Trouble sleeping? Follow our A to Zzz guide to creating a bedroom scheme that will help you fall asleep sooner and have a better quality of rest when you do drop off.
Image: Content by Terence Conran
You spend one-third of your life asleep, but that's only if you're lucky. Many of us suffer with difficulties sleeping, and recent research has found that the average Brit is only getting 6 hours sleep a night – 2 hours fewer than the recommended amount.
Whether your sleep problems are centred on struggling to drop off, or you spend your night's tossing and turning, your bedroom environment will be having a huge influence on the quality of your sleep.
Here are our top tips from the sleep experts to create a bedroom that's perfectly optimised for a restful and refreshing 8 hours each night.
Create a calming colour scheme
Image: Hobbywood Claypaint, Earthborn Paints
Recent research from Dulux found that the colours we choose for our walls have a profound influence on how we live our lives, especially in the bedroom. Those who have red bedrooms have significantly more disturbed sleep routines, while those with green bedrooms sleep the best. Dulux's Tranquil Dawn, Colour of the Year 2020, might be the perfect choice for an upcoming bedroom makeover it seems.
Limit outside light and sound
Image: 247 Blinds
Whether it's an early rising sun in the morning, or an outside street lamp that's keeping you up at night, always ensure your bedroom has window treatments with blackout lining to keep the room as dark as possible. To take it to the extreme, these Blindsides are designed to make sure your blackout blinds are fully lightproof.
247 Blinds analysed the most Googled sound complaints to find that everything from rain and city sounds to noisy neighbours and birds tweeting is keeping us all up at night. Its answer? New 'soundproof blind' technology using acoustic materials that absorbs and dampens both high and low frequency noises.
Refresh your bedding
Image: John Lewis & Partners
Whether it's your pillows, mattress or duvet, your choice of bedding will be playing a major role in the quality of your sleep. Lucky for you, we've got all the resources you need to make smart choices. Find your perfect duvet for both summer and winter, pick the right pillow for your sleep-type and get help with shopping for a new mattress.
Allow time to wind down
Image: Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150
First things first, look at your use of phone, tablet and TV screens in the bedroom. They omit blue light which is proven to interrupt our circadian rhythm that helps regulate our sleeping patterns. If they must be used, try an option like Apple's Night Shift Mode that offers a more sleep-inducive screen experience.
If you still struggle to get to sleep when you're in bed, consider using a sleep app such as Headspace and Sleepio, which use a range of sleep sounds, meditation and mental exercises to help you drop off.
Weighted blankets are a growing trend in bedding. They offer a gentle pressure therapy designed to suppress your 'flight or fight' response, reduce muscle movements that may keep us awake and stimulate production of hormones linked to relaxation, according to Sumo Sleep.
Many light wake up alarm clocks also feature wind down functions, which slowly lower light levels to help you transition into a peaceful sleep. Fancy trying one out? Here's our pick of the best models for 2019.
Surround yourself with nature
According to happybeds, bringing plants into the bedroom can help you sleep better. While certain plants regulate humidity and offer air-purifying qualities that may aid your slumber, the most concrete evidence suggests that plants simply boost your mood, tackling those everyday concerns and anxieties that might keep you up all night.
Set the right temperature
The bedroom should be cooler than the rest of the house to stimulate an uninterrupted sleep, according to the sleep experts at Tempur. Use your thermostat, or even better smart heating controls, to set a temperature between 16-18°C for the perfect slumber.
If you're the sort of person that gets hot under the covers, take time in considering your choice of duvet. Natural fibre fillings tend to have better thermoregulatory qualities, which help to prevent you getting both too hot and too cold, while the likes of the Nanu duvet lets couples both pick a different tog for each side of the bed for when your body temperatures don't quite match up when sleeping.
Have these tips helped you beat your sleeping struggles? Let us know! Tweet us @goodhomesmag, or post a comment on our Facebook page!