Five simple steps to a better night’s kip

How you arrange and decorate your bedroom can have a marked effect on your ability to rest easy


It doesn’t take an armful of dreamcatchers, crystals and incense burners to create the ideal space for restful sleep.

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra thought and perhaps a little extra investment in the necessary equipment.

Here are five key elements you should address to maximise your sleep potential:


1 Get a really good mattress.

And we mean good. Like everything else you get what you pay for but in the internet age there’s nothing to stop you nipping along to your local bed store and finding the mattress to suit you and then googling it to find the best possible price.

It really doesn’t matter if it's soft or hard, sprung or foam as long as it feels truly comfortable and supports your body without feeling as if you’re about to roll off. When you find the one that suits you’ll never regret a penny you paid for it.


2. Head to the wall

For very good practical as well as psychological reasons the head of your bed should always be positioned against a solid wall, never under a window. In the first place this protects your exposed body parts from draughts and severe temperature swings. Additionally there is plenty of evidence that being away from any windows feels safer and more secure.


3. Put away any displays

Smart phones, tablets, laptops and even tv screens are all designed to attract your attention and whether they are on or off you will remain mentally aware of their presence and be less able to completely relax. Try and leave your bedroom free of distractions, even putting your tablet or phone in a drawer would be better. Do NOT charge devices in your bedroom.


4. Harmonise your space

We know from countless studies that symmetry promotes comfort and satisfaction in the human mind, so try and decorate your bedroom with as much symmetry as possible. A single print or painting above the bed should be centred, for example. A nightstand on one side of the bed should be matched with another on the opposite side.

However much your tastes turn to the avant garde or visually challenging in the rest of your home, the bedroom should be a refuge from jarring colours and layouts. It may well seem boring but the function of sleep should always outweigh matters of form.


5. Control the environment

Clinical trials have identified the optimum ambient temperature for prolonged and uninterrupted sleep as no higher than 20c (or we start to throw covers off, stick limbs out etc.) and no lower than 17c (or we start to cocoon ourselves more tightly, pull covers up higher…).

Unfortunately your thermostat (if you have one) will almost certainly be placed to reflect the temperature in one of the living areas of the house (living room, hallway, drawing room) and may not be representative of the actual temperature in the bedroom.

With persistence by trial and error you can work out what thermostat setting genuinely translates to the required levels in the bedroom. You might also consider investing in a fan heater/cooler for the bedroom which, while relatively expensive to run, might prove the easiest way to fine tune the room temperature.


Sweet dreams are most definitely made of made of this…



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