Daily Rituals for Good Sleep with Swedish bedmakers Hastens

February 9, 2018

 
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We will spend, on average, almost a third of our lives asleep. If you read my sleep piece back at the start of January this won’t be the first time that you’ve read this fact, but have you thought about how much of an impact the way we sleep has upon our lives, and vice versa how our lives impact upon our ability to sleep? At an event hosted last week by Swedish bed makers Hästens we were invited to think about some of the reasons that so many of us feel tired these days, and Raul Aparici, from The School of Life presented some thoughts and remedies which I found both fascinating and instructive. 

 

 /Hastens check signature bed linen 4

Images: Design Soda
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As a company who are invested in trying to create a product that helps us to make the most of our waking life, by striving to produce the worlds best bed, Hästens are synonymous with sleep. They have been creating natural and luxurious beds for six generations and are suppliers to the Swedish royal family. Chosen by Houzz to showcase the cutting edge of interior design for the Houzz of 2018 in Soho (you can see my full highlights here) Hästens supplied the bed (and bedding) for the master bedroom. There was so much interior inspiration to be found at Houzz event. But for now, let’s talk
about beds and then as we’re in the bedroom let’s have a chat about the how we can improve our sleep time rituals to create the best wakeful and resting times.
Hästens are often referred to as the Rolls Royce of beds, their beds are pricey (you may need to hold your breath for the disclosure later) but if you are looking to feel cocooned in the most comfortable thing you’ve ever felt (my genuine verdict), made with ethically sourced natural materials, hand stitched and sprung, then there really is no-one else to look to for comparison.
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Images: Hastens
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We were given the opportunity to try out the Hästens 2000T bed in the gorgeous dusty mauve setting of the Houzz master bedroom (hinting at the ultraviolet tones of Pantone’s colour of the year ) and the first thing I have to tell you is that in a packed press room I could happily have gone to sleep (and in fact I was a little disgruntled that there was a queue of others forming behind me to try it too!).
The bed on display was one that many know as visually synonymous with the brand in its classic blue and white check, but which you may not know also comes in 25 different colour ways. The beds come in four different firmness’s and are also customisable between a couple, so it’s possible to have one side of the mattress much firmer than the other – this is such a brilliant idea, and I guess one which is only possible with such a hands on making process.
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Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)

Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)

Images: Design Soda
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The T200 bed retails at (are you ready with that deep intake of breath?) £25,000 (!). I’d like to be able to tell you that this is a rich persons plaything, that it’s not worth the money, my instinct told me it couldn’t be and I would be honest and lukewarm with you if I had thought not. But actually all I could think was that this was the most comfortable I have ever felt, like ever, anywhere. 
There is a lot of reasoning behind this, each layer which has been carefully crafted over decades of testing, is formed of a springy base followed by a hand sprung mattress topped with a soft layer for added snugness. But none of this technical detailing can quite explain the feeling of ease that being in a Hästens creates.  
They are also entirely natural, being made primarily with Swedish pine and sterilised horse hair, Hästens beds are free of latex and other plastics commonly used in beds. The bed also comes with a 25 year guarantee but the company also emphasise that many customers who bought this bed 50 years ago are still sleeping on it now.
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Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)
Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)
Images: Design Soda
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Hyperbole aside, it made me wonder about the value of this feeling versus holidays, would I give up 25 holidays to spend every night in this bed? Maybe! Happily if, like me, you can only realistically dream of owning one of these masterpieces of dream time, the Hästens website has a list which you can search by destination to locate hotels that carry Hästens beds and try one out for yourself. 
And whilst we are in the bedroom (and with our budgets still firmly on the ground) what can we all do to improve our sleep and consequently our waking lives? Getting a better nights sleep may just be the magic talisman that equips us for the modern world, right? To find our own rhythms that work within our schedules is paramount to our wellbeing according to Raul Aparici, programmer and coach at The School of Life. 
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Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)
Image: Design Soda
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Now if somebody wants to tell me how to feel less tired, I’m all ears. As anyone I care to ask will confirm, we all feel tired these days, it’s the modern malady. We no longer til the fields from dawn til dusk but we do all live in a 24 hour knowledge economy and it can be exhausting trying to fit in all of the expectations we put on ourselves these days plus our inability to switch off from the world of technology when we need to (im
sure I’m not the only one guilty of this).
The majority of us have sedentary jobs where our brains are constantly switched on, leading to that burnt out feeling when you’ve devoted all of your energy to something professional only to find that life still has an unwieldy way of throwing you curveballs in your day to day personal life that you may not have energy to deal with. The effect of tiredness impacts on our whole life, being tired stops us from having the ability to actually enjoy life. As Aparici says, it impairs “our ability to make decisions, to be awake enough to be present to the people around us, it’s not a small thing, our relationships will be effected if we don’t sleep properly, we don’t care as much about what other people may be thinking or feeling, our ability to process things is hampered, the list goes on and on”. 
In a world where jobs and schools will continue to have rigid start times that we can’t control Raul suggests looking at our patterns of behaviour and planning our days around our needs, looking at the waking day and seeing what could actually be shifted to suit your own patterns of alertness and inertia. Think about when you feel most tired and most awake, when do you exercise and feel most energised? Should you push meetings to later in the morning when you function better? Do you, like me, find the afternoon slump difficult and yearn for a nap to top you up so that you can work efficiently again at the end of the day? We need to listen to our bodies and become really aware of them. We’ll all be different, but there are things we can all change to increase our wellbeing, productivity and happiness.
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Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)

