9 tips to help you get your best possible sleep

As purveyors of fine bed linen, it is no surprise that at Christy, we value nothing more than an amazing night’s sleep, and this month we’ve teamed up with Shannon at The Simply Luxurious Life to share top tips for getting the best sleep possible.

So, here are nine top tips to ensure you wake up feeling as refreshed as possible – thanks to Shannon for her great advice.

1) Try and keep to one sleeping routine as much as possible – even at the weekends

While it might be unrealistic to be able to do this all the time, with busy work schedules, family events and all kinds of other commitments coming up unexpectedly, those who enjoy better sleep are those who are able to stick as closely as possible to a regular routine. This routine shouldn’t just be a weekday thing – try to keep to it at the weekends, and you’ll soon feel the benefit.

2) Have an evening ritual

Babies and toddlers sleep better when they have the same evening routine, and this love of the familiar is something that stays with us into adulthood. Find something that relaxes you – reading, taking a bath – and incorporate it into your evening ritual. This will tell your body that it is time to unwind.

3) Keep your cool

Overheating in your sleep is guaranteed to wake you up, leading to that all too familiar feeling of clock watching and feeling stressed at the sleep you’re losing. Turn your thermostat down before bed, or off if it’s summer.

4) Unload your troubles

Nothing is guaranteed to keep you lying awake at night more than a stressed out mind, and while it isn’t realistic to expect your troubles to disappear just in time for bed, writing annoyances down or spending five minutes reflecting can really help settle your thoughts.

5) Avoid caffeine and heavy meals

Caffeine will keep you too alert to nod off, and a heavy meal will lie in your stomach and make it difficult to get comfortable. Avoid caffeine and rich or heavy foods after about 6pm.

6) Hydrate with water

Keeping well hydrated with water will avoid the feeling of a dry mouth or a headache which could stop you dropping off to a peaceful sleep.

7) Let it go

Easier said than done, but letting go of stress is key when it comes to sleeping. If something specific is troubling you, spend time thinking of solutions and a strategy to put in place to deal with it – this will help you to feel calmer and remove the issue from your mind.

8) Work up a sweat

If your body is full of energy, it’ll certainly make falling into a deep sleep more difficult, so work of some of this energy with a gym class or run – if your life is a little too busy to spare the time for a gym visit, at-home exercises will do the trick.

9) Rely on relaxing scents

Scents such as lavender and sandalwood are known for their relaxing qualities – why not take a bath and add a few drops of essential oils to help you drift off?

 
 

Is discomfort keeping Americans up at night?

Since 1990, the National Sleep Foundation has been promoting the benefits of good sleep to Americans, and the body’s annual sleep poll – which has been running since 2002 – is seen as a yard stick for the state of the nation’s sleeping habits. In 2014, the poll focused on family dynamics, and found that children whose parents set a firm sleeping and bedtime routine in place slept better. This year, the poll sought out information about discomfort and pain, and how much they impact on Americans trying to get a good night’s shut eye – and the results might surprise you.

The majority of those who answered the 2015 National Sleep Foundation poll – 57% – said they suffered from either chronic pain, or had suffered acute pain in the week leading up to the survey. So, is half of America really in too much pain to get a good night’s sleep?

According to the results of the survey, pain is a key factor in the amount of sleep people get versus the amount of sleep they feel they need. On average, those who suffer from conditions causing chronic pain have a  “sleep debt” of 42 minutes each night, compared to just 14 minutes for those who have experienced acute pain in the last week – in this context, acute pain could refer to a headache, stomach cramp or aches and pains in the limbs.

CEO of the foundation David Cloud, when commenting on these results, urged those even with chronic pain to try and put a sleeping routine in place, saying sleep “is a key marker of health”.

“Taking control of your sleep by being motivated, setting a routine bedtime and creating a supportive sleep environment are relevant even for those with pain,” he said.

The impact of a lack of good sleep was clear to see from the rest of the poll results. Nearly a quarter of those with chronic pain reported higher levels of stress, and more than 50% of chronic pain sufferers who have had trouble sleeping in the past week said this lack of rest had had a negative effect on their work.

Issues with sleep seem to trap sufferers in a vicious circle, too, with people unable to sleep due to pain reporting that their problems worsen due to worrying over this lack of sleep, and that even when they do manage to nod off, they are more prone to sleep sensitivity caused by noise, a bedroom being too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable mattress.

