'Your environment is key to getting good, restful sleep, and your bedroom should feel like a sanctuary, says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert at Silentnight. Keep your bedroom free from clutter and junk particularly the space around your bed, where tidiness clears the mind and helps you to let go of the day. Clutter is often distracting and creates mental busyness the opposite of what is needed for peaceful sleep.
Take advantage of the space beneath the bed... Silentnights new Diamond Collection of pocket-sprung divan beds (from £769 for the 1400 Natural luxury double bed set) have storage drawers beneath to take all the clutter, including an option with two standard and two narrower continental drawers, so you can access them without moving the bedside cabinet. Or try Dreams for the Palermo double bed, £349, which has an ottoman-style lift-up base.
Expert idea Try on the contents of your wardrobe and donate the reject pile to charity, including anything that needs altering, as the chances are it wont get done, says Julia Dee of Total Wardrobe Care.
● Theres a good reason for the current trend for tallboys. More practical than low cabinets, they over a bigger storage potential within a small amount of floor space.
● Dont forget to sort out the spare room. According to a recent survey of 1000 homeowners by online wardrobe specialist Spaceslide, 81 per cent of people couldnt list more than five things they stashed away in their spare room.
● Budget buy: Pretty up the room with vintage-style hangers and wall hooks if space is super-tight. Bombay Duck has a great selection.
● Shoes will last longer if you care for them properly on shelves or a shoe rack. Store in the Total Wardrobe shoe storage box, £10, John Lewis. It has a window so you can see inside at a glance.
‘Buy the best you can afford,’ says Jane Robson, creative director of The Fine Cotton Company. ‘Bedding should be seen as an investment and can make all the difference between a good or bad night’s sleep.’
● Trade up to a duvet with a down filling – it’s the lightest, fluffiest option and the best insulator. Down is often mixed with more robust feather; choose a product with at least 80 per cent down.
● Try a wool- or silk-filled duvet for a hypoallergenic option that’s resistant to dust mites. ‘Wool wicks moisture away from the body, for a sound night’s sleep,’ says Dick Beijen, founder of Devon Duvets.
● The top hollowfibre synthetics are readily washable, and often have anti-allergenic coatings. Look out for microfibre, which is similar in feel and weight to feather and down fillings. ‘A boxed wall construction ensures the duvet is never stitched through from front to back, so there are no cold spots,’ says Jane.
No LUX rating given. Sunrise and sunset simulator. One alarm sound, reading light/night light, LCD display, snooze function, security light option, sleep sound (white noise) option, demo mode, power fail backup.
This compact model is the most attractive of the three lights tested. Lighter sleepers found they woke more gently with less of a shock, but the heavier sleeper found the smaller light wasn't as effective as the two other larger, taller lights on test. Menu is simple and easy to navigate.
400 Lux. Dawn simulator. Four wake up sounds, FM radio, reading light, LCD display, snooze function, quick check function.
Testers liked the choice of alarm sounds and radio option. All testers said they felt they woke up more gradually and felt it was less of a shock than their usual alarm and there was no need to use the snooze function. The quick check option lets you check the light and sound settings are correct before going to bed and you can adjust them both if necessary. On the downside there is no sunset simulator and the light is quite bulky.
800 Lux. Sunrise and sunset simulator. 7 wake up sounds, MP3 player, MMC slot, reading/night light, 7 day alarm, LCD display, snooze function, security light option, power fail backup.
There's a wide choice of wake up sounds on the SD card. Testers felt they woke up more gently and it was less of a shock compared to a usual alarm, but they felt the unit was unattractive to display on their bedside table. It was easy to set and the sunset simulator and night light are useful features.