This year has perhaps not been the best for those of us who struggle to sleep. Worries about the world, our family and friends, finances and those particularly vivid dreams many of us have experienced during lockdown, have all contributed to tired eyes and burnt out minds.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sleep is so important, it helps us rest our minds and bodies ready for the next day. It allows us time to repair and recover from injury and can even boost your immune system.
If you’re struggling with sleep, here are just a few ways to create a calming environment that helps you catch those zzz’s and why it’s so important.
Choose the right mattress
It’s no secret that an uncomfortable bed is going to lead to a poor night’s sleep and we all have different preferences. Some prefer a super soft mattress that they can sink into while others can only sleep on firm surfaces to ensure their body is supported all night.
Take some time to shop around and find a mattress that works for you. There are a number of companies out there that offer no-quibble returns and trial periods (Simba and Emma are just two brands to consider) so you can test out the mattress and ensure you’ve picked the right one.
Declutter the room
A cluttered bedroom isn’t the best environment to relax and unwind. That chair piled with clothes you’ve been meaning to pack away, drawers overflowing with socks or PJs and messy dressing tables covered with makeup and hair products don’t lead to a calm space.
Look into alternative storage solutions that help you declutter. Ottoman beds are a good idea, with storage space under the mattress where you can tuck away extra bedding and blankets. Divan Beds Centre offers these with gas hinges that allow you to quickly lift the bed for easy access.
Ensure the lighting is right
Some of us can sleep in bright spaces but for many of us, the darker the better. Blackout curtains are a good investment, as they block out light – great in the summer months when the daylight doesn’t fade until 10pm. Dim lighting before bed is also essential as it lets your body know you’re getting ready for sleep.
This also means you should reduce your screen time while in bed, avoiding your phone or tablet for at least half an hour before you want to get some rest. The blue light can trick our brains into thinking it’s still day and that it should be active, which can affect how long it takes for you to nod off.
Opt for comfortable clothes (or no clothes!)
Whether you love your cosy pyjamas or prefer to sleep in the nude, ensure you’re comfortable when you get into bed. Restrictive or warm clothing can make you irritable and uncomfortable in bed, reducing your chances of getting to sleep easily.
Apparently, there are a number of benefits that come with sleeping without pyjamas. From helping you to fall asleep faster because your body is cooler to maintaining a healthier weight as your body burns more calories because it’s working harder to stay warm, consider foregoing the PJs altogether to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Scent is important too
When you want to tell your body you’re ready for sleep, consider introducing scent to the room. Lavender pillow sprays and diffusers are popular choices as they offer a calming effect on the mind and body. Introduce these into your nightly routine to help create a calming environment that will help you sleep better.