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Winter is clearly here already but it’ll still be a while before it really starts to bite. You can use that time to update your home and, in particular, your bedroom. This can do a lot to help you get a good night’s sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Here are some tips to help.
Start with your window
It may seem odd to start with your window rather than your bed but your window plays a key role in keeping your bedroom at the right temperature.
Step one is to check its condition. If there is minor damage to the frame and/or the glass, you can usually work around it over the short term. For example, you can often use putty to stabilize loose glass. Over the long term, you may need to look at getting the window replaced (Renewal by Andersen Windows could be a good option here).
Step two is to check if your window treatments are suitable for winter. You generally want thick curtains and drapes as these provide the best insulation. That means they do the best job of keeping the heat in and the cold, noise, and excess light out. Never underestimate the issue of light pollution in winter. Artificial lights can sometimes be more penetrating than sunlight.
Step three is to check if you’re (still) happy with the overall look of your window treatments. This is important all year round but it’s arguably most important for winter. Winter is a time when your sleep cycle can get disrupted very easily. That means you want everything in your bedroom to contribute to putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep.
What this means in practice depends on you. As a rule of thumb, however, bright colors, especially reds, are likely to be a bit too energizing for a bedroom. If you want a festive look, green is often a better choice, or maybe purple. Neutrals can also look cozy and festive especially if you go for chunky textures.
Make your bed the right way
The bed is the star of just about every bedroom especially if you live in a small space. This means that getting the right look, feel and temperature is crucial for getting a good night’s sleep. If you haven’t already turned your mattress (both ways), then do so. It really does make a difference both to its lifespan and to your comfort.
Assuming your mattress is in good shape, look at the rest of your bedding and decide if it needs to be updated for deep winter. Natural fabrics are a good choice all year round so you can stick with cotton or linen if you want to. In winter, however, flannel and fleece can be warmer and cozier. If your budget’s up to it, natural silk is also an excellent choice.
If you’re on a more limited budget, you might want to try pairing silk pillowcases with flannel or fleece bedding. This is particularly useful if you have dry skin and/or hair. Even if you don’t normally, the winter weather can be brutal to your body, especially to your face and hair. Silk can help to protect it.
Be careful about loading up on blankets. They do add warmth and a cozy feel but they can also add a lot of weight. They’re also fairly inflexible (as in, they’re either on or off). If you want a more flexible and often more effective alternative, try investing in an electric blanket you can use all night. For even more flexibility, buy one with dual controls.
As with your window treatments, take a look at your bedding and see if its appearance is still working for you for winter. Again, it’s a case of “whatever works for you” but it’s usually best to avoid “high-energy” colors. Natural colors and neutrals are often far better options.
Look at your lighting
In winter, you have all the usual practical considerations of lighting plus a few twists. You still need all the usual ambient and task lighting. You will probably also need, or at least want, lighting to help your mood. If you’re living as part of a couple, this can also mean lighting to cope with different schedules. This is more of an issue in winter than at other times of the year because winter has the shortest days.
Two potential changes stand out. The first is to swap out your regular alarm clock for a sunrise alarm clock. This will help you to wake up gently instead of feeling like you’re being punched awake. The other is to switch to smart bulbs.
Smart bulbs can be set to varying levels and operated remotely. So, for example, if your partner comes to bed later than you, they could potentially put the bedside light on low from the door instead of switching on the main light.
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