November 1, 2016

And so to bed, sleepyhead

Not getting enough zzzs? Then it’s time to be more creative with your bedroom, says Beth McDonald

WE SPEND around a third of our lives doing it — so it’s no surprise that sleeping (or not) can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.

‘Increased risk of diabetes, raised blood pressure, heart disease, reduced immune function, obesity and a reduced life expectancy...’ Sleep expert David Gibson is reeling off just some of the things we can expect to happen if we don’t catch enough kip over the long term, but loss of sleep can make us irritable and lead to a loss of short-term memory, as well as a decreased ability to concentrate.

Getting your bedroom environment right is essential — not only for helping you get to sleep easily, but also making sure that what you do get is quality sleep. ‘Making your bedroom a cool, dark, quiet cave is a good place to start,’ says David.

‘The room should be clutter-free and kept only for sleep and sex. Taking any technology that enables you to work into your bedroom will only keep your brain active, with the ‘blue-light’ emitted tricking your brain into thinking that it’s time to get up. A cooler rather than a hotter bedroom is ideal, as your body temperature is designed to drop both before and as you sleep and keep the room as dark as you can — use dimmed lights if you’re reading and black-out blinds if you’re woken by early morning light.’

Following this advice should all make it easier for you to get to sleep, but what if you’re rudely awoken? ‘The biggest source of noise tends to be from a snoring partner,’ admits David. ‘Getting them to lose weight or reduce their alcohol intake helps, as does getting them to sleep on their side rather than their back.’


How to choose a mattress 

THE SLEEPBEAR ( combines a latex top layer with a memory foam middle and a dense support layer underneath. I tried the double (£599), which was delivered rolled up in a box (handy if, like mine, your home is on the compact side, although still heavy) and easily unrolls and ‘inflates’. It’s as wonderfully comfortable as it sounds, moulding to my shape and providing support that my previous mattress never did. What’s more, the company will donate part of their proceeds to Polar Bears International – so not only will you get a great night’s sleep, you’ll also be saving the bears while you snooze. AD