kids bedroom ideas child asleep on chair good sleep expert

Kids bedroom ideas for a better sleep

kids bedroom ideas child jumping on bed good sleep expertFirstly some questions to ask yourself:

  • How dark is your child’s room?
  • How noisy is your child’s room?
  • How warm is it?
  • Do they have a TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer in their room, if so what are the rules for there use?
  • How old is their bed? Does it ever gets used as a trampoline?
  • Is your child sharing with a disruptive sibling?
  • What sort of pillow are they sleeping on? How old and clean is the pillow?
  • What sort of bedding are they using?
  • How is the room in the dark, are there any potentially disturbing shadows?

With the answers to these questions in mind, here are some tips and kids’ bedroom ideas to help create a bedroom environment designed for sleep.

  1. kids bedroom ideas childs bedroom good sleep expertSleeping Environment – A child’s bedroom is often using for more than sleeping, it can be their playroom, study and living room. It is important to remember the primary purpose of the bedroom is for sleeping, so ideally time in the bedroom is kept tranquil and restful, especially prior to bedtime.
  2. Colours – Forget blue for boys and pink for girls, there are other colours and combinations that may be better suited for your child. Tailoring a room to your child’s needs shows them that it is important. Maybe consider dividing the room into zones, with different colours or designs for different activities. Pale shades of pink help send a child off to sleep and green helps them feel refreshed in the morning.
  3. Lighting – Children and Adults, sleep better when it’s dark. So where possible you want to prevent natural light coming into the room with the curtains closed. Some children may be afraid of the dark so using a night light can help, ideally with a green not yellow glow and something that doesn’t shine directly in a child’s eyes,
  4. Temperature – Research has shown that both adults and children sleep better in a cooler room. Your should be aiming for around 16-18 degrees Celsius where possible.
  5. Noise – Generally toddlers tend not to be as distracted by noise as adults once they have gone to sleep. This means you don’t need to be creeping around the house trying not to make a sound, the more they get used to background noise when sleeping the less likely they will be disturbed when older.
  6. Smell – A clean fresh-smelling bedroom is a much nicer sleeping environment, any air freshener should be used sparingly and not to disguise smells that need to be dealt with in the bedroom, i.e. rotting food or dirty clothes. Open a window every day can help keep the air fresh.
  7. kids bedroom ideas child asleep reading in bed good sleep expertTV, Mobile Phones and Computers – In general it is better not to have these in a child’s bedroom or their use restricted where possible. Reading a book is a much better aid for a good night’s sleep.

For more kids bedroom ideas and advice for helping your child sleep see The Good Sleep Guide Kids Edition. You might also want to take a look at our Slim Pillow if your child needs a replacement pillow.

Sammy talks about choosing the right pillow on BBC Radio

Sammy talks about choosing the right pillow on BBC Radio Coventry & Warkwickshire with Mollie Green including the importance of pillows and checking you don’t have a broken pillow




Tips to help stay awake during a long drive.

Trying to stay awake and fully alert on a long drive can sometimes be a challenge, especially at the start or the end of a holiday. The tips below should help you stay awake and be more alert when driving a long distance.

  1. Make sure you are feeling refreshed and rested before starting the journey.
  2. Avoid driving after a full day of work and activities.
  3. Plan your journey to include regular rest breaks, at least 15 minutes every 2 hours. Include an overnight stop if necessary.
  4. Check any medication you are taking, don’t drive if it states you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery.
  5. Avoid driving between midnight and 6am and be extra careful between 4pm and 6pm.
  6. If you start to feel tired, stop where it is safe, have a non-alcoholic drink and take a short nap.
  7. Make sure it isn’t too warm by adjusting the car temperature appropriately.
  8. Don’t use cruise control.
  9. Don’t consume any alcohol before driving as just one drink can impair your ability to drive safely.
  10. If you feel you need caffeine to stay awake you may be too tired to drive; postpone your journey and have a good night’s sleep.
Warning signs that you may be in danger of falling asleep at the wheel
  • Your eyelids are feeling heavy.
  • You are starting to feel drowsy.
  • Your eyes are closing or going in and out of focus; maybe they are feeling strained or you feel a burning sensation.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Thoughts are disconnected, having trouble concentrating.
  • Having trouble keeping your head upright.
  • You are yawning a lot.
  • You don’t remember the last few miles you drove.
  • You miss traffic signals and turnings.
  • You keep jerking your car between lanes.
  • You have problems maintaining a consistent speed.
  • You drift off the road and narrowly miss crashing.

If you find yourself experiencing any of the above, you may be struggling to stay awake and be in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. Pull off the road at the earliest opportunity where it is safe to do so. Park somewhere safe and take a 20-minute nap, followed by a brisk walk.

Only start driving again when you feel refreshed.

AA Tips for Motorway Driving


How to power nap properly

Sammy’s  feature in this month’s FHM magazine, providing advice on how to power nap properly.
Did you know the best time to power nap is between 1 and 3pm?

More advice can be found here or in the Good Sleep Guide.


A tog is simply a measurement of warmth. The warmer the duvet the higher the tog; the cooler the duvet the lower the tog. So in the summer you are looking for a tog rating of approx 4.5. In the winter you are looking for somewhere in the region of 13.5.

