No More Counting Sheep
A big influence on what can make (or break) a good night’s sleep is the environment you are sleeping in. In an ideal world, you’d build your bedroom from scratch to create the perfect sleep environment but for most of us, that’s not an option! We’ve pulled together some simple ways to help you turn your current bedroom at home into a snoozing sanctuary.
The only thing about your bedroom that should be stuffy is your cuddly toy. Quite simply, fresh air is good for sleep. Many experts say the ideal temperature for the bedroom is 16-18°C (60-65°F).
It’s not just the room temperature that’s important to sleep well. The temperature in your direct sleeping environment (under the duvet) is equally important and should be as close to body temperature as possible. You are just one big fleshy hot water bottle so you will heat up your sleeping space as you slumber. During the night, the body needs to lose heat and this is done mainly through the head and face which are the only bits that usually stick out from under the duvet. So a cool bedroom helps this heat loss.
If the room is too hot, it’s more difficult for your body to lose heat and this can cause disturbed sleep. Likewise, if the room is too cold the body has to work hard to maintain its optimal temperature and this too can disturb your sleep. It’s about getting the right combination of air temperature, duvet and bedclothes to achieve the best results. If it means you have to wear bed socks but keep the window open, so be it!
Light is a signal to our body that it’s time to get up so it’s important to sleep in as dark a room as possible. Heavy curtains or blackout blinds are a great investment if you want to sleep well. For little ones, this might prove a bit scary so nightlights are a good solution to help them feel safe and secure. If you and your partner prefer different light levels in the bedroom, invest in a sleep eye mask as a compromise.
To sleep well, noise should be kept to a minimum. Try and remove anything from the bedroom that produces a constant noise at such a level that it disrupts your sleeping. This might even include your bed buddy! Managing outside noise, however, is not quite as controllable. If you can invest in double or triple glazing, great. But for a less drastic solution, pick up some ear plugs that are suitable for sleeping in next time you’re at the chemist.
Your bed should be extraordinarily comfortable – consider replacing the mattress every 8-10 years. For more info on beds, have a look at our sleep zone blog ‘signs you need a new bed’.