Design insider Dressing table littered with perfume bottles? Bulging wardrobe over-spilling onto the chair? Your chaotic bedroom could be causing a sleep deficit.
Sleepless in Abu Dhabi
As the credit crunch bites and belts are tightened, I am experiencing a different kind of debt. I've been going through a phase of insomnia and am suffering from a sleep deficit. Of course, I'm not alone. When I describe my midnight routine, which includes getting up several times to switch on and off the air conditioning, writing lists of things to do at 3am, reading chunks of Henry James in the hope that it might send me to oblivion and generally being so restless that even my bed linen looks seriously distressed by morning, friends nod wearily. Everyone, it would seem, is tired.
My new age friends put it down to monthly moon cycles affecting sensitive souls like myself, while others (the realists) diagnosed work stress. While I'm all for apportioning blame, in this instance I couldn't pin it on work. For once, everything was going well. So I decided to look closer to home instead and focus on my bedroom. In the harsh light of day, I realised that my boudoir was an extension of my home office, but with more clothes. Clutter, in the form of magazines beside the bed and notebooks on the side tables, showed evidence of my overactive brain and obsession with glossies. My bulging wardrobe over-spilt onto a chair. I also have a dressing table littered with perfume bottles, too-few Tiffany items and many costume necklaces. I think my laptop was also there. The colour scheme was last year's burgundy and the walls were filled with black and white photographs. In essence, the room was a walk-in wardrobe rather than a sleeping space. While the former is high on my wish list, I can acknowledge that my decor was doing nothing for my sleep patterns.
You see, a bedroom should only be used for sleep. Several of my friends have installed plasma screens at the end of their beds, which is a further distraction, but I decided to ban all technical equipment from mine. I also cleared the clutter, banishing the magazines to the bookshelves and the laptop to its rightful place on my desk. I finally got rid of the excess clothes in my wardrobe and donated them to charity and bought some storage items for my jewellery collection. As for the colour scheme, I repainted the walls pristine white and treated myself to fresh bed linen, also in white. The effect, offset by the black and white photo collection, was cool and classic rather than busy and claustrophobic. I also had a look at my mattress. It's only three years old, but despite this, I decided to treat myself to an over-mattress pad. They've always seemed unnecessary to me, but I was delighted when it eased the sharpness of the orthopaedic mattress I had been coerced into buying from an overly zealous salesperson. I read copious amounts of literature produced by The Better Sleep Council and decided to buy new pillows. It was amazing how these items made a difference immediately. As a result, I have had a month of sound repose. May it last for many new moons to come.