It seems right now that everybody we talk to wants more, wants it better or would gladly trade their first born for a great night of it. We’re talking sleep (obviously – what were you thinking?) and have teamed up with the memory foam mattress maestros over at Tempur to bring you our New Years Restolutions – the things we’ll be doing in the new year to catch as many Zzzzzzzzzzs as possible.
Ad: this post is in partnership with TEMPUR®, but the words and ideas are all our own
We all know Tempur by now, right? The original memory foam mattress that was once used in space by actual NASA, and that works by forming to your exact shape, to offer the exact right level of support, exactly where you need it? They call it Sleep Ergonomics, and it essentially means that every mattress, pillow and topper they make is designed to work with your individual shape and spinal needs. Maximum comfort, maximum full-body alignment, maximum yes-please. And because the memory foam absorbs shock, too, it means you don’t really notice if your sleep buddy is tossing and turning, because your side of the mattress barely moves. Genius.
The internet might be chocka block with science-y intel on how to self-optimise yourself into a great night’s sleep, but – as two total opposites – we know that what works for one person might not be right for another. For example, Emma’s ideal sleep space is a sound-proof, blacked-out box with only a bed in it, while Robyn’s is some kind of palatial resting chamber piled with luxurious cushions and a light-up mural of The Creation of Adam on the ceiling. Emma takes a while to wind down once in bed, while Robyn can fall asleep at the drop of a hat – you get the idea. So we thought we’d see how different our needs are and look at how you can get a good night’s sleep. Spoiler: they’re pretty different, which hopefully means you’ll find something of use from one of us in there. Have we missed any off? What works for you? Let us know in the comments!
Emma: keep it lit
The bedtime lighting situation in our house is getting more Victorian by the minute. Big lights go off pretty early as we start to wind our circadian rhythm down for the day, and we’ll bask in the glow of warm lamps until bedtime. Then, once upstairs, we light a candle or two to read by. There’s something so gentle and calming about that flickering light – it really feels like it’s lulling you ever sleepwards. Far more natural than a bright electrical bulb. Just, like, obviously make sure it’s safely away from all flammables and never actually fall asleep with it on… I’ll definitely continue this into the new year, maybe even choosing one with sleep-friendly oils like lavender and chamomile for maximum calm vibes.
Robyn: Set the sleep scene
As usual, I am the exact opposite to Emma. I’m also currently living in a hideous building site so moments of relaxation are few and far between. Creating little vignettes you can retreat to is useful in everyday life and crucial when you’ve got works on – which it feels like I’m going to have for the rest of my life but certainly through 2022. So next year, I’m going to zoom in from the mess and mock up meditative, immersive spaces dedicated to relaxation. For Emma that’s a white void of peaceful nothing. For me it’s a fairly literal recreation of the night sky. I’m thinking midnight at the bear lair. I’ll be using colour to create a space that screams sleep (quietly) with dark, enveloping walls, quiet patterns, soothing art and the only stimulating elements being ones designed to ease me into the land of nod.
Emma: simply does it
For me, a big part of getting to sleep is about being able to leave the day behind, so I like to make the space I sleep in as simple and relaxing as possible. In my world that means neutral tones and simple textures with minimal furniture and as few reminders of the outside world as I can muster, with all clutter put away or hidden in drawers, and no photos on show. My bedroom is dedicated to one thing and that’s sleep, so as the new year rolls around I’ll be looking to build on that with new bedsides to hide junk in, and some big cushions at the head of the bed to keep it all feeling soft and inviting. And when it comes to the actual bed, I’m all about soft support, so will no doubt be wanting to replace our tired memory foam mattress topper with a new one. It’s about setting yourself up for success, from zenned-out decor and comfortable bedding to the perfectly supportive Tempur pillow that I’ve loved getting comfy with for the past week or so. When my space is chill and cosy, so am I, and chill Emma luuuurves her some sleep.
Robyn: Let’s get luxe
The little details are pretty important when it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep. As I already said, creating self-appointed spaces dedicated to switching off is a game-changer but what you stick in them is just as important. I’ll be upping my game and taking direct inspiration from boutique hotels – spaces specifically set up for just this task. Whereas in the past I’d go for gauzy curtains based solely on how good they look, now I’m going for blackouts. I’m going to crank up my essential oil consumption, layer up the soft lighting and stop treating bedding like it’s an afterthought. I want to feel like Elton John getting into bed next year and when my reupholstered Louis bed comes back from its makeover, I am going lavish. Linen duvet covers – check. Lots of cushions to prop myself up when reading – you betcha. And new, non-dusty, non-able-to-fold-in-half pillows to boot. I’ve got a baseline bad back anyway so I’m going to give my bed the solid, quality foundations it needs in the form the restful area in Christendom as well as look absolutely outstanding. First thing on the list Tempur pillow and new mattress combo, I reckon.
Emma: guide yourself
I’ve absolutely, 100% been caught in the trap of sleep apps and not eating after a certain time and keeping strict wake-up and bedtimes in a bid to get my sleep on track, and I know plenty of people who find all that stuff helpful. But for me, great sleep started happening more regularly when I listened to myself more. When I wasn’t marking my sleep by X, Y and Z measures of success, when I relaxed all my rules and just slept when I wanted to. That regeneration time is so important for our bodies, and when we put loads of controls in place with it, it can just serve to make us even more anxious about it, and even less likely to sleep. So I plan to be guided by myself. To leave my phone downstairs. To feel my way through rather than making meticulous plans. If you’re tired in the mornings, sleep more. If you want a late-night snack, have it. When you feel chill about going to bed, I reckon that’s when the magic happens.
Robyn: bamboozle your busy brain
My mind has always been a total mystery to me. Racing at a million miles an hour and never is that more true than the precise minute I want to fall asleep. Usually my innate laziness kicks in but sometimes I’m so wired I spiral into hours of obsessive thinking. For times like that I usually pop on an old sitcom I know by heart to give my brain somewhere to hook into and then it’s sure to switch off. But next year I want to level up, lose the blue light and give my mind healthier distractions. One is reading, and picking short fiction and poetry is just enough not to get engrossed and let my head hit the off button. Another way is to indulge in the bedtime story: adult style. Calm’s Sleep Stories are a real winner but there are roughly one billion podcasts on the market designed to send you off to sleep in a jiffy so get googling if that sounds like your bag.
So there you have it, two contrasting but hopefully helpful approaches to sleep to see you into the new year – whether you want to create a boudoir reminiscent of a theatre set or a seriously minimalist white box to while away the night time hours, now’s the time to get thinking about the restolutions you can put in place to get more out of your sleep sessions.