Sleep is the new sex
I read this in a book. A best-selling, chart topping book by Gretchen Ruben called “The Happiness Project”. I later read more sleep-worshiping chapters in Ariana Huffington’s get-grip-on-your-life memoir “Thrive.”
I am not sure any man would ever agree that sleep is the new sex, but if you consider what a cliché “I’m too tired” is as a fob off, I think any sane person can see the correlation that lack of one would lead to lack of the other.
Janet Street-Porter wrote a brilliant column a few years ago that said if women wanted to look younger the best thing to do was to go on holiday and sleep for 10 days. I read this at 4.33am on the Daily Mail website on my (then) blackberry having got up to tend to little ones for the third time since midnight. You can see a multiple of sleep sins right there. I thought of this article recently, as after having had 10 nights of unbroken sleep for the first time in four years, the first thing everyone said to me for a week was, “Gosh you look so well and young.” It took me by surprise and the flattery probably improved the chances of any action. On that basis alone, I think the two are linked.
‘Sleep hygiene’ has actually become a thing. A movement, like slow cooking, orthorexia, and adult-colouring in books. Ariana, she of Huffington Post fame, is well into it and I am starting to follow in her footsteps like a single white female, (who is not actually single). It’s all about where you go to bed, how you go to bed and of course when you go to bed. Even the NHS recommends it.
If you’re in the market for a room makeover, turning your bedroom into a high performance sleep-zone will improve all areas of your life. The whole environment – noise, light, temperature and the aesthetics can be tweaked to potentiate sleep.
We have a particular room in Glebe House house that cures both long-term insomniacs and the jet-lagged. Guests bid farewell with a warning of, “will probably be up at 2 (meaning am)” and emerge groggily 12 hours later saying “I can’t believe it, that is so unlike me.”
The room is fully carpeted and has heavy curtains, interlined with insulation and backed with blackout fabric. They also sit under an old-fashioned curtain pelmet and don’t let in so much as a slither of light. There are few ceiling lights, only soft lighting and effective, but gentle reading lights which, I am guessing, create a soporific mood in the wind down phase. Pelmets can look quite old fashioned, but I would definitely recommend them as the best way to block light in terms of getting kids to bed in summer, and preventing an early wake up. They also massively help with heat loss during the winter nights. The room itself is quiet and cool, with ample layers of bedding and lots of high quality pillows.
The bed in question is an upholstered, generously proportioned super king sleigh bed from Feather in Black with a 7 or 8 rated tension mattress.
We have some great linen from The White Company and I am also a big fan of Toast’s linen range. It’s well-made, durable, washes like a dream and if you insist on ironed bedding, it’s rather sympathetic.
A Tatler piece on housekeeping that said you should aim for a thread count between 250-400. Over 400 and it wears out too quickly, under 250 and it’s not quite so lux. Few people know that Marks and Spencers and Sainsbury’s have both upped the ante on their plain white linen thread count offerings and it is definitely worth doing a price comparison.
If you haven’t bought a new pillow in the last five years I would recommend an update. And of course some cushions.
Men generally hate cushions. It is like they have some fear of being smothered in soft furnishings. Personally, I think it is because cushions, in their velvety softness scream “you are most certainly now co-habitating, ” in a way that their cushionless bachelor bed did not. Most men agree when a woman moves in their cushion and photo frame threshold is definitely pushed. However, if you are looking for some style tips to get past a man, look no further than Ralph Lauren Home in the Fulham Rd. Three masculine cushions across the back, supporting the ones in front. Boom! I discovered a set of these leather trimmed cashmere dream boats cost more than getting your child braces, but, structurally, it’s a great style tip all the same, particularly on a larger bed.