These days we live in a stressful and hectic world with a decreasing amount of time available to spend on ourselves. Sleep is essential for our health and also our physical and emotional well being, and yet 70% of adults aren’t getting enough. The quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity, so if you’re having problems tossing and turning at night, maybe your bedroom isn’t conducive to a good nights sleep.

We spend around twenty-four years of our life asleep, but often the bedroom is the most neglected room in the house. There are easy and inexpensive ways to ensure that your bedroom is a relaxing environment:

Bedroom décor should be specifically designed for rest,
but colour has different effects on people. Soothing blues and greens are said to be relaxing. Soft neutrals and pastels are said to promote a sense of calm, whereas others prefer warm shades. It’s important to choose a colour that works for you, but avoid bright and loud colours that will stimulate your brain.

Add personal touches to make the room cosy and inviting
. Cushions scattered on the bed can be used to create a sense of comfort. Think less is more – clutter keeps our minds active and should be removed from the bedroom.

Our body clocks are naturally in tune with day and night
, so lighting can create an important ambience to tell us when to switch off from the stresses of the day. It’s important to find the right balance. Too much darkness will seem gloomy and cold. Too much light will leave us awake and restless. Avoid leaving lamps on all night and instead use nightlights, which create a soft glow.

To keep your bedroom peaceful and comfortable it should be quiet and well ventilated.
The ideal temperature is between 65 – 68 degrees. Removing the TV will help you visualise the bedroom as a place just for sleep. Instead, playing relaxing music can help us to wind down.

Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to aid a sense of peace
. Pleasant scents such as lavender or chamomile can be used to promote well-being.

But the most important aspect of the bedroom has to be your choice of bed
. If you wake up with aches and pains or have trouble getting comfortable in bed, it could be time to replace your mattress. Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale of the Princess and the Pea is perhaps the most well known example of how this much ignored piece of furniture can affect your sleep patterns.

In the West, the history of the bed began in ancient Egypt
In 3400 B.C Egyptians slept on palm sticks or leaves, tied together with cord, heaped in a corner of their houses. Later, wooden bed frames were introduced to raise them off the ground, to avoid dirt, insects and rodents. The Persians made beds of goatskins filled with water and the Romans stuffed bags of cloth with reeds or hay.

The word mattress is translated from the Arabic words “to throw.” At the time of the Crusades, Europeans began to copy the Arabic way of sleeping on cushions on the floor. Modern mattresses have come a long way and often contain foam, latex, and coils. With an endless choice available, what should you look for in a mattress?

Whether it’s hard, soft, orthopaedic or memory foam, it should be designed to support the body and keep the spine in alignment. Pressure should be distributed evenly to improve comfort and circulation. Mattresses should be placed on top of a firm base and should be turned every few months.

Spring mattresses rely on the gauge of coil inside to determine support and firmness. The more modern memory foam variety reacts to body temperature and moulds itself to the shape of your body. This foam was developed by NASA to combat high pressure during the take-off of space shuttles. Initially this new technology was too expensive for common use, but it is now cheaper and freely available.

Pillows are equally important and should be compatible with the mattress. Tension headaches can be caused by poor neck positioning when sleeping so choose pillows that are designed to contour and support the head comfortably. 

Sleep Facts:

  • Men sleep more than women.
  • Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia.
  • The average person turns 45 – 60 times per night.
  • If you sleep only 6 hours per night, your viral immunity can be reduced by 50%
  • Reducing your sleep by 1 hour per night can affect your alertness the following day by 25%
  • Men have longer periods of deep sleep.
  • At least 100,000 accidents per year are due to falling asleep whilst driving.

Lack of sleep leaves us feeling irritable, moody, and unable to concentrate and deal with the stresses of our modern lives. So, what are you waiting for? A few simple changes could be all it takes to rejuvenate your life.

Sibel XX