Sweet Dreams are made of this: 5 tips for a great night sleep

Full disclaimer: this blog post began as an entirely self serving endeavour after four weeks of interrupted sleep and restless nights. But it only took a small amount of research to realise that I’m not the only person suffering from relentless tossing and turning. In 2017, nearly two thirds of the population expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of rest they were getting, whilst a third believed they were suffering from genuine insomnia. The initial findings from Aviva’s wellbeing report suggested that a quarter of adults in the UK regard improving their sleep as their biggest health concern. I reckon I fit nice and snuggly into that quarter and given those staggering statistics I’m certain many of you do too. Since interior design is something we’re pretty big on here, I started looking into ways to improve sleep starting with the room where the magic happens...or rather where the magic is supposed to happen, but very frequently doesn’t. Below are some tips to help you improve your sleep cycle simply by rearranging your decor.


Sweet Dreams are made of this: 5 tips for a great night sleep, Distinctify
Photography credit to Distinctify

It is now obvious that calm, relaxing shades help your nervous system to relax and help you to drift off easier. Sticking to cooler colour schemes can lower the heart rate as they aren’t so visually imposing. Yellows, blues, pinks and greens as well as pastel hues are recognised as distinctly more relaxing so work really well in the bedroom. Keeping the bedroom neutral is also a great way to avoid a chaotic atmosphere within a room. That’s not to say you can’t inject your favourite brighter colours into the room. A stark white room isn’t great either, as it can feel a little sterile. Add colour accents in the form of accessories like cushions, throws and wall art. This way you add a sense of your personality, but avoid disrupting your sleep cycle.


Sweet Dreams are made of this: 5 tips for a great night sleep, Distinctify
Photography credit to Distinctify

We’re not suggesting you revert back to your teenage goth stage in order to be able to sleep at night. But it does need to be dark, and I mean really dark, in your room in order to get a good night's sleep. We're talking black out blinds and analogue clocks. That’s right, even an LED alarm clock can be enough to damage your sleep cycle.

The amount of light in your bedroom will affect your sleep and interrupt your REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep. That means no more late night texting and no leaving Netflix playing on your laptop. The benefits of having your phone at a distance away from you during the night are numerous. Not only are you not exposed to the light, but if you’re lazy like me, this option is also great at physically forcing you out of bed in the morning to turn off your alarm.


Photography credit to Distinctify

For those of you who enjoy the cold side of the pillow, this tip for a top night sleep will be music to your ears. You should make an effort to keep your bedroom cool whilst you’re sleeping. The optimal temperature for a sound night's sleep is said to be between 15℃ and 20℃. In everyday outfit terms that translates to light layers weather, no big jackets and no scarves. Gone are the days where temperature regulation consisted of sticking one leg out of the duvet and hoping to feel some relief from the stagnant heat. Nowadays there are a multitude of options to incorporate into your bedroom to help moderate room temperature. Ceiling fans and standing fans are some of the best options, and portable heaters too if your room is on the draftier side. Additionally, these machines provide a small amount of background noise which can be really soothing and in turn quite helpful when you’re trying to get some shut eye.


Photography credit to Decordove

Just because you’ve pretended not to notice the growing pile of mess on your floor, doesn’t mean your brain has. Unfortunately, there is no hiding from your own consciousness. Mess and clutter in the bedroom can be a huge source of anxiety and uneasiness whilst you’re trying to sleep. Even if you’re not directly thinking about the mess, being constantly surrounded by it means that somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind that pile of unwashed laundry will be chipping away at your resolve. It’s a slippery cycle. You know the mess will need to move at some point, it’s just another thing on your long list of jobs. But once you’ve thought of that list of jobs you won’t be able to stop thinking about all the other jobs on it. Now your brain is a muddled as your floor. All it takes is picking up that first item of clothing to get the job started. If you’re short for storage, take some inspiration from our selection of nifty and affordable storage solutions.

A messy bedroom isn’t the only cause for anxiety though. Bedrooms with a significant amount of useless tripe can leave you feeling panicked as well. Exercise equipment, work laptops and gaming devices needn’t be in your bedroom taunting you. So you didn’t use you belly blitz today? Who cares? If you didn’t have the machine rubbing it in your face every second, it’s likely you wouldn’t care so much either.


Photography credit to Distinctify

Now, you may not necessarily believe in all that superstitious froo-froo about demons dragging you from your bed because your feet pointed towards the door. But that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the importance of your bedroom layout and the effects it can have on you.

Most of the things you ought to consider when placing your bed are pretty straightforward. Avoiding to put your bed next to a wall shared with a bathroom is a pretty logical consideration. The noises of the pipes, or housemates who rise earlier than you are bound to be disruptive. If you’ve got a leaky tap, you’re essentially enacting Chinese water torture on yourself by placing your head next to the bathroom wall. Putting your bed in front of or beneath a window is also sure to cause you disruption from factors such as outside noise, wind, rain and even excessive heat. If possible, your bed should back onto a wall which would give you a clear view of the room and door.

Some recommendations for bed placement, however,  aren’t quite as obvious. If I were to tell you to avoid placing your bed in front of plug sockets, you might be a little skeptical. And rightly so. Where would you plug in your charger? What would you do about your bedside lamp? But the thing about plug sockets is that they give off energy constantly when left on standby. All that static buzzing around your head is not ideal when you’d rather be counting sheep. Switching off your plugs at the socket not only helps you to sleep, but slices you leccy’ bills in half. A real win-win situation.

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