use your devices late in the evening, then you could enable “night mode” on your devices to reduce the harmful light levels. To make your bedroom a complete sanctuary – and to sleep well – try to leave technology out of your bedroom.

  1. Invest in a new, comfortable mattress

If you are frequently waking or experience unexplained pains, your mattress may need replacing. When we sleep, we must be as comfortable as possible. If your mattress is not supportive, you will find it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

Also, you should choose your mattress based on your sleeping style and weight. Generally speaking, a heavier person will need a firmer mattress compared to a lighter person. The number of pillows you choose will also depend on your sleeping style. 

You should sleep so that your spine and neck remain in a neutral position during the night. Back sleepers may need fewer pillows than a side sleeper to keep their head at the right angle through the night. It is a good idea to choose a mattress and pillows by physically trying them out in a shop first so that you can get the right comfort level for your body shape and sleeping style.

  1. Make sure the temperature is right 

A key way to ensure your bedroom is a sleep sanctuary is to make sure the temperature is perfect. A study revealed that 4 in 10 Brits don’t sleep well on an average night, but why? The data revealed that over half of the UK (55%) gave heat as the most common reason for sleeplessness. 

As we fall asleep our body temperature naturally drops. When the room is too hot, or your covers are too thick, you can struggle to reduce your body temperature, which makes falling asleep much harder. The ideal temperature for the bedroom is 16-19 degrees however this is very much down to personal preference. 

  1.  Choose calming colours for the bedroom

The colour of the bedroom can help you feel more relaxed and ready for sleep. Neutral colours like earth tones and beige are more calming, and research has found that blue was associated with feelings of calm. 

Researchers also found that bedrooms that are decorated with red may be overstimulating for sleep as the colour red stimulates the fight or flight mechanism, so it’s best to avoid too much of this colour in your bedroom. 

  1. Use your bed for sleep and sex only

Generally, we sleep better when our bed is just for sleep and sex rather than also being a place to watch television, read or even work. Therefore, ideally, you might want to have a separate chair in your bedroom where you read a book before bed before getting into bed to go to sleep. 

If you need to work in your bedroom then working at a desk rather than in the bed will be best to sleep so that your brain only associates your bed with sleeping rather than work.

  1. Keep your bedroom tidy 

An untidy bedroom that also doubles up as an office can make it hard to sleep because when you’re lying in bed, your mind will be drawn to the mess and will be used to thinking about work in the bedroom. Creating a tidy, clutter-free space will make it easier for you to unwind and relax – this also includes clutter under your bed. 

In an ideal world, you should keep your bedroom as a sanctuary for sleep and try to do work and exercise in another room if possible. 

  1.  Add ambient lighting 

Having a bright, main light on in the evening can suppress melatonin, keeping your body awake. This can make it harder to relax and therefore fall asleep. To solve this problem, you could consider using dimming lights or a table lamp with a warm amber glow. 

  1. Block out harsh lighting 

Ensuring that you have curtains to block out sunlight is also important because when the Sun rises it may wake you prematurely. If you don’t have good curtains, then you could try sleeping with an eye mask to block the light. 

  1. Make your room as quiet as possible

Noise disturbs sleep and may result in you waking up feeling tired even after several hours of sleep. Moreover, the less sleep you have, the more sensitive you will be to noise, so to create the ultimate sleep sanctuary you should keep your bedroom as noise-free as possible.

Even if you are sound asleep, your brain is still aware of what is going on around you and can register noises. This is especially true in the latter half of the night when your sleep is lighter. We also don’t sleep as well when there is external noise, therefore if you live somewhere particularly noisy outside, you may want to keep windows shut at night or sleep with earplugs. 

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