Making sure your home is the perfect space for a good night’s sleep can be a challenge amid hectic work schedules and family life.
But there are steps you can take to help make sure that you are not plagued by insomnia – and one of them is making sure you buy the perfect pillow.
The tips below come ahead of World Sleep Day next week, which aims to reduce sleep disorders – and we also get an expert’s suggestions for pillows to consider.
Interior designers at Alexander James use pillows from The White Company
Creating a bedroom that is as conducive as possible to sleep can be particularly helpful if you live in a city environment, which can often feel as though it doesn’t have an ‘off switch’.
Dr Zoe Schaedel, a doctor and co-founder of the Good Sleep Clinic – which offers therapy for insomnia – explained: ‘City living means increased levels of light exposure, which can harm your sleep.
‘Artificial light causes a delay in our natural surge of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that tells our body we are ready for sleep, and delaying this evening surge can lead to difficulties falling asleep and shortening total sleep time.’
Some new rental developments are already taking this into account, providing extra facilities to help deter any sleeping issues.
For example, one such development in North London has both soundproofing and blackout curtains along with 1,000 pocket sprung John Lewis mattresses.
The development in London’s Wembley Park overlooks Wembley Park, which attracts massive crowds at each of its events – not an environment that would traditionally be considered conducive to sleeping properly.
WORLD SLEEP DAY
World Sleep Day on 13 March aims to highlight the importance of a decent night’s sleep.
It is generally held in March every year, with events taking place across the globe.
They include lectures on rest for specific professions, such as trainee doctors, and workshops for students deprived of sleep.
Other measures that the development has to help with sleep include tenants being able to connect their thermostats to their phone.
It means that tenants can adjust the heating on their way home from work – or even from underneath the duvet.
Dr Schaedel added: ‘Keeping light dim towards bedtime can help sleep, as can being in control of the temperature of your environment.
‘This is because cooler rooms tend to make it easier to fall asleep.’
The Sleep Council, a separate organisation established in 1995 to adopt healthier sleep habits, claims that hot, cold and draughty rooms can seriously impact on sleep.
It said: ‘Your body heat peaks in the evening and then drops to its lowest levels when you’re asleep, so a cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) is thought to be an ideal temperature in a bedroom.
‘Temperatures above 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.’
The right type of pillows really matter and you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a comfortable one.
However, it is worth investing as much as you can, advises Rachel Clark, of Alexander James Interiors.
She said: ‘In a time where we now find it so difficult to put down our digital devices and switch off from the outside world at bedtime, investing in your sleeping experience is now more important than ever.
‘Pillows are just as important at mattresses, and are key to getting that perfect night’s sleep.
Pillows are just as important at mattresses, and are key to getting that perfect night’s sleep.
‘Whatever your budget, it’s important to find a pillow that works for you.’
She explained how retailers such as M&S and John Lewis stock a wide range of pillows of various firmness and sizes to cater for everyone, at a range of prices to suit everyone’s budget.
However, she added: ‘For our clients, we usually opt for The White Company’s pillow range, for ultimate quality and lasting comfort.
‘Their sumptuous thread counts along with their fine filling materials make that ‘sleeping-on-a-cloud’ feeling a reality.
‘We love their Siberian Goose Down pillows for their feather-rich inner core.’
Here, Alexander James Interiors picks three pillows depending on your budget…
This M&S pillow has a smooth hollow fibre filling and pure cotton encasing
M&S, Feels Like Down Pillow, £17.50
This pillow has a smooth hollow fibre filling and pure cotton encasing, which makes it both lightweight and breathable.
At only £17.50, it is the cheapest of our picks, and perfect for those on a budget.
The John Lewis pillow is perfect for those who sleep on their back or side as
High Street: £50
John Lewis, Natural Collection Hungarian Goose Down Standard Pillow, £50
This pillow is perfect for those who sleep on their back or side as it helps to keep your spine aligned for a comfortable and undisturbed night’s sleep.
It has a Hungarian goose feather and down filling that gives the pillow a supportive feel, which is able to bounce back into shape with little plumping.
This pillow from The White Company is filled with Siberian goose-down clusters
The White Company, Ultimate Symons Siberian Goose Down Pillow, £190
These supremely luxurious pillows are filled with the finest and largest Siberian goose-down clusters .
They feature a clever feather-rich inner core, which cocoons the head for support.
The super-soft is for back and front sleepers, while the soft is for small shouldered, side sleepers due its denser core.