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Lights out - and end the purple reign; Repainting the walls, turning your lights off or rearranging the furniture could hold the key to a good night's sleep, says Julia Gray.

OUR brains produce less of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin when our eyes are exposed to light, so having a dark bedroom could increase your chances of sleep.

Fitting blackout curtains and/or blinds is a good way to achieve this and is usually a straightforward DIY job. However, light flairs around the edges of blinds and curtains (a curtain pelmet may prevent this at the top), so you often need both to cut out all or most of the light. Wearing an eye mask can help too.

It may sound unlikely, but repainting your bedroom walls could help you get more sleep.

According to a 2013 survey of 2,000 British homes for Travelodge, those surveyed with blue bedrooms got most sleep. Yellow bedrooms were next, closely followed by green, silver and orange. People with purple bedrooms got least sleep, followed by brown and grey.

Giving your bedroom a feng shui makeover is another option.There's a long list of things to consider if you want to rearrange your bedroom along feng shui lines, including the colour of the walls and the position of the bed - putting it under a window is said to lead to fitful sleep, for example.

Sweltering summer temperatures can stop us sleeping. A study by wool bedding and homeware specialist The Wool Room found that while more than a third of us put sleeplessness down to being too hot at any time of the year, this rises to more than half during summer.

"Ensure your bedroom is well ventilated and cool before going to sleep," says Chris Tattersall, MD of The Wool Room. "The ideal bedroom temperature for healthy sleep is around 17degC and 45% relative humidity. Too hot or too cold bedroom temperatures, or too much humidity or dry humidity, can lead to poorer quality sleep by forcing your body to wake up in order to cool down or warm up."

Opening the window is the obvious way to keep your bedroom cool, but your bedding can also play a big part.

Research by The Wool Room and Leeds University found that wool bedding allowed 43% more moisture transmission out of its fibres than feather/down bedding, and 67% more than polyester.

The average person perspires around 0.5-1ltr of water vapour every night, and wool bedding absorbs this moisture away from the skin so you're more likely to have a comfortable sleep.

O C SO PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK IF blackout curtains would help you sleep better, check out Swish's excellent Design Studio range of curtain poles and accessories (see www.swish.co.uk).

This quality mix-and-match range enables you to create a curtain pole that's just right for you and your bedroom - or any other room you want curtains in. With Design Studio, you can choose curtain poles in different diameters, lengths and finishes - satin steel, antique brass, graphite, or chrome metal.

If one pole isn't long enough, you can join two together with a connector, and there are special kits for bay windows.

There's also a large range of finials, many of them unusual, including pretty cracked-glass Gossamer finials (around PS15 for two), and other accessories - everything you need to put up curtains in style.

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Keeping your room as dark as possible can help sleep - but purple walls are a no-no

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 4, 2016
Words:551
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