Whether you are looking for a deep sleep or just a quick nap, our resident sleep expert, Dr Nerina, explains how your sleep environment is one of the most important influences when it comes to getting a great nights' sleep. From noise reduction to lighting, here are a few simple changes to make your bedroom a tranquil sleep sanctuary.
"Part of human nature is to be in sync with the sun cycle," says Anne Holic, interior design instructor at The Art Institute of Washington, who suggests that you should install a dimmer switch to mimic the sun stages as well as using blinds and or heavy drops to eliminate light.
Dr Nerina agrees saying: "Lighting is personal to each individual - you may want to consider black out blinds, especially if you live near street lights, or you might like to wake up to some light in the room. If you choose black out blinds make sure that you open them as soon as you wake to help prepare yourself for the day ahead."
"Ideally, in order for us to sleep well, there needs to be a fractional temperature difference between our body and brain - a warm body and a cool head." says Dr Nerina. Temperature can be influenced by the thickness of your duvet, choice of bedding, level of heating and the clothing you wear to bed. The key is to stay warm in a cool room.
"If you are a sensitive sleeper you can wake up at the slightest noise. A way to combat this is to use 'white noise' to block out external noises." advises Dr Nerina. White noises can be found in the form of earplugs, a gentle fan humming in the background or tracks of natural sounds such as waterfalls, lapping waves or the wind rustling in trees. When you have found your perfect 'white noise' you can also use it to settle into any unfamiliar environments such as hotel rooms, allowing you to get an uninterrupted sleep anywhere.
Furniture and decor
Interior designer, Anne Holic, says that your visual surroundings have a great effect on sleep." Paint colours are important. You want to choose colours that are calm, such as blues, greens or a calm violet and avoid colours in the red family. Simplifying the space is critical, TVs and computers, exercise equipment and any other potential disturbances should be removed from the bedroom and most importantly make sure you have a comfortable mattress."
Dr Nerina agrees saying that: " A calm, tranquil bedroom free from clutter, junk and technology will help you become more relaxed and rested. It is crucial that you invest in a good quality bed and mattress which supports your spine and body contours. Mattresses should be changed every seven years - when was the last time you changed yours?"
For more information and sleep tips from Dr Nerina visit her Sleep Toolkit.