Five Day Sleep Challenge
Step 1: Invest in sleep
We spend a third of our life sleeping so invest in the best bed you can. A big bed can reduce sleep disturbance, especially if your partner likes to hog the space. It can also create a more sleep-inviting zone. Try different combinations of spring tensions and fillings before you buy to find your ideal level of support.
How to test beds:
- Take your partner if you bed share
- Lie on the bed for 10 minutes
- Rest in the position you sleep in
- Toss and turn a few times
“We wriggle and turn 60 to 70 times a night”
Step 2: Swap the duvet
Just as you wouldn’t wrap up in a winter coat in summer, you’ll struggle to sleep under a toasty duvet on milder days. Most luxury hotels use a natural filled 10.5 tog duvet to create the ultimate sleep experience. For hot summer nights, a good quality 4.5 tog down or luxury microfibre duvet is ideal.
“Keep your bedroom a sleep-inducing 18°C”
Step 3: Love your linen
Heat trapping polyester or ill-fitting sheets that ping off the mattress never aid a good night’s sleep. For the best sleep experience, go for 300tc or 400tc pure white cotton bed linen made from a high quality long staple cotton. Regularly washing your linen at 60°C will also help prevent dust mite allergies keeping you awake at night.
“Spritz your pillow with soothing lavender for sweeter slumbers”
External factors can play a big role in the quantity and quality of our sleep. Light peeping through the curtains, fidgety partners, even a too-soft mattress can leave us feeling sleepier than a new mum. Here’s how to make your bedroom the perfect sleep zone, and wake up raring the go.
Step 1: Kit it out
Add blackout blinds or thick, dark curtains to keep light out
Use plush rugs and cushions to muffle neighbour noise
Add plants to emit oxygen and help lower cortisol and blood pressure
Eliminate dust-gathering clutter by investing in storage
Replace the TV (see lighting) with something beautiful
Get a bed with wriggle room if your partner’s a space hog
Step 2: Dim the lights
Lighting is often overlooked when designing a bedroom scheme, but the wrong lighting can confuse the body’s circadian clock. Warm hued rays signal it’s time to sleep, while blue daylight releases hormones that keep us awake. Mirroring nature’s light spectrum helps our body know when to rise, eat and sleep.
Avoid blue-light emitting devices at least one hour before bed
Reduce light exposure 3 hours before bed
Switch to lights with a warm colour spectrum
Graham and Green Webster Table Lamp
Step 3: Think colour
Room colour can affect how much sleep we get. While intense colours such as orange might pump the adrenaline, they can be too mentally stimulating to relax the mind. Before you rush out and buy a tin of racy red or mellow yellow, ask yourself, what ‘magic colours’ will help me create a truly relaxing space?
Cool colours and muted shades
e.g Blue, Green, Grey
- Slow down your heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce anxiety
These promote better sleep
e.g Reds, Yellows, Oranges
- Increase the pulse rate
- Raise blood pressure
These can discourage relaxation
Read our feature on creating the perfect bedroom sanctuary here
“Invest in your bed and good shoes because if you’re not in one you’re in the other.”
We spend a third of our life buried in pillows so it makes sense to invest in the right pillow for you. Here Tielle linen expert Robert Lancaster-Gaye shares his advice on buying a pillow so comfy you’ll purr like a kitten all night long.
- The first thing to remember when choosing your pillows is that it’s entirely personal preference, no two people sleep the same or want the same from a pillow. It’s also worth remembering that we spend a lot of time with our face buried in our pillows so invest in the best quality you can afford.
- The quality of the pillows isn’t only defined by the percentage of down in them, it’s the quality of the filling and not all down and feather is created equal in terms of cleanliness and plumpness. Ask yourself, does it sound too good to be true?
- Investing in high quality ingredients means that your pillow will plump up and retain its shape and support for far longer. A quick way to test your pillows is to place it over your arm and if it sags in the middle it could be time for a change.
- The firmness or softness of a pillow isn’t only determined by the percentage of down but the quality and quantity. We always recommend that you buy one, sleep on it and then buy the rest for the bed once you’re happy. It’s worth remembering that a new pillow will always be plumper than a 5 year old one.
- Even if you think you can’t have natural fill pillows for allergen reasons, high quality feathers and down, which are super clean and encased in a high density case with double stitched seams means nothing can escape. It’s also been clinically proven that synthetic pillows hold more bedbugs than natural fill ones and that there are significantly more people who have reactions to bedbugs compared to those who react to feathers.
- Lightweight pure down is generally too soft for most people and a blend of feathers and down gives better structure and support whilst being soft on the face.
Read our pillow buying guide here
Prefer to go with the flow? When it comes to sleeping, waking or eating it pays to have a routine. Adopting bedtime rituals an hour before sleep is one of the best ways to help you drift off to slumberland and get the shut-eye you need.
Try these sleep-inducing activities:
Step 1: Drink milk
A cup of warm milk helps the body produce serotonin, one of the most important brain chemicals for regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Peckish? Read our five foods to help you sleep.
Step 2: Read a book
Reading is one of the best ways to relax but avoid reading on a phone. Exposure to blue light can interfere with the body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Time to get out your paperback!
Step 3: Do yoga or meditate
Calm your body and mind before sleep with a relaxing yoga workout. Try Yoga with Adrienne’s YUMMY sleep time yoga routine or meditate. We like headspace.com
Step 4: Burn aromatherapy oils
Oils such as lavender and camomile can calm and sedate. Apply topically mixed with a few drops of carrier oil or aromatically via a diffuser to circulate a deliciously dreamy scent.
Step 5: Spritz your pillow
A few squirts of an aromatic pillow mist could help you de-stress and sleep. Try the Neom Organics Scent to Sleep range to get you in the mood.
Step 6: Listen to music
Listening to music before bed can help you sleep better, stay asleep for longer, and spend less time laying awake.
Yippee! You’ve made it to Day 5 of the sleep challenge.
Struggling to make changes?
Itching to go back to your old ways? Research shows it takes 28 days to break bad habits, so keep going with your new and improved sleep routine.
Can’t be bothered to change?
Not willing to put in the legwork? Here are a few stats to help motivate and encourage you to give the sleep challenge another go.
55% of people feel ready to face the day after a good night’s sleep
Factors affected by lack of sleep
- 53% energy levels
- 52% mood
- 36% health
- 23% work performance
- 21% personal relationships
The 2017 Sleep Council Great British Bedtime Report conducted by Atomik Research questioned sample of 5,002 people via an online survey.
Seen improvements in your sleep?
Whoopee! Head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages and tell us what worked for you using the hashtag #TLLpowerofsleep.