Image: Design Soda
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It goes without saying that a good nights sleep is considerably helped by a gorgeous, luxury bed, but what else can we do to improve our sleep? Raul had lots of interesting thoughts which I’ve made notes on to follow over the coming weeks. He asked us to look first at our waking hours and consider how they co-exist within our bodies natural rhythms. Are you a morning person for example? Do you awake ready to address the day, or do you find that the day wakes you before you’re really ready for it (or if you have a small child perhaps they are the culprit more than the day itself!). Do you feel grumpy or even a little drunk as you start going about your tasks? Only 40% of us identify as default morning people, another 30% as night owls and the final 30% vary from day to day. The structure of the world and the working week aren’t geared towards the evening (or night owls) but the artificial light of electricity, a constantly accessible world, and too much time on technology can all put obstacles between us and the rhythms that would make us feel better.
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Houzz of 2018 Interior design trends Hastens beds and bedding (1)
Image: Design Soda
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Good Sleep Hygiene Tips:
Looking at your rituals for sleep itself is also really important, try to plan something that you can look forward to. Raul explained that humans thrive on routine (anyone who’s a parent will recognise this line of thought!), we can be amazing at planning things for our work lives and sticking to routines, but tend to not be so great at these things in our personal life. A few things can be crucial for good sleep practice, here are some of Raul’s main suggestions below, alongside some thoughts of my own;

 

  • Daytime rituals of exercise and reflection, giving you space to think or talk about the things that matter to you. Raul said “One of the biggest barriers to sleep is ruminating on the issues of the day – jobs, slights or disappointments, relationship issues, they are all big important things and if they aren’t given headspace they will rush in just when you try to switch off”. Space for reflection is as much a necessity as a luxury.

 

  • Secondly plan things that you look forward to, I like to have a good book to help me unwind and I definitely feel more relaxed with the right scented candle and good bed linen.

 

  • Taking a warm bath can also be relaxing, you should steer clear of caffeine after lunch but a hot chocolate can be perfect in the evening.

 

  • Stick to the same waking time and sleeping time 7 days a week. This sounds a little like the holy grail to me, and it’s obviously not practical for those doing shift work, but if you can, sticking as closely to the same sleep pattern throughout the week will really pay dividends in your waking life.

 

  • Finally, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try some reverse psychology, lie down with your eyes open, try not to fall asleep and it should help you drop off.

 

What are your tips for a good nights sleep? Do you build daily rituals into your sleeping habits? I’d love to hear your thoughts, I am going to try and switch off from blue led light technology earlier than I have been managing of late and try to stick to more regular sleeping hours. 

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Image: Design Soda
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 This Post is a collaboration with Hästens.

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