Could making changes to your bedroom improve your sleep? Repainting the walls or switching to wool bedding could make a difference to how much kip you get
1. Our brain produces less of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin when our eyes are exposed to light, so having a dark bedroom at night could increase your chances of sleep. Fitting blackout curtains and/or blinds is a good way to achieve this and is usually a straightforward DIY job. However, light flairs around the edges of blinds and curtains (a curtain pelmet may prevent this at the top), so you often need both to cut out all or most of the light. Wearing an eye mask can help too.
2. It may sound unlikely, but repainting your bedroom walls could help you get more sleep. According to a 2013 survey of 2,000 British homes for Travelodge, those surveyed with blue bedrooms got most sleep, probably because blue is seen as a calm colour. Yellow bedrooms were next, closely followed by green, silver and orange. People with purple bedrooms got least sleep, which may be because purple is said to be mentally stimulating, followed by brown and grey. If this is true and you have the ‘wrong’ colour walls, it could be time to redecorate.
3. Giving your bedroom a feng shui makeover is another option. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art, based on the idea that the way we arrange things in rooms and buildings affect us. There’s a long list of things to consider if you want to rearrange your bedroom along feng shui lines, including the colour of the walls and the position of the bed - putting it under a window is said to lead to fitful sleep, for example. Consult a good feng shui book or website to find out what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
4. Sweltering summer temperatures, like those we’ve been experiencing, can stop us sleeping. A study by wool bedding and homeware specialist The Wool Room found that while more than a third of us put sleeplessness down to being too hot at any time of the year, this rises to more than half during summer. “Ensure your bedroom is well ventilated and cool before going to sleep,” says Chris Tattersall, MD of The Wool Room. “The ideal bedroom temperature for healthy sleep is around 17C and 45% relative humidity. Too hot or too cold bedroom temperatures, or too much humidity or dry humidity, can lead to poorer quality sleep by forcing your body to wake up in order to cool down or warm up.”
5. Opening the window is the obvious way to keep your bedroom cool, but your bedding can also play a big part. Research by The Wool Room and Leeds University found that wool bedding allowed 43% more moisture transmission out of its fibres than feather/down bedding, and 67% more than polyester. The average person perspires around 0.5-1ltr of water vapour every night, and wool bedding (see www.thewoolroom.com for a large range) absorbs this moisture away from the skin so you’re more likely to have a comfortable sleep.