If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep – you are not alone. A survey of the UK’s sleep habits found that only just over a third of us can be classified as ‘good sleepers’, while a whopping 30% of us are severely sleep deprived.1
As well as from giving us the get-up-and-go we need to tackle the day, sleeping well is essential for good overall health. Nodding off and regularly getting high-quality sleep helps:
- supports our immunity
- cell repair and growth
- promote mental wellness
- increase sex drive
On the flip side, regular poor sleep can put you at serious risk of medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety, as well as shortening your life expectancy2
– so it’s important to get those ZZZs in!
It turns out where
we sleep can have a big impact on how well we sleep – so we’ve gathered the best research-backed tips to help you prepare your bedroom for better sleep, so you can get the restorative rest you deserve.
Show furry friends the door…
We know you probably don’t want to hear this but cuddling with your pets in bed could be what’s keeping you up at night. If possible, shut your pet out of the room (sorry puss!) or at the very least get them to sleep in their own bed on the floor. You can always have them up for cuddles in the morning!
Fall in love with your bedroom
When you enter your bedroom, you should feel calm and comfortable – ready to relax – not stressed about the towering pile of laundry or blinded by harsh lighting. Try to keep your bedroom as a clean and tidy sanctuary, and invest in some warm lighting and decent curtains if you haven’t done already.
Time for a break
We’ve all been there: finally falling to sleep, only to wake up, notice the time on our bedside clock or phone and panic that we’re not getting enough sleep – oh the irony! Next time you wake in the middle of the night, avoid temptation, simply roll over and pay time no mind – thus ending the worry cycle that will keep you awake. Try turning your clock around and putting your phone out of reach / sight.
Give a mask a go
Even the smallest ray of light emerging through the gap of your curtains can switch your body to ‘awake mode’. If you’re struggling to stay asleep through the night, try slipping on a well-fitting mask to make sure light doesn’t disturb you.
Your body naturally gets cooler when you go to sleep3
, which means you can get a little trick-sy! Instead of waiting for your body to cool down naturally, try setting your heating to switch off around an hour before bed. This way, when you get into bed, your room will be at the optimal temperature for sleep already – giving you a head start.
Turn off tech
It goes without saying that scrolling through Instagram tucked up in bed is perhaps not the best thing if you want a good night’s sleep. However, Harvard University researchers recommend avoiding bright screens for around 2 – 3 hours before bed, as the blue light emitted from them may mess with your natural sleep-wake cycle and hormone production.4
Choose the right duvet for you
Too hot? Too cold? One leg in? One leg out (…ok, that’s a little different!) If your duvet is not keeping you at a comfortable duvet, it’s time to change it. Consider ‘going Scandi’5
and having 2 single duvets instead of 1 double duvet if you and your partner have different temperature needs.
Dim the lights
Bright lighting can interfere with our body’s melatonin production6
– the one that signals that it’s time to sleep. Choose low-watt bulbs that emit a dimmer and more soothing light.
Invest in indulgent bed linen
If you have the means to do so, choose a high-quality bed linen made of natural fibres like cotton. These fabrics help to keep you cool and comfortable all night long.
Try a weighted blanket
The jury is out there on weighted blankets and their ability to help you sleep and reduce anxiety, but they may be worth a shot! Typically, weighted blankets are filled with beads or pellets, weighing from 3 – 20 lbs, and claim to help you calm down at bedtime. They’ve been used for years to help children with autism and behavioural disturbances, so if you think you lack of sleep could be psychological, maybe they could work for you.7
Using a classic alarm clock like the one your grandad has on his bedside table – y’know the standard clock faces with bells on top – could improve the quality of the sleep. These simple yet effective clocks don’t buzz every time you get a like on your Facebook photo or light up the room when you get a text – they just wake you up when you tell them too – simple!
Freeze your pillowcases
However mad it may make you feel, sticking your pillowcase in the freezer on warmer nights for around an hour could help bring your body temperature down and help you nod off.
Want more tips to get to sleep and master your sleep hygiene once and for all?
Check out our other tips for better sleep here
(lifestyle tips, food and drink tips)
Last updated: 5th October 2020