How to transform your bedroom into a stress-free sanctuary

As a population, our lifestyles are becoming increasingly demanding. But do you know the difference between being busy and being stressed?

The chances are, you’ve probably experienced stress in some way during your life, consciously or not. It can feel like an overwhelming sense of pressure, both mentally and emotionally, and can leave you feeling drained.

“A part of our lives that’s particularly affected by stress is our sleep,” says Time 4 Sleep director Jonathan Warren.

“Our bodies rely on sleep to help us recuperate so it can be extremely difficult to deal with our day-to-day tasks if we’re not sleeping properly.”

The team at Time 4 Sleep has compiled its top tips for relaxing at bedtime and getting a good night’s sleep:

Find the perfect bed

Creating the perfect environment is key to helping you sleep better. You should look forward to relaxing in your bedroom and that starts with choosing the perfect bed for you.

Start with the bedstead. Do you feel like you need more room to spread out when you’re in bed? It might be time to invest in a king or super king size bed. If too much space makes you feel anxious, consider a double or even a single bed.

You should also think about the style of the bed. If you’re looking for ultimate comfort, a soft, upholstered bed is a great option. However, if you want to feel more enclosed, wooden beds with a headboard and a footer may help you to feel more secure.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect bed, think about your bedding options. If you tend to feel cold during the night, opting for a thicker duvet will help. Investing in good quality sheets is an option too. They might be more expensive, but ultimately they will last longer and wash better than the cheaper alternatives.

Invest in the right mattress

A good mattress should support all parts of your body, from your head to your feet. Consider what your sleep needs are – if you suffer from back pain, a firmer mattress or memory foam mattress may help. Similarly, if you find that you often feel too warm to sleep at night, a mattress with a high content of natural internal fillings will be cooler than a memory foam.

The right mattress will provide comfort and support, ultimately enabling you to sleep better. It’s worth spending some time and selecting a mattress that best suits your needs.

Choose the right décor and accessories

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary at the end of the day so it’s important to ensure that you create a relaxing environment with your décor. Calming, muted colours are comforting and will help you to relax before you go to bed. A gentle, blue colour will help create a tranquil atmosphere in your bedroom.

When choosing your accessories, try to stay subtle. Bright colours and patterns can stimulate your brain and hinder your sleep.

Exercise regularly

One of the many benefits of regular exercise is that it can help your mind and body relax later in the day. You don’t have to join a gym either; you could join a running club, start cycling or follow an at-home workout routine. The benefits of exercise are endless; you just need to find the right exercise for you.

Have a relaxing pre-bedtime routine

It’s important to wind down before you go to bed, just taking the time to relax can really make a difference to your sleep.

Give yourself half an hour before bed to truly relax and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Switch off the TV, put down your phone, take a hot bath, read a book or even try meditation techniques as part of your pre-bed routine.

For more useful tips and advice on stress and sleeping aids, visit the Time 4 Sleep Relaxation Zone.


New Calm on Canning Street yoga studio opens in Edinburgh’s West End

A new yoga studio is set to open in Edinburgh’s West End this week after an extensive two-week refurbishment.

Calm on Canning Street is the newest of Edinburgh’s wellbeing spaces and has been founded by yoga practitioner Katy Lomas.

Katy says Calm will be more than just a ‘functional’ yoga studio and offer a sanctuary where people can relax and connect after classes. The studio also has three wellbeing rooms, which will offer massage, life coaching, counselling and other therapies. IMG_1069 2

The timetable will include Over 50s Yoga, Kids & Teen Yoga, Pregnancy and Parent & Baby Yoga, as well as donation-based ‘Karma’ classes. Katy says the studio will also launch lunchtime mindfulness sessions to help city workers manage their stressful lives.

Katy says the studio has a strong community focus and Wednesday afternoons will be reserved for charities and not-for-profit organisations to use free of charge. The first community partnership is with Four Square, which will be running an eight-week series of mindfulness sessions for clients at risk of homelessness.

The studio is even offering concession passes for doctors, nurses and social workers.

“Calm on Canning Street is the culmination of everything I have learnt over the last 10 years,” says Katy.

“Our core values are community, connection and consciousness and we’re truly committed to ensuring we bring yoga to the people who need it most. My aim with this space is to help people feel calmer and more grounded, support local businesses and to provide a beautiful sanctuary in the heart of the Edinburgh.”

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Katy says she has been on quite a journey since launching her marketing career in London on a Graduate Scheme with Barclays 10 years ago. After relocating to Sydney in 2010 and working in banking for nearly five years, she decided to give up corporate life altogether and explore off-grid living and an alternative, more simplistic way of life.

She relocated to Portugal and lived in her camper van in an off-grid community for eight months before travelling to India to become a yoga teacher. Motivated by the desire to spread the benefits of yoga to more people, she decided to move back to the UK and set up her own yoga business, Katy and The Calm. She moved to Edinburgh to be with her partner, Ross, and together Ross and Katy have created Calm on Canning Street as a combination of their passions.