I’m a sleep expert – here’s the 10 items you must banish from the bedroom for decent slumber | The Sun

GETTING to sleep can be hard work.

You might think that ditching caffeine a few hours before bed and sticking to a routine will do the trick.

But one expert has now revealed that this isn't always the case, and claims your environment can make a huge difference on the quality of your slumber.

Expert Hannah Shore has revealed her top 10 tips on how to curate your bedroom space for the perfect night.

Hannah, who is working with Premier Inn to mark Sleep Awareness Week (13-19th March), said you should look at things like your pillow and mattress to make sure you're getting the most out of your snooze.

It comes after a poll of 2,000 adults, found people have tried different ways to make their bedroom a more relaxing environment, including getting new pillows (34 per cent), a new mattress (29 per cent) and blackout curtains (25 per cent).

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And really nailing down these basics such as bedding can significantly improve the quality of your rest, according to Hannah, who is working with Premier Inn in partnership with Silentnight.

Hannah's top tips for a better nights sleep are…

1. TV and devices

Tech isn’t always bad. If you are using a device before bed, use it in eye comfort mode, create calming sounds, listen to podcasts or even help with certain breathing exercises.

Avoid viewing content such as news that causes tension and promotes wake hormones, Hannah said.

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She said: “You’ve all heard about blue light, how this can stop you from sleeping and we should be off our phones for at least an hour before bed – but this doesn’t work for everyone.

“Blue light isn’t always bad, and most devices now come with an eye comfort mode setting anyway, swapping out those harsh blue tones for softer yellow ones.

“It is the content we are looking at which causes more harm.

“Looking at the news or watching something tense can all lead our bodies to be on edge, producing wake promoting hormones like cortisol.

“Instead of watching anything overly addictive and intense like Happy Valley, which makes you think ‘just one more’, it’s best to watch something you’ve already seen before like re-runs of Friends, or a relaxing programme," she said.

2. Socks

The expert said that bed socks can increase the blood circulation which can help with cooling the body down.

"Ideally your body temperature needs to naturally drop by a couple of degrees to get good quality sleep," she added.

When it comes to nightwear, she added that PJs should be loose-fitted and light.

3. Clutter

Banish the floordrobe! A cluttered bedroom can cause the mind to feel stressed and stress is sleep’s worst enemy, Hannah said.

She added: "Ensuring you have places to put away all your belongings, for example a storage or ottoman bed, and keeping sides and floors clear can really help this."

4. Pillows

Finding the right pillow to support your sleeping position is a must, she said.

"If you are a front or back sleeper, you will need a thinner pillow. Side sleepers will need a thicker pillow to fill the gap between the ear and the edge of the shoulder," Hannah added.

Hannah added that how you sleep predicts the thickness of your pillow.

5. Dark light

When you are going to bed try keeping the light levels in your room low by using a bedside lamp instead of the bright ceiling light, Hannah said.

"Dim light helps our bodies to start producing sleep hormones, like melatonin," she added.

6. Bright light

Hannah said that bright light when the sun rises too early can wake you easily by telling your body to stop producing sleep hormones.

"At home make sure to have blackout blinds or curtains, or even an eye mask to block out those bright lights," the expert added.

7. Working

We often take our work to bed with us, either trying to remember to do things the following day or literally checking emails whilst we should be sleeping.

"This can cause our minds to work overtime, struggle to switch off and therefore struggle to fall asleep.

"If you do need to work in your bedroom try to set up a dedicated work space, with a desk if possible, so you can create separation between work and sleep," Hannah said.

8. Comfort

Comfort is essential for a good night’s sleep, Hannah said.

"From different types of pillows, a new mattress or even adding a padded mattress topper can improve sleep comfort.

"Some hotel chains (like Premier Inn) sell their beds and bedding so is the perfect opportunity to ‘try before you buy’," the expert added.

9. Bed sharing

Sharing a bed is great, cuddles can relax and destress you. However, the number one cause for disrupted sleep is partner disturbance so make sure you have the right conversations and prioritise each other’s sleep, Hannah said.

"Separate beds and bedrooms are more common than you think," she added.

10. Wind down routine

As adults we often forget the importance of a good wind down routine, allowing your mind and body to switch off from everything that has happened throughout the day. 

"Our body needs time to relax so it can stop producing all those wake promoting hormones and allow our bodies to realise it is time to sleep," Hannah added,

As well as the tips above, Hannah added that you should avoid eating large meals late in the evening, because digestion causes our body temperature to raise when it should be dropping.

She said: “Also be mindful of what you drink as caffeine can block receptors in our brain making our bodies think we are not tired.

“Alcohol can act as a sedative for the first phase of sleep, however it then acts as a stimulant leaving the rest of the night’s sleep light and fractured.

“Many alcohol-free drinks contain a lot of sugar which can also keep you awake.”

More than half of those surveyed – 52 per cent – believe a messy bedroom affects their sleep, despite 57 per cent utilising their ‘floordrobe’ – chucking clothes on the floor each night rather than hanging them up.

A quarter also don’t make their bed in the morning.

As a result, 28 per cent have even hopped out of bed to do a last-minute bit of tidying, worrying they’d never drop off otherwise.

Hannah Shore added: “A tidy room allows the sleeper to de-stress. Keeping clear sides at all time can help you relax and fall asleep quicker.”

It also emerged seven in 10 of those polled, via OnePoll, claim a bad night’s sleep has a negative impact on their mood.

While 52 per cent can’t remember the last time they had what they’d describe as a perfect night’s sleep.

More than three quarters (76 per cent) go as far as admitting they’d feel like a new person if they ever got a really good night’s kip.

Simon Ewins, managing director at Premier Inn said: “It seems there’s a big sleep gap across the nation, with millions not nodding off how they’d like.

“Hannah’s top tips can help you create a space that helps you achieve good quality sleep, and the benefits in day-to-day life that come with this.

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“Sleep Awareness Week is a great time to look at our bedroom spaces, and to assess whether we are getting the best rest we can, or if there is anything we can do to improve it.

“Our rooms are designed to ensure everyone has different options to match their sleeping habits," she said.

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