Setting the scene for sleep

Can’t sleep?  It might not be you. It might be your bedroom and pre-sleep habits.

We are influenced by so many external factors every day.  Combined together, they can either conspire against us or do our bidding when it comes getting a good night’s sleep.

Accidental or haphazard bedroom décor, the wrong lighting, your possessions and your bedroom activities plus other things could be quietly working against you.   But it is easy to consciously design your space for good sleep hygiene.

Here are my six favourite tips to setting yourself up for a successful night’s sleep:

Use colour wisely:

Choose cool colours (green, blue and some purples) as well as neutrals (white, cream and grey) to promote a relaxed state and good sleep. Avoid warm colours (red, orange and yellow) that stimulate and increase heart rate. Also avoid bright and bold colours, opting instead for muted and gentle tints, tones and shades.  The more limited the colour palette, the more relaxed the space.

Style it:

Disjointed styling can be visually challenging and unsettling.  Identify your favourite decorator items and use these as a starting point to create a cohesive style for your bedroom.  Keeping wise colour choices in mind, create your own retreat by filling it with appropriate items for the bedroom. Choose linen that is plain and neutral, with either a subtle print or solid block colour.  Avoid bold, bright prints.  Consider adding in plants. Remove anything that makes you unhappy or just isn’t you.


Bedside lamps play a crucial role in getting ready for bed.  Avoid bright overhead lighting in the hours before bed, instead opting for bedside lamps with low watt, warm light.  This helps to tell the body that it is time to wind down.  Remove any items with flashing or constant standby lights, including alarm clocks and TVs. You can use your phone as an alarm clock, but store it on the other side of the room over night.   Reading a book or Kindle in bed helps us to slow down, but avoid laptops, tablets and smart phones which emit a blue light that emulate daylight and tells our bodies that it is still daytime.

Cluttered space, stimulated mind:

Things on the floor, hidden under the bed, messy drawers, a stuffed wardrobe and surfaces covered in clutter will act as a barrier to sleep. It isn’t just the clutter you can see either, it is also what is hidden away.  De-clutter your entire bedroom, and put what you choose to keep away neatly. 

Cool room, warm bed:

Just like babies, we adults benefit from this practice. Keep the bedroom cool, with fresh air circulating, and create a warm bed with sufficient blankets, a hot water bottle if you like, and socks on your feet!

Keep the bedroom sacred:

If you treat the bedroom like your living room, study, storage room or gym, it will work against getting a good night’s sleep.  Instead, keep the bedroom strictly for relevant activities, and remove anything which is not related to sleep, sex or dressing.  This includes sports equipment, desks, study, craft projects, and things that have no proper home.

Which of these can you apply today to help your sleep tonight?
Do you have any tips to add?