Take a look at your bedroom: Does it inspire relaxation? If not, why not? Your bedroom should be the one place in your home where you can totally rest, away from the everyday hustle, bustle and worries. Too often, however, the debris of our lives spill into our bedrooms and they become extensions of our living spaces- mismatched decor, clutter piled up around the bed, technology on the nightstands and inadequate storage for our clothes. All of these factors mean our bedroom environment is far from restful and is in fact helping to keep us awake at night.
For the ultimate restful bedroom scheme, stick to a simple neutral palette of whites, coffees and dark brown wood. Stay away from busy patterns and make sure clutter is kept out of sight in a bedside table with drawers.
Keane queen bed from Dh5,505, Crate and Barrel.
Choose a soft colour
Certain colours, such a red or purple, stimulate our senses, so they aren’t the right choice for a bedroom if you have trouble sleeping. Like the sky or sea, blue inspires a feeling of calm, which can lower your heart rate and blood pressure – so is an ideal shade for bedrooms. Choose something you are drawn to as a starting point for your scheme. This will make you feel happy and comfortable when you enter the space – whether it’s a fabric for curtains, a wallpaper or a duvet cover. Then pick out the palette of colours for the rest of the room from this for a harmonious look.
The enchanting pattern on this wallpaper is the focal point in this bedroom, the colours in the bedlinen tie in with the aqua and white colours on the walls to make this room feel coherent and restful.
Poem D’Amour wallpaper, Dh332 per roll, by Borastapeter for Design Tales.
Even the colour on a cushion can inspire your bedroom scheme.
Lattice cushion in duck egg, Dh150, John Lewis
Get the light and temperature right
Although we don’t have lights on for sleep, it’s still important to get the lighting right. When it is dark our bodies release melatonin, which relaxes us. Soft or dimmed lights before you turn off the lights mean you aren’t stimulating the senses too much before you sleep. Avoid putting overhead lights on and use lamps instead. Leave electronics like phones and iPads outisde as the blue screens suppress melatonin. Sleep experts recommend avoiding screen time 40 minutes before you go upstairs. Blackout blinds will help to reduce light pollution outside and prevent early-morning light from flooding in.
Get the climate of your bedroom right despite the soaring temperatures outside. A cool 15-18 degrees Celsius is recommended for a bedroom. Buy a thermometer to check the temperature in the bedroom, particularly in children’s rooms.
A blackout lining in these curtains means even with a light coloured fabric, they still block out light, a trick which all hotels use with their window dressing.
Bellvale fabric in curtains and Beckett cushion fabric from Dh219 per metre, all Larsen at Lelievre.
Bedside lamps with soft coloured bulbs gives off a relaxing glow before you go to sleep.
Klabb lamp, Dh125, Ikea
Make sure you have enough storage options so everything has its place. Clothes and shoes shouldn’t be spilling out of wardrobes and drawers and doors should close properly. Clear clutter from surfaces, especially around the bed.
Only have things on display that inspire you.
Storage boxes with lids hide away mess easily and large boxes can double up as bedside tables.
Baolgi storage box, Dh882, Amara
An ottoman at the end of the bed will provide extra storage as well as a useful place to sit.
Zenn stool in taupe, Dh1,995, The One
Make sure your bed is comfortable. Your mattress is vital to whether you are getting a rested night’s sleep or whether you are waking up aching and uncomfortable. This will also affect your partner’s sleeping too. Pillows and bedlinen are also important factors to you sleeping well.
It is recommended you buy the bed base at the same time as the mattress to ensure that they fit together properly.
Linea II queen bed, Dh5,505, Crate and Barrel
Buying a mattress
Your mattress needs to be replaced every seven years. When buying a mattress, go with your partner and lie next to each other in your usual sleeping position. Also lie flat on the mattress to check how hard it is – slide your hand underneath into the hollow of your back. There should only be a little resistance. If there is no gap and it is difficult to slide your hand in then the mattress is too soft and you will sleep in a slouched position with your spine out of line. A large gap means it is too firm and will put pressure on your shoulders and hips.
Lie together for at least ten minutes on a mattress before you buy, and try lying on your back as well as your usual sleeping positions.
Yorkshire wool 8000 pocket spring mattress, Dh6,750 for a double, John Lewis
Pillows should be replaced every three years. When choosing a pillow, think about how you sleep so the pillow will keep your head and spine properly aligned.
Active anti-allergy medium/firm pillow, Dh150 for a kingsize, John Lewis
3 of the best upholstered beds
King bed 230x205cm, Dh7,690, Indigo Living
Lugano storage bed 160 x 200cm, Dh6,389, Bo Concept
Rem bed 160 x 200cm, Dh4,995, The One
Buying top tip: Buy the biggest bed you can. Try this test – lie next to your partner; you should both be able to cross your arms behind your head and not touch elbows.
Invest in good quality bedlinen made from natural fibres. Thread count marks quality when buying cotton bedlinen. In general the higher the thread count, the better quality it is. However, it also worth considering the fineness, as this is an indicator of how soft it will feel.
Linen is a perfect choice for hot climates as by its nature it regulates temperature keeping cool in hot temperatures and warm in colder seasons. Silk is another good temperature regulator and is hypoallergenic but it is more high maintenance to look after.
Buying top tip: Remember when buying bedlinen that UK sizes tend to be smaller in size than European or American.
Natural textures are best for keeping our body temperatures even.
Belgian flax sheet set including flat and fitted sheets and two pillowcases, from Dh180, Pottery Barn
Scented candles can help to relax us. Cotton scented candles, Dh32, H&M Home
Block out the light with a handy eye mask, Dh35, Zara Home