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The Sleep Epidemic
Irish people in the 1960s spent an average of nine hours in bed, today that time has been slashed to a mere 6½ hours. Living in a 24-hour society means that sleep deprivation is at an all-time high with many feeling that they have less and less time for quality z’s. What’s more, with all the distractions of modern life (we’re looking at you - Instagram and Netflix) it’s now harder than ever to switch off.
Consistent good nights’ rest has been proven to help stave off many health problems including depression, heart disease and diabetes. Sleep has also been shown to improve memory and curb weight gain. With all these benefits, it’s clear that we owe it to ourselves to do everything we can to get good sleep, and the best place to start with this is with the bedroom. A well-designed bedroom can drastically improve the quality of your sleep. Achieving the right combination of lighting, bedding and décor can transform your boudoir into a peaceful haven untouched by the stresses and distractions of the outside world. Here are five ways to transform your room into your personal sleep Shangri-La!
The Science: As darkness falls, the hormone melatonin is produced and our body temperature falls; helping us to become sleepy.
The Décor: Install a dimmer and lower the lights an hour before bedtime; thereby preparing your body for sleep. When choosing your bedside lamps, select ones with lampshades and opt for wattages between 45 and 50 to create soft ambient light.
The Science: Studies reveal that your mattress impacts significantly on pressure relief, postural support, temperature regulation and, of course, comfort. Experts agree that mattresses over five years old are unlikely to give you the comfort and support required for a good night’s rest.
The Décor: When replacing your mattress, find a comfortable middle-ground between firm and soft. An overly firm mattress will not receive your shoulders and hips comfortably, while a mattress that is too soft will not provide enough support.
The Science: Your pillow helps to ensure your body keeps a healthy posture during sleep. A healthy sleep posture means that your body is in alignment, from the knees and hips, through the spine to the chest and shoulders, head and neck. Using the wrong pillow can result in neck stiffness, back pain, and tiredness.
The Décor: In general, you should replace your pillows every 18 months. When selecting your pillows, base your decision on your sleeping position. For example, those who sleep on their back will need a flat pillow to keep the neck aligned while side-sleepers will require a plumper pillow to fill in the gap between their head and neck.
4. Colour Psychology
The Science: A National Sleep Foundation study revealed that blue walls result in better shuteye. Scientists believe that is because specialised receptors in the eye’s retina send information to your brain. These receptors are most sensitive to blue, and the brain associates this colour with feelings of calm. This in turn helps to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate, meaning you get a better night’s sleep.
The Décor: Paint your bedroom walls in serene blue tones. Alternatively, opt for relaxing cool shades such as greys, silvers, and neutrals.
The Science: Sleep expert, Michael Breus, aka the Sleep Doctor says: “When you walk into a room, what your eye sees can actually determine whether or not you’re going to have an easy time falling asleep.” Excess clutter makes it difficult to sleep as it bombards your eyeline and your mind with excessive stimuli, creating a sense of guilt over “a job not done” which results in anxiety and a poor night’s sleep.
The Décor: Make use of smart storage to keep your mess out of sight and out of mind. What’s more, do not store items from work as the mere presence of these will cause you to feel stressed. Your bedroom should be used for sleep and nothing else.
You spend one-third of your life sleeping, so it’s important to make sure everything in your bedroom is just right. If you have any questions about how to transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, simply call into one of our stores and ask one of our expert staff members.