I love sleep and by that I mean really love sleep.
I am lucky in that most of the time I don’t have too much trouble nodding off, but I think a lot of that has to do with the changes I have made over the years that have turned our bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.
Here are a few of the things that work for me…
Buy the biggest bed you can fit in your bedroom
I have no idea at all how two people manage to sleep in a 4’6″ bed without constantly elbowing each other. Superking’s have only been widely available for about the last 15 years, but at twice the size of a single bed they make complete sense for two people and even more sense if you occasionally have children in your bed. The only down side to buying one is that once you have experienced their expansive luxury you will feel a little cheated when you have to sleep in anything smaller. Hotels and B&Bs are catching up slowly with the demand for 6 foot beds, but I find we still have to shop around a bit when booking accommodation (unless we are staying in America or Canada!)
Treat yourself to a mattress topper
I presume everyone must have one of these by now, surely?! If you haven’t got one but you have a spare duvet kicking around you can do a good cheats topper by laying that across the mattress under the sheet. Our spare bed currently has a really cheap mattress on it, but we put a spare duvet on it and it completely transformed it. No longer was it springy and hollow, instead you sink into the down topper and don’t feel what’s beneath it
Cast aside your prejudices about heated blankets
When we were posted to Cyprus, my parents bought us a heated blanket and we thought they were mad! Then winter came and suddenly “turning on the bed” became a nightly ritual like lighting the fire. It’s like getting into a pre-warmed bed and if you live in an old or drafty house I can’t recommend it highly enough. We generally turned ours off as soon as we got into bed so there were no fears about over-heating during the night, but it is a lovely luxury
Get an alarm clock with a display that turns off
I’m a great believer in having a dark room to sleep in and if you still have a bedside alarm clock (or does everyone use their phone?) it’s great to have one that allows you to turn the display off at night so you don’t have a big glowing light shining in your face. You have to hunt quite hard for one with that facility, but this one does have that option. Some people like to know the time if they wake in the night (in which case you can switch the display on briefly) but personally I’d rather not know the time, so I don’t count down the hours I have left.
Read a book (and I don’t mean a Kindle)
I have nothing against Kindles or eBooks in general, but late night reading on them has two disadvantages. Firstly it (mostly) means staring at a backlit screen which has been linked to insomnia and secondly it’s easy to get distracted from the book and start browsing the web or social media. When we slept in the cabin during the build one of the biggest frustrations about sharing a room with Theo was not being able to have a light on to read before I went to sleep. I find that even if it’s 10 minutes the time spent reading helps me unwind and switch my brain off.
Written for Carpetright