Tried everything from meditation to melatonin to help improve your sleep, and still can’t get a good night’s rest? You may want to consider bringing the skills of a professional interior designer into your bedroom. Melbourne-based home stylist (and founder of philanthropic decor brand T-House) Tina Nettlefold shares her top design tips to create a calming space that will ensure the sweetest dreams.
Improve your sleep: Get back to basics with bedding
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, it might be time to put bad bedding to, well, bed.
A supportive mattress that’s the right size (a cramped small bed can increase your body temperature), is an obvious investment. However, Tina offers the following tips on picking pillows, throws and bed sheets that can also help improve your sleep.
“I personally think that linen is the best material for quilt covers. It looks and feels beautiful, regulates the temperature better, is anti-static and anti-bacterial, and acts as a natural insulator. This makes it an ideal material for a night of uninterrupted and clean sleep.”
For pillow covers Tina’s suggestion is for smooth and sensuous satin, natural silk or soft breathable cotton. All these options can keep your hair from frizzing and may help prevent wrinkles and breakouts.
Dream in colour … Just make it muted!
Next, you’ll want to think about the colours of the rest of your room. In design circles, there is a stereotype that often leans towards all-white interiors. Although it’s generally a good idea to dial down your hues, the starkness of this shade can negatively impact our mood. And in turn our sleep.
As an alternative, Tina recommends opting for a pastel palette or weaving a little warmth into your white walls with subtle additions. “Muted shades like baby blue, minty green, and lemony yellow are the best for bedroom walls. And when paired with greys, pinks and muted peach tones can reduce stress and soothe the nervous system,” she says.
And, if you’re working with an existing all-white base, you don’t have to pull out the paintbrush, just yet! Instead, Tina suggests injecting little warmth into your icy interiors, with subtle additions.
“Try to incorporate subtle colours through your bed linen, a textured throw in complementary tones, or a neutral-hued carpet. Those little luxuries can create an environment that nurtures your mind and makes it easier to fall asleep each evening.”
Streamline your sleep space
Ever wondered why you sleep better on holiday? In addition to the stress-less vibes of vacation, hotel rooms often feel luxurious because of the sense of space.
Recreating a space that is organised and clutter-free can help recreate a hotel experience at home and help improve your sleep in the process. And it’s easy to achieve by simply moving a few things around or changing the orientation of the room.
To start, ensure you regularly have fresh air flowing into your bedroom (even in Winter, try to leave a window open for a short time at least) and keep the temperature at 21c when you can, as good ventilation is vital.
Then, take your cues from Tina and cut the clutter. “Everything should have a place and everything should be in its place,” she says. Keep only what you love and use. And when you buy something new, take something out and donate or gift it. Always put things away, and if you don’t have enough space in cupboards, use baskets or clearly labelled storage bags.
If you can, get creative and find storage solutions in unexpected areas like above cupboards, under sofas or beds. When it comes to your wardrobe, keeping it clean can also affect the way you sleep. “Hang your clothes on uniform hangers, take dirty clothes to the laundry and always make your bed,” says Tina.
These small changes can make a big difference in reducing your mental overload and improving the quality of your sleep.
Whether you opt for jasmine (whose sweet smell is often used in its essential oil form for relaxation); aloe vera (a known air purifier) or a bouquet of blooming roses to make you smile, placing plants in your room can help you improve your sleep.
Plants can improve mood, enhance your creativity, reduce stress levels and act as a natural filter against pollutants.
To incorporate plants into your bedroom in a creative way that also improves your sleep, Tina suggests hanging them in large baskets, creating a plant corner placed on shelves, building an accent wall of greenery, or even simply placing them in a beautiful short vase next to your bedside table. “Arrange your plants in odd numbers, choose colourful plants in different widths and heights, and use decorative pots,” says Tina.
Fitting the brief is Tina’s own T House Ceramic Bud vase. Ethically produced and hand-made in collaboration with Melbourne’s oldest ceramic company, it’s the perfect vessel to hold your blooms.
Plus, the fact that all profits from the sale of this vase are donated to The Lighthouse Foundation (which provides care programs to children and young people impacted by long-term neglect, abuse and homelessness), might also help play a part in helping you sleep better at night!
Still need a little more sleep support? Try these suggestions to improve your sleep
Smart Diffuser by Scent Australia. This innovative Bluetooth-based device upgrades your traditional diffuser experience. Use the accompanying app to purify the air, improve your breathing and help reduce dust allergies.
Arabian Nights Diffuser by Glasshouse. Or go old-school with a classic diffuser. Arabian Nights is based on warm notes of saffron, jasmine, sandalwood and amber to fill your space with uninterrupted ambience.
Winter Warmer Candle in Caffe Latte by Palm Beach Collection (Limited Edition). A short black is a no-go just before bed! However, the soothing scents of coffee, cream, chocolate and vanilla in this candle offer a delicious caffeine-free way to calm your cravings and help you sleep.
Antipode Night Oil by Votary. Notes of lavender and chamomile in this oil will help you unwind. Add a few drops to your bath (or massaged into skin) to help soothe your soul and calm your senses.
Advanced Detoxifying Deep Sleep Mist by Sensori. We love the calming chamomile, tranquil lavender and green patchouli in this mist. A “TGA certified complementary medicine” with scientifically proven relaxing effects, it ensures the healing process throughout the resting period is optimised.
Sleep Mask by PMD Beauty. Crafted with pure silver, this antibacterial and hypoallergenic sleep mask is redefining “beauty sleep”. Pair it with a matching pillowcase for maximum improved sleep effect.
Three Tea Ritual by Ginger&Me. End your day with a cup of naturopath-certified, organic tea. The Grateful Tea in this trio is a caffeine-free blend of turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, pineapple pieces and peppercorn designed to help improve your sleep.
Sleep and Skin Renewal by Intu. Formulated by new mums Anna Robards and Christie Whitehill, this supplement is created by women who know what works. It combines eight amazing ingredients – including lemon balm and passionflower. Marine collagen to hydrate and regenerate the skin, and magnesium to relax nerves and relieve tension are also included. As a result, it reduces restlessness and promotes deeper sleep.
Sleepover Retin-Oil Night-time by Naturally Serious. Fake it till you make it with an overnight sleep treatment. This one features Vegan Retinol Liposome, a naturally derived retinol from beta-carotene. It works to visibly smooth fine lines and convince everyone you’ve managed to get your recommended eight hours.