So what is the solution? Those who conducted the survey suggested that in the case of the missing sleep, it might be a case of mind over matter. Of all those surveyed, those who said they were very or extremely motivated to get enough sleep slept an average of 36 minutes longer each night.  Making sleep a priority also had a positive impact on those who complained of pain disturbing their night’s rest, with poll takers reporting longer and better sleep, despite their discomfort, when they gave sleep a precedence over other activities.

The rest of the results of the sleep survey make for equally nteresting reading – to see them in more detail, visit the National Sleep Foundation at http://sleepfoundation.org/

 
 

Updating your home when spring has sprung

Spring is a time of new starts and new birth, and this feeling can be brought from the outside in with a few simple changes to your home’s interior design. Spring florals and pastel shades can lighten up a home after the darker winter months, freshening the feel of each room with a breath of invigorating air.

 For a quintessentially English country cottage look, our Bloomsbury Plum design is perfect. Featuring a blooming deep purple print, velvet details and a contrasting stripe to the reverse, this print is the cornerstone of any Spring-inspired bedroom.

 We think it looks best teamed with our Bloomsbury Stripe, an elegantly designed style made using soft cotton sateen.

 If you’re more of a fan of plain colour or white bedding, you can bring Spring inside with floral wallpaper, but steer away from darker shades or large floral patterns. Think ditsy prints, small designs and lighter colors.

 For the crafty DIYers amongst you, a great way to give a room a Spring makeover without stretching the purse strings too far is to reupholster existing items. With the aid of some fabric from a haberdashery store, a nail or glue gun, and a bit of patience, you can transform any old and tired fabric chair into a slice of Spring. The best place to start is Pinterest – there are plenty of crafty bloggers who offer great step-by-step tutorials to help even the most amatuer decorator produce a high-end result..

 Mason jars are the absolute go-to design solution, and the reason is simple – you can do absolutely anything you like with them, and it’s almost guaranteed to look great.

 A great way to add a touch of Spring to your home is to revamp your existing kitchen storage using pastels. We came across these gorgeous jars on every crafter’s favourite site, Etsy, but the look is easy to recreate at home.

 A few top tips – use acrylic paint to ensure maximum coverage of the glass, and to achieve a neat finish when sanding off the paint over the text, use a nail file for extra accuracy?

 
 

Try a New Tradition this Festive Season

When Christmas is in full swing it’s easy to get caught up in all the chaos, but reclaiming a few minutes for yourself can have many benefits. One relaxing and worthwhile activity you can do during this time is to write a Christmas letter to your friends and family. As featured in our Christy Guide to a Classic British Christmas, Emma Farrow from Teapots and Twine says this is a fantastic way to reflect on the past year.

If you didn’t get chance to do this in December, you could always turn the tradition into a new year’s letter. This would be a great opportunity to update your loved ones and make plans for the year ahead. Emma Farrow says: “I think that the key to a great Christmas letter is being positive, personal and avoiding the urge to brag … If you have children then they may enjoy being involved in composing your Christmas letter too. Ask for their help to create a fun quiz about your family and use this as framework for sharing your news, or ask each child to write down their favourite memory from the past year and pick a photo to accompany it. I think it is important to pass on the tradition of Christmas letter writing to the younger generation so that they learn more meaningful ways of communicating than via social media. They will love reading the letters back in years to come so don’t forget to keep a copy for your family too.”

While you’re composing the letter, why not take another piece of paper and write out some family resolutions for 2015? Working on these together ensures you have realistic expectations, while putting them down on paper will improve the chances of people taking them seriously. We’d love to hear some of your resolutions for 2015; keep us posted via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/christylinens) and Twitter (@Christy_Linens).

 
 

Explore the art of chic living with Christy and Jennifer Scott

 

Add a touch of elegance to your home by entering our competition to win a set of luxury Supreme Hygro towels with a matching robe and bath mat, worth $395.

In conjunction with internationally bestselling author Jennifer Scott, who has just released her new book At Home with Madame Chic, we’re offering you the chance to win a full set of our beautifully soft towels and robe, in a colour of your choice.

To enter the competition just click here, then answer a simple question about Jennifer’s blog, The Daily Connoisseur, and fill out your details.

