We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. As well as keeping our mind healthy, it also plays a part in making sure you look your very best. And while experts recommend a solid eight hours sleep every night, for most of us life gets in the way: crying babies, pets, unsociable work shifts, or worry about any number of things can mean we’re getting less sleep than we need. So, what can you do to give yourself the best chance of getting some good quality, undisturbed zzzs? Take a look at some of our top tips:
DIM THE LIGHTS
Dimming the lights about an hour before bedtime helps to regulate your body and tell your brain it is getting towards bedtime. Make sure your room is dark by fitting blockout curtains or adding a room darkening blind as this will help you sleep more deeply, and will avoid you being woken at the crack of dawn, too.
Make sure your room is an area where you feel relaxed and peaceful and you can shut out the hustle and bustle of daily life. Surround yourself with colours you like by choosing bedding, throws and curtains that suit your style. It also helps if your room is uncluttered, so make sure small items and clothing have a suitable storage space and that things are hidden away in cupboards, baskets or drawers.
KEEP YOUR COOL
A cool room, typically around 18-19 degrees is considered to be best for getting a good night’s sleep. A warm bed in a cool room is better than the other way around. You can experiment to see which temperature is right for you. If you can, leave the window open a little for some fresh air (unless of course it’s boiling hot outside, or you live in a noisy neighbourhood!).
BE A CREATURE OF COMFORT
Nothing makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep than being uncomfortable. Choose a mattress and pillows that make you feel comfortable. Firm or soft is a matter of choice, unless you have back issues, and it is important to adapt your pillow height to the way you sleep (i.e. on your back or side). If your mattress is uncomfortable, consider getting a mattress topper for added comfort.
Bedlinen can be an important factor in achieving a good night’s rest too. Our bodies will wake us up if we get too hot or too cold in the night, so opt for bedlinen in natural fabrics such as cotton sheets, and feather, wool or down quilts which are good at trapping heat when it’s needed and circulating air when that is required. If you live in an area where temperatures fluctuate, consider having a summer duvet and a winter duvet – that way you can adapt to the season.