I don’t know about you, but these cold, dark mornings are making me feel really lazy and lethargic when it comes to getting out of my warm bed at the start of the day. I’ve also never been that good at getting myself organised and off to bed early during the week; the draw of on-demand telly whilst cocooned in a thick blanket on the couch, being my particular downfall. Who’s with me on this? Or perhaps you find yourself scrolling through Pinterest, searching for the answer to your dream kitchen cupboard colour – been there? Thought so. We are all depriving ourselves of wholesome sleep for every minute we waste on our tablets or phones when it’s past our bedtime, and in the morning when the alarm goes off, we pay for it.
I was therefore really excited to be contacted by the lovely folk at IKEA, asking me to work with them on their Win at Sleeping campaign, which you may have noticed recently on TV and in the press. It’s no secret that as a nation, we aren’t great sleepers, with many of us struggling to get a decent eight hours’ kip on a regular basis. The fast pace of modern life, along with the addictive pull of ever present smartphones and tablets with their stimulating blue screens, is certainly a major contributing factor, however many of our sleep problems have startlingly simple roots, such as inadequate sleep preparation, bad sleeping habits or a poorly organised bedroom environment.
IKEA are determined to promote better sleep for all of us and for good reason, too. There are countless benefits to be had from sleeping well, including better mood, raised energy levels, improved productivity at work and school, as well as positive health effects, such as improved memory, a sharper mind and lower stress levels. And the best thing about it? It only takes making a few small changes to guarantee ‘The Wonderful Everynight’ that we all need…
To help with me and my family’s quality of sleep, IKEA have worked closely with us to define what our personal sleep problems are, what’s causing them and how we can solve them using a selection of products from across their range. It’s important to understand that good sleep doesn’t just come from not bringing your mobile phone to bed for a midnight surf; it is brought about by establishing a workable pre-bedtime routine for you and your family so that you are well prepared for a restful night’s sleep, as well as creating a peaceful and comfortable environment to not only nod off in, but more importantly, wake up refreshed in.
First off, these are the problems we identified:
Like many couples, my husband and I have different bedtimes. He retires early as he’s up much earlier than me, whilst I tend to head up a little later when everyone else is asleep (what’s not to love about a quiet household as a mum of three?!) Unfortunately, I disturb his sleep as I stumble around in the dark trying to get my PJs on, then switch the bedside light on to read – not good and not really fair to him, either.
Secondly, also like many people, we’re still sleeping on a mattress that we’ve had for longer than the recommended 8-10 years (quel horreur) and no, I don’t remember to turn it every 3 months.. I can barely remember the names of my kids sometimes. Ok, I jest, but it’s just not healthy to sleep on an old mattress for all kinds of reasons.
Thirdly, as suburbans, we have street lights outside our home and with our bedroom being located at the front of the house, the light does filter into the room through our flimsy curtains. As a countryside girl at heart, I do struggle with sleeping soundly in a room that’s anywhere short of pitch dark.
So, with the adults’ sleep annoyances out in the open, what about the kids? I have three children under ten, who generally sleep pretty well, however I do feel there’s room for improvement on the pre-bedtime front. My son sleeps on a top bunk and therefore I’m resorted to reading him a story in our bed, which means he gets too comfy in there and makes a fuss when it’s time for him to go back to his (rather cold in comparison) top bunk. I feel he needs a cosy spot for snuggling up in, where he can enjoy his story and a cuddle, in turn, helping him unwind properly before bed.
My youngest one gets herself over to sleep no problem, however she more often than not awakens during the wee small hours to visit the bathroom, only to be terrified of the dark. This results in a cry of help for mummy or daddy to get up or for her to turn on all of the available lights upstairs, of course, only to leave them all on when she returns to her slumber! I have spent too many a night getting up for the sole purpose of switching lights off again due to my aforementioned aversion to light.
In order to help me with my product choices, I had a wander around my local IKEA store here in Belfast, where I was totally inspired by some of their bedroom set-ups. They really do know a thing or two about creating the ideal sleeping environment, using products from across all their departments to compose the perfect bedtime retreat. Here are some I liked in particular…
Here, IKEA shows us how to create the perfect retreat with layers of cosy textures, soft lighting and a snuggly rug to sink our toes into first thing in the morning. Often it’s the little changes, such as a bedside rug or potted plant in a room that make a big difference to how content we feel in our bedroom.
Angled wall hung lamps here are the ideal solution for late night readers, whilst a carafe of water on the nightstand ensures you won’t have to trundle downstairs to quench your thirst during the night.
A layered curtain solution can help your personal space to feel extra private and cocoon-like. In the summer months, the sheer drapes provide a delicate screen to the outside world, whilst adding another level of textural interest to the room for the darker evenings.
When it came to choosing the right products for us, the staff in the bedroom department were super patient and helpful – in fact, I found that the more information you can impart about your personal sleeping preferences and habits, the better equipped they are to devise a solution that will work for you, so do go prepared if you’re seeking advice in store. They know their product range inside out, even the ‘technology’ behind some of the products, which really impressed me.
So, here’s a preview of some of the products we’re going to try out…
From top left (clockwise): MARJUN curtains // RANARP lights // STUVA bed combo
I’m really looking forward to trying out the products in our home over the next few weeks and finding out if they do indeed help our family to ‘Win at Sleeping’. Next week, I’ll be showing you all the products we chose and how we styled and incorporated them to fit our home, so do make sure to pop over and have a look! You can also find me over on Instagram where I’ll be giving you some sneak peeks of how I’m styling the pieces, so maybe I’ll see you there in the next week, too.
In the meantime, have a great day (and even better night!) whatever you’re up to!
** This post has been written in collaboration with IKEA UK as part of their Win at Sleeping campaign, however all views and opinions expressed are honest and my own.**