Island News

Sleeping beauty

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. We spend more than a third of our lives asleep, so the bedroom is one of the most important places in our homes. However,
09 May 2009 12:00

image Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. We spend more than a third of our lives asleep, so the bedroom is one of the most important places in our homes.
However, for many, what should be a haven of tranquillity and restfulness is instead a source of discontentment. Poorly manufactured beds and bases, inappropriate lighting, the wrong bedding, bad usage habits and inadequate airflow can all contribute to us getting a dreadful night’s sleep.
An interior designer and lecturer at Sydney Design School, Samantha Cahill, says the aesthetics of a bedroom also have a substantial effect on our sleep patterns and consequently our overall wellbeing.
“It’s where you wind down and fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning,” she says. “So combining comfort, warmth and practicality with style is paramount.”
Cahill says while not everyone can afford to get their bedrooms designed by an expert, some common mistakes are easy to spot and fix and changing them can instantly boost the atmosphere of a bedroom.
For a start, think about what you use the bedroom for.
“Don’t let the bedroom become a multipurpose room, such as doubling as a home office,” she says. “A bedroom should be your retreat and personal comfort zone and if that space is being shared with a home office it is very difficult to relax. You are surrounded with equipment and constant reminders that make you feel guilty.”
Next, look at the lighting and whether the room is overstocked with paraphernalia.
“People often also have a lack of appropriate lighting and that is one of the most important elements in creating the desired mood in your bedroom, although it is often overlooked,” Cahill says. “Clutter in a bedroom causes stress so ensure that you have ample storage for items such as shoes, clothes, jewellery and books and then make sure furniture placement and size does not clutter the bedroom.”
Ridding yourself of clutter is an idea that also resonates with feng shui consultant Elizabeth Wiggins. She believes clean lines and simplicity can help you relax.
“Clutter under the bed is the most important to get rid of because that is the energy we absorb when we are asleep,” she says. “If you have drawers under the bed it’s also best to fill them with clean linen.”
With lighting and room dynamics sorted, the next step is to get the right mattress, which is critical for a perfect slumber. The experts say it’s important to shop around, look at what’s on offer and take your time in making a decision. Andrew McCaig of the Natural Bedding Company has been selling mattresses for more than 25 years and says most people don’t take enough time to choose when they go looking for a new bed.
“A mattress is a big investment and so when you shop for one, you should spend some time lying on it in the showroom first,” he says. “Most people get on for five or 10 minutes and make a decision based on that.”
McCaig says with the current focus on sustainability and eco-friendly products, people are increasingly interested in what mattresses are made of. While inner-spring models are still popular, many people are buying mattresses made from natural materials, such as latex.
“People usually buy a new mattress based on what they have been sleeping on previously,” McCaig says. “Often they have been in the same bed for 10 years and it almost becomes part of them.”
McCaig recommends looking for a mattress that is firm but not so firm as to be painful. It should have some cushioning. Once you have a model you are happy with, care is vital for your comfort and hygiene, as well as the mattress’s longevity.
“We lose a lot of moisture when we sleep, which soaks into a mattress,” McCaig says. “If you have a mattress that has been treated with anti-fungal and anti-mould sprays it usually takes care of itself but with natural fibres it is important to air it. Slat bed frames can help with this but turning your mattress regularly keeps it fresh and more comfortable.”

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