Sleep. For many of us it can be something of an elusive luxury. If you are able to sleep soundly night after night, you might be surprised to think of sleep as a ‘luxury’, but rather consider it to be more a part of everyday life. Yet for the more than 60 million Americans who suffer with insomnia, a good night’s sleep really does feel like a luxury. As for me? Well, I’ve always taken a good stretch of time to fall asleep. While my heart mate literally falls asleep within 30 seconds of closing his eyes (seriously!), it takes me on average 30-60 minutes to fall asleep. I’ve had periods of insomnia in my life but (knock-on-wood) I have been fortunate enough not to be plagued with it on a regular basis. However, I totally sympathize with those who do regularly struggle to get a good night’s sleep. So, I’m delighted to team up with the folks behind the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor today to share some decorating, life and technology tips that I’ve found conducive in helping to achieve a more restful environment that encourages better sleep. Let’s get started below!
1. Understand your sleep cycles | Before you can truly understand how to fix any sleep issues you may have, it’s important to understand how you are or, as the case might be, aren’t sleeping. Enter stage right: the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor which tracks the sleep of up to two people simultaneously and then generates an individual sleep score based on a variety of key sleep metrics. These include: sleep efficiency, progress toward sleep goal, how long it takes to fall asleep, how long you spend in each sleep cycle and how many times you wake up during the night. Having tried out the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor in my own bedroom, I can attest to both how easy it is to set up and to the illuminating data it provides in the accompanying app. The patented system accurately measures both respiration and heart rate, along with a minute-by-minute snapshot of each sleep cycle: REM, light sleep and deep sleep. For someone who needs ultimate comfort to sleep (major props to anyone who can just fall asleep, well, just anywhere!), I was really pleased with how non-invasive the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor system is. I found track-able devices that you had to wear while sleeping too disruptive and uncomfortable, so just having the sensor under the mattress means you don’t even know the system is there.2. Lighting | Having suitable lighting is key for any interior but especially so when it comes to the bedroom. You want to be sure that as you approach bedtime you minimize exposure to bright lights, or anything that will stimulate the brain too much. Avoid watching TV, looking at screens such as PCs and phones and keep the lighting in the room soft. I like to have an overhead light for bedroom tasks during the day (putting away laundry, cleaning, changing the sheets, etc.), and then softer bedside lighting that I have on while getting ready for bed and reading in bed. Pick a shade that will direct the light down and away from the face, and ensure the bulb has a warm kelvin level that feels cozy and relaxing to the eye. Harsh spotlights are a big no-no!3. Bedding and mattress | Just as important as lighting are your choices of bedding and mattress. These are two decisions that are very personal choices. I sleep really hot so I like to dress the bed in linen sheets because I find them cooling to sleep in. The same is true when it comes to my mattress choice: if a mattress is too soft, it lacks support for my back, so I bought a firm mattress that works perfectly. Essentially, this one is simple: while you may begrudge investing in something you don’t even see, it’s well worth it because you spend a third of your life in bed. Plus, the benefits of sleeping well on a regular basis far outweigh the financial investment into new bedding and a quality mattress.4. Color scheme | Much like the lighting of a space, the colors you choose to decorate a bedroom in will affect how the room makes you feel as you prepare to sleep, and as you wake, too. In my NYC bedroom I painted the walls in a soothing grey palette, stopping the paint a few feet below the ceiling. I did this to create a white band around the top of the room. This makes the room feel super spacious, as well as light and airy. It helps me feel energized for the day when I wake up, and as I go to sleep the color becomes cocooning and cozy thanks to the softer light from my wall sconces. A soft peachy-pink wash to my linen bedding adds some #MakeYouSmileStyle color to the otherwise pared back palette of forest green and grey.5. Routine | Earlier this year I wrote about how sticking to a routine helped me to sleep better, and the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor has helped me stick to that routine. Inside the app there’s a sleep coach that gives you tips, based on your individual data, such as analyzing your bedtime and wake up times to try and make them more regular and in turn help encourage a better night’s sleep. Do you have any favorite tips for getting a great night’s sleep?
// Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with Beautyrest; all views my own