Want to know how to sleep better? From finding the best mattress to choosing the ideal bedroom colour scheme, these simple tips will help you nod off at night and be more productive during your waking hours.For more practical expertise, enjoy more of our bedroom advice articles
We’ve asked sleep experts including Bensons for Beds’ Stephanie Romiszewski and Dr Ranj Singh, Brand Ambassador for British bed brand, Sleepeezee, to share their tips on how to beat the sleep blues.
How to get a good night’s sleep
Whether you’re a full eight hours person or can get by on a mean lean four, quality sleep time is the key to a productive and happy day. ‘We spend about a third of our lives asleep,’ says Tobin James, Tempur UK Managing Director.
‘Good quality sleep is essential to maintaining good mental and physical health. It’s as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing and can affect our performance, concentration, energy levels, relationships, moods and interpretation of the world.’
‘Up to one third of the population suffers from insomnia, with common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression often underpinning sleep problems, and likewise, poor sleep often leading to poor mental health.’
So put a spring in your step with our top tips for restful snoozing. Read on to discover how to sleep better.
1. Find the perfect mattress
From a pocket-strung design to an open-spring mattress or even a memory-foam version, finding the right mattress can make the difference between a good sleep or a restless night. A mattress should be the right firmness and tension to support your back and neck, making it super comfortable to sleep on.
‘When you keep in mind that the average person spends a quarter of their life sleeping, it makes sense to start at the very heart of your bedroom – your mattress,’ says Thomas Colleran, Brand Manager at Duvalay. ‘An uncomfortable bed can rob you of up to an hour of sleep a night, and that’s before we even talk about the hygiene aspect. A typical human sheds over a pound of skin a year, while also losing around half a pint (285ml) of moisture each night!’ Yuck!
‘This spring time, it is the perfect time to think about investing in a new mattress,’ Thomas adds. ‘Your average mattress should last between seven and eight years, and while this doesn’t seem long, if you put aside the lack of quality sleep and mounds of dead skin and sweat, investing £1,000 in a mattress equates to just 35p a night.’
2. Plump for the perfect pillow
Struggling to get comfortable at night? Your pillow might be the problem. This unique pillow allows restless sleepers to create a pillow that is tailored to their needs, ensuring a perfect sleep for even the worst insomniacs. It does this by asking for your weight, height, what side you sleep on, and how firm or soft you like your pillow. Welcome to the future of perfect sleep.
3. Change the position of your bed
When it comes to getting a good nights sleep according to the Sleep Better Council recommends position your bed so that it is facing away from the door or window. This will help cut down on any light that could bother you as you sleep.
4. Choose the right bedroom colour scheme
Whatever your bedroom decorating choice, make sure you choose a restful colour scheme. It doesn’t have to follow a strict interior design rule, but make sure you choose something that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable.
Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK advises avoiding red. ‘Being synonymous with emotions such as anger and passion, red is a very powerful colour and should ideally be avoided in our bedrooms. The colour can actually have a physical effect on the body, by raising our pulse. This makes it very difficult to relax and unwind, making falling asleep even more of a feat.’
Not sure where to start? In general green, most associated with nature, is considered one of the most calming colour schemes. It can work well with a variety of different hues. Green can help us to connect with the natural world, creating a feeling of relaxation and calmness – ideal for a sleep environment.
5. Pick the ideal bedlinen
Again this is down the personal preference, but remember the thread count can make a difference. Typically, the higher the thread count, the finer and smoother the fabric.
Think about the fabric and the weave – from plain to percale and satin to flannelette, there are a whole host of different fabric choices. And all this before you’ve even had fun picking colours and designs!
6. Invest in blackout blinds
This tip comes from Dr Ranj Singh. ‘Black-out blinds or curtains will limit light at night time,’ he explains. ‘This is crucial, as light interferes with melatonin production.’ Melatonin, incidentally, is the hormone that encourages us to go to sleep.
7. Embrace the power of lavender
A few drops of lavender on the pillow is said to help promote relaxation and ultimately a good night’s sleep. Try adding a splash of lavender essential oil to a bath for an even deeper sleep…
8. Put away your phone and tablets
Melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling our body clock and inducing sleep, is produced at night and light from sources such as TV and mobile screens could interrupt this process.
Switching off your devices – which can emit the ‘blue light’ shown in some studies to suppress the production of melatonin – at least 30 minutes before bed as well as dimming bedroom lights could help to counteract this.
‘Try to avoid having electronic devices in the bedroom, full stop,’ advises Dr Ranj Singh. ‘Or use a blue-light filtering app or mode.’