I have always believed that the way you decorate your home has an instrumental effect on how you live your life and wellbeing. Spending most hours of every day in our homes, we design them as our sanctuaries to rejuvenate and restore, giving our homes the power to physically effect our health and wellbeing.
Decorating your home is like decorating your life, I say. Our homes are a reflection of how we live and feel and turn up in the world day to day.
If our homes make an impact on the way we feel, can the way we decorate change our habits?
With the mornings getting darker making it more difficult to tear back the duvet and get out of bed with a spring in our step, can the way we decorate encourage us to be early risers? Is it possible that design can change us from someone who clicks snooze on an alarm clock 5 times before getting up, to someone who's up at the crack of dawn ready for the day? I'm dying to know the answer. And whatever solutions arise I want to put to the test.
I managed to chat to Joy Richards, a sleep expert from Happy Beds about this very subject. Joy runs The Comfort Zone – the company’s news hub that’s devoted to helping customers find the comfiest bed and achieve quality sleep every night of the week. You can get in touch with Joy by tweeting @HappyBedsUK
Joy shared with me a few tips for becoming more of a morning person...
Say Ta-Ta to Technology
A lot of the time, we tend to ignore the signals that our body sends us when we’re tired. Whether we’re yawning, falling asleep on the sofa or struggling to concentrate, quite often we brush off these tell-tale signs. Goodness knows why, as we always feel worse for it.
Instead of attempting to stay up to finish the episode you’re engrossed in or sleepily stalking that celebrity on Instagram, just go to bed. You’ll feel much better come morning for getting some extra Zzzs.
I’d recommend keeping all technology out of your bedroom – no TV, no tablet, no phone. Use a traditional alarm clock instead of the one on your phone to avoid the temptation of checking it.
Home decoration tip #1: Take your mobile charger away from your bedside table and charge it overnight in another room
Keep Your Alarm Clock Out of Reach
Whether you do it out of habit or because you genuinely feel like you need an extra ten minutes or so in bed, hitting that snooze button could be doing you more harm than good. While we think using the snooze button will work in our favour, most of the time we actually wake up feeling groggy; this is because of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle has been disrupted.
REM sleep is the point in our sleep cycle where we dream and, typically, it lasts between 70 and 90 minutes. Ideally, we want to wake up at the start of REM cycle as this is when we’re in a lighter stage of sleep. By hitting snooze, you could cause yourself to wake up during a REM cycle, causing you to feel even more tired.
Keep your arm clock out of reach; this way you’ll have no choice but to get up when it sounds.
Home Decoration Tip #2: Placing your alarm clock on your bedside table is a big no-no. Pop it on a chest of drawers or window sill over the other side of the room instead.
Make it Comfortable
While this may sound fairly obvious, I don’t just mean invest in a comfortable mattress and a quality duvet. Comfort comes from temperature, noise and light too, so it’s essential that you adjust these accordingly.
If, for example, you get extremely hot in the night, introduce a freestanding fan into your room. Or, if you’re easily disturbed by light, be it from passing cars or street lamps, it’s well worth considering blackout blinds. I’m easily woken by the noise of traffic so I’ve incorporated a white noise machine to drown this sound out; it works wonders! Opt for a stylish one and it won’t look out of place in your boudoir, promise.
Home Decoration Tip #3: Recognise what could disrupt you when you're sleeping and source decorative solutions to help. These could be black out blinds and curtains, sound-proofing if you're currently building/renovating, or sourcing lighter, breathable cotton sheets to regulate body temperature.
Thank you so much Joy, for sharing your tips today. I am definitely going to give some of these a go – in particular, sourcing breathable bed linen as I get so hot when I sleep. Maybe this is the reason I'm not a morning lady?!?!
Before I go I also wanted to recommend some tips as I've been doing a bit of research on feng-shui and had some experience with sleep problems that I found solutions to...
Fifi's tip #1: Wake up with a Lumi Light
The first tip I would give anyone is to try a Lumi Light. Ever since I met Neil 7 years ago, he's always had a Lumi Light and I've noticed how much better I sleep in a room with one in. Lumi Lights are great for anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affected Disorder as they switch on and project light into the room like a sunrise would. I won't fully review it here but I definitely notice how much better I sleep at home than on holiday and I think it's because of this.
Fifi's tip #2: Choose art in your bedroom wisely
I recently read an article on The Spruce that shared feng shui advice for choosing bedroom art. The advice was to choose images that you want to see happening in your life – images with nourishing, happy and beautiful energy. Any sad, lonely or aggressive images can make you feel these emotions more regularly when you see them before you go to bed and when you wake up. Waking up to happy images is definitely more likely to get you bouncing out of bed in the morning.
I hope this has given you some food for thought in your bedroom decoration – let me know if you try some of these out!