What are the perfect sleeping conditions?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 March 2016
Of all the rooms in our home, the bedroom is the one we spend the longest in – even if we are unconscious for much of that time
According to The Sleep Council around half of us don’t sleep as well as we should. And they know why. The experts have created seven steps to getting a good night’s sleep which include diet, exercise, hormonal balance, stress and lifestyle. But top of their list is the bedroom.
This important room can aid a good night’s sleep or prevent it – over stimulate you or relax you. And the décor and look of the room can have a huge impact.
So what are the things to consider?
The bed – the most important piece of furniture in your room if not your house. And you will need to consider age before you get the perfect beauty sleep – if your mattress is older than seven years it’s time to chuck it out and get a new one. If that seems harsh, remember the lifetime of your mattress is still 20,000 hours. And if it’s been that long since you went shopping for a mattress – what fun awaits you: sprung, open coil, memory foam, latex, gel – which one are you!
Temperature – although we are all different, having a room to hot can prevent sleep just as much as one that’s too cold. Your bedroom should be cooler than you think: aim for between 60 and 67 degrees.
Light – create a relaxing oasis before lights out with low lamps which cast just enough light. Avoid the ‘blue light’ of tablets and computer screens for at least an hour before you go to sleep. This particular type of light emanating from the screens activates instead of calms the brain. Of course when the lights go out, the room really should be dark. Check for annoying gaps in window dressings that let in car headlights and street lights.
And of course creating a room you want to spend time in will all help with that all-important sleep routine (which recommends going to bed a the same time each night and following a similar pattern – warm bath or quiet read).
The Sleep Council (sleepcouncil.org.uk) has all kinds of fabulous advice when it comes to getting your prescribed eight hours – although the magic number of hours varies widely and if legend is to be believed former PM Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours a night, which might explain a few things. Advice includes a special section for the over-50s, as well as teenagers and children with special needs.