With our offices, social lives, and everything in between now confined to our homes (specifically our laptops) it's more important than ever to make sure we're thinking about cleaning up our sleep hygiene. Studies have shown that 67% of us have reported worse sleeping patterns during lockdown so, just like we've been creating spaces to 'home office' it's crucial we create a space where we can disconnect and rest. And where better to do so, than the bedroom?
Sleep hygiene – what is it?
According to The Sleep Foundation, good sleep hygiene means "having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep". A good night's sleep is vital for our physical and mental health, improving our productivity and quality of life. So how can we get more of it?
1. Lose the tech
Yes, that includes Netflix. You might want to scroll through Instagram late into the night, but your sleep quality will thank you if you don't. More than any other colour, blue light from our screens prevents our bodies from preparing for sleep, as it blocks our body's sleep hormone, melatonin. By steering clear of our screens for one hour before bed, it allows us to get some good quality hours in. And you know what doesn't emit any blue light? Books.
Check out our blog on how to feng shui your bedroom for a calmer relaxing space.
2. Choose soothing colours
Creating a calming environment is imperative to good sleep, so it feels pretty intuitive that choosing soothing colours in the bedroom could aid getting a better night's kip. "When it comes to bedrooms, what you want to avoid is any colour that's overly stimulating or highly saturated," says Tash, Lick's head colour specialist. For a more peaceful slumber, she suggests opting for gentle blue palettes that remind the brain of the sky and sea, natural greens, or nurturing pinks – the "colour of cuddles" as Tash calls it. Alternatively, for a cocoon-like effect, you could opt for darker greens, like Green 02 or Green 03.
Check out our recommendations for the best paint colours for bedrooms here.
3. Invest in a good pair of blinds
There are few things more irritating than struggling to fall asleep thanks to a bright street lamp right outside your bedroom window, except possibly struggling to get back to sleep after waking up at the crack of dawn. Investing in a good pair of blinds is a sure-fire way to help avoid the summer 4 am sunrises or combat urban living's unavoidable light pollution. Lick recommends a pair of our roller blinds in the bedroom for a better night's sleep and better 'black-out'. Why not colour-match them to our bedroom colour for a seamless finish?
Check out the best blinds for a bedroom.
4. Get comfy
This one may sound obvious, but creating a sleeping space that's above anything else comfortable is essential for good sleep. Lumpy mattress? It might be time to upgrade it. Wake up with a mouth as dry as the Sahara? Your room temperature might be too hot. Competing in a midnight tug-of-war competition over the covers? Why not try adopting the Scandi two-duvet-one-bed system? Don't knock the last one 'til you've tried it!
Feeling comfortable in your room is essential to having good sleep hygiene - read our cosy bedroom ideas for more tips.
Pet approved! Make sure your bedroom is snuggly and has a mattress that's comfortable enough for you (or your furry friends) to fall asleep on @behind_the_bifolds
5. Most importantly, keep your bedroom for sleeping, and sleeping only
...and maybe the odd horizontal tango. If your bedroom is doubling as your office, try and create a dedicated work space and put your laptop away in the evenings. Out of sight, out of mind! Yes it can be tempting to finish off a few emails (or a few episodes) in bed but, unless our brain associates the bedroom with sleep, it makes it harder to achieve.
Consider this: you manage to fall asleep on the sofa, no problem. But the moment you take yourself to bed, you're wide awake. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you relate your sleep struggles with the bedroom, it will increase them.
Why not try a couple of our suggestions and see how you get on? It’s amazing how making just a few adjustments to your bedtime routine can have impressive results. And in a world in which our health and wellbeing is often commodified, sleep is the cheapest and easiest super cure.