Your path to the perfect night’s sleep starts here…
Ask any mum what she’d do with a spare night to herself, and we’re confident “sleep!” will be high up on her list.
Sure, baby and child paraphernalia might begin sitting pretty in the nursery… but it soon creeps into each room of the house one by one, leaving parents feeling like prisoners of primary-coloured plastic.
We think it’s time to claim back your bedroom, British Mums. And creating a (child-free) space that soothes your soul and revives your spirit can have a serious impact on day-to-day life.
Our friends at John Lewis have seen a huge surge in sales of 800 thread count duvet covers and sheets, for example. This could well be due to the fact this British brand that’s so close to our hearts offers virtually the same prices as we’d find at home – yep, it’s true! – but it’s also because we’re realising we deserve the most blissful sleep experience we can get our hands on.
“Sleep is one of life’s essentials,” says Callum Williamson, branch manager of John Lewis Dubai.
“Parents just don’t get much time for themselves. I know plenty of mothers who will pop off and try to catch up on some sleep if they have a spare half an hour in the day, so it’s important to create an environment they can truly relax and unwind in.”
But how do you know that mattress, duvet, pillow or bedding set is ‘the one’ you’ll start a deep and dream-filled relationship with? Well, you snuggle in for a bit of speed dating at the store. The ‘Sleep Room’ at John Lewis – which is located within Robinsons, Dubai Festival Centre – is where mums can have a much-needed lie down, trying out bedroom essentials that are handmade and, until now, were only available in the UK.
“It’s important to blend the ‘art’ and ‘science’ of sleep,” says Callum.
“This means choosing a design style that reflects your tastes, and choosing the right fabrics and materials to match the level of comfort you require. Even the ‘feel ‘of our bed linen can be chosen, with options of smooth and silky, or crisp and fresh!”
In the battle for forty winks, a bed you just can’t wait to jump into is important. But even more important is what you do in it…
Or, more specifically, what you DON’T do.
As a constantly updated website and Facebook group, it would be hypocritical of us to tell you not to check us out in bed. You do it, and we do it… but neither of us should!
Sleep deprivation has soared beyond recognition in recent years, and scientists from the likes of Harvard Medical School have published studies that confirm the artificial blue light emitted from our smartphones, tablets, TVs and laptops is to blame.
Scrolling through our devices in bed actually sends ‘wake up’ signals to our brains, making it harder to fall asleep, and stopping us from producing the lovely, cuddly, sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin – which is what sends us into a deep and restful state of slumber.
The advice is therefore to switch off any electronic devices at least one hour before you want to go to sleep, ideally longer. In today’s world, that’s pretty tough.
So, here’s a few tips on how to prep your body and mind for bedtime, without an app in sight.
- Crawl into your cave. Make your bedroom as dark as possible, with blackout blinds/curtains and turning off all sources of light. That means turning your phone face-down on the side table, and any digital clocks away from you.
- Keep it cool. Studies show the most beneficial bedroom temperature is around 18.5ºC – or as close as your AC will let you get to that in Dubai!
- Calm colours. You might love red and orange, but they won’t do you any favours when it comes to sleep. Neutral, cool shades, such as grey, blue and silver won’t ‘busy’ your mind at bedtime.
- The scent of sleep. A few drops of an essential oil on your pillow or placed in a diffuser can be a fantastic sleep aid. Opt for ultra-calming lavender, vanilla and jasmine, and avoid peppermint and any citrus smells.
- Plant power. Providing you aren’t allergic, placing a plant close to your bed can purify the air you breathe, plus lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. The most widely recommended plants to improve sleep quality are lavender, jasmine, aloe vera, gardenia, valerian and English ivy.