But, you’ve got to consider a whole load of other factors including:

  • are you sleeping with a hot sweaty sleeper?
  • is your window open?
  • what temperature is the bedroom?
  • do you use the central heating?
  • how big is your bedroom?
  • how big is your bed?
  • do you have hot flushes/flashes?
  • what do you wear in bed?
  • do you share a duvet?

You can now buy a duvet which totals 13.5 tog but it has poppers holding a duvet of 9 tog and a duvet of 4.5 so that you can use the 4.5 in the summer,9 in the autumn and spring and 13.5 in the winter.

My personal preference is a wool duvets. No math’s here. They are a bit more expensive than synthetic duvets but so worth the cost.

The great thing about wool is that it keeps you cool when you are hot and warm when you are cold. One duvet all year round and no overheating! No togs no maths!

I sleep with one and I love it.

Highly recommended for:

  • hot sweaty sleepers
  • sleepers who are too cold then get too warm
  • sleepers who are too cold
  • perimenospausal women
  • children


Total darkness in the room is paramount for a decent night’s sleep.

This will allow your sleepy hormone – melatonin – to be released.

Melatonin needs to be released in order to actually get you off to sleep, but it also helps keeps your immune system in check.

A sleeping mask is the perfect way to keep the room in total darkness, particularly if there’s light from a street light outside, the gap at the bottom of the door, or if we have to endure those long summer nights.

Whenever I am in France Italy or Spain not only do they have the most amazing black out blinds but I get the most amazing night’s sleep too. Back at home you could consider buying some good quality black out blinds. But make sure that they go all the way up to the edge.

In the event that you do need to get up to go to the toilet in the night, do make sure that you don’t turn any lights on, use a low level ‘plug-in’ light as this will cease the production of your sleepy hormone and prevent you from getting back to sleep.


Grandma was right as always with her anti-ageing advice

Get your beauty sleep on a silk pillowcase.

A silk pillowcase is an amazing anti-ageing secret. It’s great for your skin and hair, and it keeps you cool too. The fantastic thing about it is, unlike cotton, it doesn’t draw water from your skin which therefore helps reduce the appearance of those fine lines. It also helps prevent that ‘bed head’ look. Silk feels fantastic against your skin, looks great in the bedroom, therefore it is a great addition to your anti-ageing routine

And for a personal tip: if you’ve got long difficult to manage hair like me, it also prevents the number of blow-dries I need to have, keeping my well controlled curly hair looking glossy and in shape.

You can also pack it in your case when you go on holiday and it will keep your head nice and cool too!


Choosing the ‘perfect pillow’ can be a total nightmare! Your pillow should fit you and allow the natural curves of your neck to be support whichever position you lie in. Before getting into detail let’s look at the 3 main sorts of pillows:

They are natural, synthetic, and memory foam.

Of course there are others such as water, hemp, wool but for this article I am going to stick with the 3 main groups.


These are made of feather and/or down. They are soft; supportive; extremely comfy; sometimes luxurious; sometime the cheaper feather quills poke out; not good for the allergy sufferer; expensive; rarely easy care but and they last a very long time.


Technology now means that the texture of the synthetic pillow is quite incredible. It feels as soft as down yet it has so many more upsides. It is hypoallergenic; supportive; comfy; inexpensive; and easy care, you can just put it in the washing machine. But it doesn’t last as long as a natural pillow.

Memory foam

A bit like marmite, those that love it really do love it.
 It has transformed some of my patient’s night’s sleep.
 It’s perfect if you prefer a more firm and supportive pillow and now there are lots of different shapes and sizes which you can choose to suit your needs.  However some of my patients hate it and complain that it is hot and sweaty and smells of chemicals.

Most importantly, when choosing your pillow, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What position do you sleep in: side back or front?
  • How big are you? If you’re a petite lady, you may need fewer and less pillows, than if you’re a big guy, in which case more and bigger pillows.
  • What is your personal preference?
  • Do you need a hypoallergenic option?

So…..Good luck in finding the pillow of your dreams!


Is it time to buy a new bed? Research has shown that buying a new bed may be better than taking a sleeping pill!

It found that those with uncomfortable beds slept on average one hour less each night than those with comfortable beds.

So when is it time for a new bed?

Take a look these questions and if the answer is yes to one of them it is time to buy a new bed. If the answer is yes to two or more of them it is definitely time to buy a new bed:

  • Is your bed 8 years old or more?
  • Do you ever wake up with neck or back ache?
  • When lying in bed, do you feel springs, hardness or ridges beneath the surface?
  • When moving in bed do you hear creaks, crunches or other strange noises?
  • Do you and your partner roll towards each other unintentionally?
  • Do your legs or arms dangle over the side of the bed when you sleep?
  • Is the mattress or base uneven or sagging?
  • Are the legs and castors worn out? Would it be embarrassing if your friends saw the bed without its covers?
  • Is the mattress cover torn or stained?
  • Does your mattress feel lumpy, soft, too hard or uncomfortable?
  • Does your mattress sag in the middle or the sides?
  • Are their sagging spots around the edges or where you usually lie?

So it may be time to make a great investment for your future and buy a new bed.