With the clocks turned back, the leaves fallen and the Halloween candy eaten, it’s no secret that we are speeding headlong toward winter.
With old man winter breathing down our backs, we’re reminded that although the winter season brings its share of challenges (hello crowded TTC, annual ice storms, the Leafs performance…) one of the best things about the winter months is the sleep. And it really matters!
In fact, according to the World Association of Sleep Medicine, Canada is a sleep-deprived nation with 60 per cent of Canadians reporting that they feel tired most of the time. This is a major issue, as chronic sleep loss contributes to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power, not to mention the impact on our mood and memory.
Of course there are a number of factors at play when it comes to getting enough sleep, including diet, lifestyle and sleep disorders, but there are many things that you can do to your bedroom to improve your sleep quality – and lets be honest, we all feel a lot like hibernating at this time of year so making some changes to your bedroom decor that will improve your sleep is a great investment into your home and your health.
The biggest thing that you can do to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly is to devote it to sleeping! To ensure that you associate your bedroom with sleep, not other activities, do not use it for watching TV, eating, working, studying, etc. Instead, be sure to:
- Shut off your TV and computer: Not only does the light suppress melatonin production, but TV tends to stimulate the mind. If your favorite TV show is on late at night, record it and watch it another time.
- Pay attention to lighting: Avoid bright lights before bed. Rather than turn on your main overhead light, use a reading light or table lamp instead.
- Beautify your bed: Your bed should be a delicious retreat. Invest in a good mattress and high quality sheets – look for a minimum thread count of 250. Add a down duvet for the ultimate wintertime sleep experience (if you are allergic to feathers, there are many hypo-allergenic fibers available).
- Turn it down: Your bedroom should be cool (around 18 degrees) and free of noise. If you are unable to drown out the noise of the city, consider moving your bed away from the window and get some ear plugs.
- Darker is better: The darker it is, the better you’ll sleep. Invest in heavy curtains in a thickly woven fabric like damask or velvet and buy a sleep mask to cover your eyes.
If you think about some of the most fabulous bedrooms that you’ve stayed in, you’ll probably remember a sumptuous bed and luxurious sheets. A relaxing bedroom should be a soft and soothing retreat so invest in high quality fabrics.
The way that fabrics feel on your skin is so important so choose your fabrics carefully. For drapes, damask or velvet will add a luxurious touch, while also keeping your room dark and cozy.
Area rugs made of silk, chenille or sheepskin work beautifully in the bedroom, adding next to none softness and elegance.
When it comes to bedding, Egyptian cotton or silk sheets and a goose down duvet will keep you toasty warm in the cool months. I prefer a micro suede or velvet duvet for the chilly months in a rich color like chocolate, navy or plum and love adding a supple throw with lots of pillows.
Right before bed, try initiating a relaxing bedtime ritual like reading, listening to soft music or taking a warm bath to lull you into a sweet night of sleep.
We all need a little help from time to time, and eieihome has an easy to use directory of interior design & decor professionals that can assist in your bedroom makeover.