Shorter days and longer nights…how to organise your bedroom this winter

It´s freezing out yet your room is a humid tropical island, condensation building on the windows, blankets kicked to the floor and you can´t seem to consolidate your sleep despite desperately trying…. Does this sound all too familiar???   
As the days are growing shorter and nights longer there´s no doubt the temperature outside is dropping.  Just like many of us swap out our light summer wardrobe for longer sleeves and winter coats, wrapping up for winter comfort also extends to your bedroom.  Although the temptation is great to up the bedroom thermostat studies show we actually sleep better in a cooler environment.  In fact, the change to your bedding between winter and summer months should be minimal if your bedroom, mattress and bed linen are insulating correctly.   

How to get the right body temperature for a deep sleep in winter?

Sleep specialist and neurologist  Dr Christopher Winter has dedicated much of his career researching the ideal temperature for sleep concluding room temperatures between 15-19 degrees celsius is optimal to reach deep REM sleep.  This means in order to get a great night sleep in winter, yet not feel cold, we simply need to tweak our bedroom a little from the summer months. 
Simple tips such as correctly sealed windows as well as curtains that fully cover the glass will keep the temperature constant even when night time lows hit.  Likewise a plush rug is a cost effective way to insulate as well as a lovely stop for your feet as you step out of bed.  This also has a positive effect on your bottom line as you´ll save on heating.  The Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water states reducing your room temperature by just 1℃ could cut energy consumption by 5-10% therefore reducing your electricity bills respectively. 

How do I make my bed warm for winter then?

While decorative cushions and throws make a bed look pretty and appear “winter ready” the real warmth comes from under the covers.  Despite most of us growing up with a blanket at the end of the bed these extra layers are not sleep conducive,  only adding bulk leaving you suffocated and uncomfortable providing little warmth.  Contrary to intuitive thinking, in order to stay toasty it´s best to build your bed from the bottom up.  If you create a solid base layer you are 90% of the way there to keeping warm all winter long.  The key is to trap heat between you and your mattress, and the best way to do that is via a quality mattress topper. 
Usually thought of only in the context of extra comfort, a mattress topper has great insulating qualities.  With hundreds on the market it's hard to know where to begin however our personal preference is a mattress topper with breathable qualities such as a cotton casing and a hypoallergenic down-like fill such as the Sheridan Dream Deluxe Mattress Topper.  Not just an investment for winter, these are also a wonderful summertime addition as they create airflow keeping you cooler on those balmy nights as well as warm in the winter chills.
Of equal importance to the mattress topper is making sure your fitted sheet will cover the extra depth of the topper and your mattress combined.  There´s nothing worse than a fitted sheet riding up, having to get out of bed to re-adjust, especially on a cold winters night.  For your ease of mind the DEIA Living fitted sheets and sheet sets are designed with an extra depth that can accommodate even the thickest mattress toppers.  

What is the best bed linen for the winter months?

After you´ve organised your mattress topper the next port of call is bed linen.  Personal preference is an important factor however if you’re looking for warmth, we suggest sheets made from natural breathable fabrics in a higher thread count such as quality cotton or French flax linen.   Any quality cotton with a thread count above 250-300 is considered a high count. The natural breathability of cotton will help regulate body temperature and wick moisture away from your skin keeping a constant temperature.
Our top picks for warmth are our two sateen collections which come in a 280 thread count as well as a 600 thread count Egyptian cotton.  The weave of 4 threads under one over makes for a heavier drape and insulating material.  If however you prefer a crisper percale check our 400 thread count Elba range which has been particularly popular in the Melbourne winter months.

Doona, Duvet or Quilt- whatever you call it, is still important

Despite their universally cosy feeling, every duvet provides a different level of warmth. To keep the winter chill at bay, layer your bed with a duvet that offers extra warmth and insulation. Look for options with a high fill power meaning the duvet does more with less, in other words, they provide better insulation without any extra weight.   Our recommendation is a goose down or down alternative as they tend to be softer, lighter and hold  better insulating properties without the extra weight. 
An alternative to a duvet and it´s cotton duvet cover is to use blankets as an inner layer with a decorative quilt on top.   Once again, we recommend natural fibres for blankets due to their breathability and warmth.  Look for blankets made from wool, cashmere or cotton as a starting point.
Finally lets decorate!  How to make your space look winter ready
Although this next step doesn´t add any “real” warmth it´s amazing how powerful the mind is.  When a bedroom is made to look and feel winter ready we automatically perceive it as warmer.  Simple styling ideas such as mixing textures like knits, wools, alpaca or faux fur create visual interest and dimension for a cosy and inviting look.  Adding an array of plush pillows in varying sizes along with several decorative shams in coordinating colours and textures add the perfect finishing touch to your winter sleep sanctuary. 
And then last but not least, the powerful sense of smell!  Finish off your winter bedding ensemble with a few indulgent extras such as a scented candles in fragrances such as must, amber or cinnamon for wintery feels.  Not only do they throw a soft flickering light, they will also make your bedroom smell wonderful. 

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