New year, new goals, fresh start… Whether starting a DIY project, getting active or reading more, we all need the motivation to make our resolutions a reality. But how can our bedroom help us do that? We recently polled our own community to understand more about our morning routines. We also enlisted Jeff Khan, co-founder and CEO of Rise Science, to delve into the world of sleep science.
What are Brits’ winter morning routines?
Leaping out of bed, especially during winter, is uncommon but what are our community’s common morning habits? What design choices are we making for our bedrooms that are conducive to a relaxed atmosphere?
Our questions covered a lot of ground, starting by asking whether our community prefer a light or a dark bedroom resulting in over 61% of people saying that they preferred a cosy bedroom on dark mornings. However, when it came to bedroom paint colours, well over half of respondents said the opposite. Our community shunned typically ‘cosy’ colours such as reds, oranges and browns on our walls. Instead opting for soft neutral shades of white, stone, beiges that have a more uplifting feel to them. Often associated with feelings of peace and tranquility, neutral colours can help you start each day off feeling refreshed and energised.
Whilst colour has an impact on how we motivate ourselves on a morning, what about our habits and surroundings? We asked our community which of the following made them feel more refreshed in the morning:
- Breathable bed linen
- A comfortable mattress
- Waking up naturally without an alarm
- Avoiding alcohol before bed
- The perfect pillow
- A quiet room
More than 30% of you said you find a comfortable mattress the best way to feel refreshed in the morning, closely followed by 29% saying waking up naturally without an alarm. Further digging revealed that 50% of respondents felt that warm lighting was the most motivating feature, far above a place to stretch or drink your morning coffee.
When it comes to our surroundings, creating the optimum environment for feeling refreshed is high on our agenda but once we’re awake, what next? Our community revealed that the most popular habit among respondents was making the bed each morning (over 55%) with 46% having a healthy breakfast and over a third opening a window. Affirmations, yoga and meditation were habits that people do the least.
How many of these are involved in your winter morning routine?
What’s best? A light or dark bedroom?
No matter how you start your day, one thing is certain: lighting can make all the difference. Our circadian rhythms are driven by exposure to light and darkness throughout the day, impacting mood, energy levels and alertness. Speaking to our community, light colours, warming tones and comfort are the main factors for a motivating morning during winter. According to sleep expert, Jeff Khan, he explains the role light can play on our sleep and what’s truly the best way to wake up on a morning to feel refreshed. “Light is hugely important. Flooding your bedroom with light when you need to wake up on dark mornings will help immensely with getting out of bed and curbing sleep inertia, that morning grogginess that can last for 60-90 minutes even if you’re well slept.”.
That’s not to say that you should go to bed with your blinds or curtains open. Jeff goes on to say that “gradual brightening of (ideally red) light is a far more pleasant and effective mode of rousing than alarms that disrupt your sleep with harsh noises (or no light). This allows you to use light to your advantage in waking you if your blinds are closed (which, if they can’t be automated to open in the morning, should absolutely be to ensure you have total blackout conditions overnight for your best sleep).”
Our top tips to wake up happy
- Make sure your bedroom is tidy before you go to sleep. Waking up in a tidy room can already put you in ‘ready to face the day’ mode.
- Open your curtains; and/ or switch your light on when you wake up. As Jeff says, light is hugely important and recommends using it as tool to wake up.
- Don’t press snooze on your alarm. Five extra minutes feels tempting but it can make getting out of bed harder, especially on dark and cold mornings.
- Lay out your clothes ready. Instead of a morning rush and setting off stress levels first thing; have your clothes ready. Or a well-organised bedroom to make sure you can manage your time effectively.
- Once up, make your bed! This can make a huge difference to your day as it creates a welcoming place to return to later on in the evening.
Read our blog on creating the perfect sleep sanctuary for more advice on making your bedroom a haven.