The colour of calm
Keep the colours of your decor and bed linen soothing. Blue is relaxing, red is not, brown and grey will make you gloomy. Rich colours are okay if you love them and the most pacifying are soft, cool shades. Green and creamy yellow get a big tick, according to Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux colour planning and communications manager.
At night, the bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet. Curtains and block-out blinds are a huge help, but the low light from alarm clocks and devices can also be a distraction. Turn the alarm clock away from you or put it on the floor. More about devices later.
Sounds of silence
Apparently it is not so much sounds that keep us awake or rouse us from sleep, but the inconsistency of sounds in the night, according to Popular Science. White noise sound machines, which produce soothing ambient soundscapes such as waves on a beach, may help you relax and block outside noise.
The comfort of your bed is vital. Top-quality pillows and mattresses keep your spine aligned and comfortable. A good mattress and foundation supports your body at all points and keeps your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture.
If your mattress is older than five to seven years, it is very likely past its comfy, supportive prime, according to Choice magazine. If you wake up with aches and pains or have slept better in a hotel or at a friend’s house, then it’s probably time for a new one.
There are many types of mattress on the market and only one way to find out which is best for you, says Choice. Take your time when buying. If you share a bed, take your partner with you when looking. Lie on various beds, move around, be aware of how the bed feels when your partner moves. Roll over, sit up and get in and out of bed.
The Sleep Health Foundation says the number of people who have trouble sleeping has increased since a 2010 survey and this may be due to using devices in bed and watching TV in the bedroom.
Using tablets, smartphones and laptops delays your body’s internal clock and the light from the device shining directly into your eyes suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, the foundation says.
Sleep is all about relaxing and shutting down, and the foundation recommends the following good habits. Don’t eat or drink too much, particularly alcohol, close to bedtime. Exercise earlier in the day. Meditation and aromatherapy may help and even just lying on your back when you get into bed and breathing deeply and slowly while thinking of something that makes you happy can slow your body and mind right down.