Simple Tips to Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary*
Given that an average a person sleeps for 8 hours in a day, that means that you will likely sleep for 229,961 hours in you lifetime or basically one third of your life therefore making your bedroom as comfortable as possible is a worthwhile investment of time and resources.
I went thought a phase over the Summer where I couldn’t sleep. I am lucky that I work for myself so if a night was particularly bad, and I was wide awake at 4 am, I could sleep in a bit on days I didn’t have early meetings but it wasn’t a habit I wanted to settle into. Getting up early, ideally no later than 7 during the week really boosts my self-esteem and I find when I start the day with time on my side, the rest of the day flows. September represents a return to routine for me even though I left School and College a long time ago and I promised myself this month I would attempt to get back into going to bed early and sleeping well and thankfully it’s worked.
I found that small bad habits had crept back in and also I needed to refresh the energy in the room. Buying some new bedlinen, being stricter about a tech ban, putting books I really wanted to read on my bedside table and changing things up a little has made a world of difference. I now am in bed at 9.40 most nights and have the lights out no later than 10.15. I can’t do things by half and I have to stick to this as otherwise my mind rattles through with ‘to-do’ lists, wants to watch documentaries on youtube and scroll endlessly though instagram. Keeping my room uncluttered also helps my mind switch off.
These are a few tips I have used to turn my room into a calm sanctuary:
Scent Your Bedroom
Use a different candle or scent in your bedroom if possible. Associating a certain smell with relaxation can help you unwind. If turning off at night is a challenge, look for a fragrance that incorporates lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood, all of which promote sleep and relaxation. With candles I look for very pure blends that contain natural ingredients.
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). The toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes so not only will they mark your walls, they’re not good to be inhaling.
Invest in Quality Bedlinen
Foxford Woolen Mills has been around since 1892 and their bedlinen is stunning. Designed by Helen McAlinden their cotton sheets are made in Northern Portugal in a factory run to the highest standards where all the cotton that is used is combed, long fiber cotton. Speaking to the staff there some remarked that they had had their sets for over ten years so they are a worthwhile investment especially if you break down how long they will last. I usually look for neutral tones but particularly loved this “Toile Du Jouy" print which was first designed in Ireland in the mid 18th century showing how timeless good design can be. As mentioned below using a flat sheet between you and the duvet lessens the need to wash it so often and I always stick to the Eco setting and allow them to air dry flat. Foxford cotton suppliers are members of Sedex one of the world’s largest collaborative platforms for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains, performance around labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics.
I change my bedlinen once a week but a good tip is to use a loose flat sheet between you and the duvet cover. This means you don’t need to launder your duvet cover as much and also environmentally less washing is better for the environment and a flat sheet uses less energy to clean than a whole duvet cover. This one has a beautiful trim on it which is nice to fold back when I’m making the bed.
Make Your Room A Tech-Free Zone
I work online and spend more time than I would like staring at my phone screen throughout the day so I have to enforce certain parameters. The problem is I love it too much… I think with phones now it’s almost impossible to be bored, there’s always something to watch, look up or read, not to mention Watsapps to catch up on. I found it massively affects my ability to ‘switch off’ and go to sleep if I am constantly on my phone in bed. I have placed a setting to switch off apps at 9.30 and I make a big effort to stick to it and put my phone in aeroplane mode in another room until the morning from then on.
Light reading in the evening seems to help me fall asleep faster. Years ago I used to read a book a week. Now I might only get through that in a few months but it’s still nice to have a good gook to dip into and usually within a few pages I find myself nodding off.
Block Out The Light
A few weeks back I stayed in a hotel with my cousin and she shut the curtains completely making the room pretty close to pitch black. I used to think it was nice to wake up with the morning light so slept with the curtains open. That night from the moment my head hit the pillow till the time my alarm went off I was sound asleep, and it felt wonderful!
Research shows I’ve been getting it wrong as at night our bodies produce melatonin, which allows us to fall asleep, and stay asleep. We produce this hormone the most between 11 PM and 3 AM, and even the slightest ray of sunlight or artificial light interrupts the secretion of this important hormone. Closing the curtains fully and using an eye mask is back in my routine and they almost tells my body it’s time to sleep and mean I wake up less during the night as well.
Invest in a Mattress Topper
If you haven’t used a mattress topper you are in for a treat. Basically it’s a cushioned layer or pad that rests on top of a mattress to increase comfort and support. It makes your bed feel like heaven and is also an element that’s easy to clean and relatively accessible. I’ve had mine for a few years and it literally turns your bed into a cocoon. While most toppers simply rest on the surface mattress, others will be held in place using straps. Using straps can keep mattress toppers from sliding out of position.
I’d love to say my last point is don’t let your pets disturb you at night but I can’t. I am not that disciplined.
My 3 cats are very nocturnal and seem to become really affectionate at night, whereas during the day they don’t care if I am there or not. They climb over the bed, squabble and scratch the bedpost too - all of which are noisy, disruptive and destructive. I really adore them though.. My only tip that I can share on this is to brush your pets regularly as then they will moult less and if you place a folded towel at the end of the bed and encourage them to use that corner that can minimise them taking over.
*Thank you to Foxford for collaborating with me on this post.
For more information and to shop the range see Foxford or visit their stunning shop and cafe.