Jennifer is also producing a video with some handy hints on how to present, fold and organise your towel collection, which is perfect if you’re planning on welcoming guests during the festive season. Keep an eye on The Daily Connoisseur over the coming weeks to see the video in action.

The blog is full of tips on how to create a chic ambience at home and we’re looking forward to reading more about this in Jennifer’s new book, inspired by the author’s time spent living with a Parisian family.

From advice on entertaining in style to suggestions on taking small pleasures in life’s mundane daily chores,  At Home with Madame Chic looks set to be an essential for any elegant home.

 

 
 

Decorating with colour

Decorating with colour

While subtle and gentle shades are a firm favourite for creating a classy and timeless look for your home, there is nothing wrong with adding a splash of colour that will not only brighten your property’s interior, but also create a positive atmosphere.

When it comes to adding a flash of colour to your bathroom or bedroom, a less is more approach does not always apply. It’s time to be fearless and fun with your decorating in these two rooms – vibrant shades can totally transform the look of a room, and are great for creating an upbeat atmosphere during the often drab winter months.

Brighten up your boudoir

While it is true that the bedroom should always be a calm and relaxing environment, why not think about adding a splash of colour that creates a more lively atmosphere?

As the nights grow longer in the lead-up to winter, why not bring summer indoors with a lick of pale yellow paint, or a soft lilac? If you prefer darker hues, deep purples or reds are firm favourites for creating a dramatic setting that is best paired with luxurious materials and bold accessories.

Creating a statement wall is another great way to make transform your bedroom. Whether you opt to decorate using bright wallpaper, or simply add a new shade, you are guaranteed maximum impact with minimal effort.

Deciding which colours will match your signature style can also be tricky, but there are plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re going for a vintage throwback scheme or something modern.

Soft purples, greys and limes are a sure fire way to create a retro-inspired bedroom – accessorise with vintage mirrors, glassware on the dressing table and floral patterns to get a really authentic look. On the other hand, bold colours, minimal accessories and leather furniture is a great way of achieving that hotel-esque modern look.

Adding bold prints and busy patterns that are rich in reds, yellows and royal blues will help to transform your room into a Moroccan hideaway, while deep blues combined with lighter shades of blue, green and cream will help you to create a seaside-inspired haven.

Bathroom inspiration

As the bathroom is usually one of the smallest rooms in the house, it can be more difficult to get creative with your interior design choices in this area. Adding bright shades on the walls could actually make the room look smaller, so it’s all about using the right accessories to add a splash of colour.

Before starting to redesign your bathroom, it’s important to consider whether you are looking to create an environment that matches, or whether colour-blocking is more your style of choice.

Bright pinks, yellows, oranges, reds and blues are a must-have for any colour-blocked space, and you don’t always have to repaint to achieve this look – why not keep walls neutral but accessorise with vibrantly coloured accessories, from towels to toothbrush holders?

 

 
 

A cosy winter with Christy

A cosy winter with Christy

The autumn and winter months are a great time to give any room in your home a cosy makeover, ensuring that you feel warm, comfortable and as relaxed as possible during those chilly evenings when it is frosty and blustery outside.

Our range of cushions and throws includes everything you need to transform your living room or bedroom into a cosy haven during the winter months. We have embellished cushions, heavy knitted throws, and gorgeous linen cushions in a variety of colours.

Below are our favourite autumn and winter picks from the Christy range – plenty of items can be mixed and matched for a quirky look, or you can combine cushions and throws from the same collection for a go-with-everything neutral feel.

Rosa cushion

Silk instantly adds a touch of elegance and luxury, and our Art Deco style Rosa cushion – which has been featured in Country Homes and Interiors – is a luxurious addition to living rooms of all kinds, or you could add it to a comfortable bedroom chair. The Rosa is 100% silk and features stunning embroidery.

Cosy up in front of the fire with our Odessa throw this winter – with 15% wool, this super cosy blanket, which is a gorgeous slate grey, looks great over the back of a sofa, or used as a cover up during cooler evenings. At a generous 55 inches by 73, there’s plenty of room under this throw, too.

 Loop throw

If your living room is neutrally decorated, you’ll love our Loop throw. Made from 100% cotton, this textured blanket comes in an elegant cream, and is fluffy and soft to the touch. Combine it with Loop cushions in the same textured circular design, and you’ll create a cosy and inviting seating area for autumn and winter.

 
 

Strawberries and Cream and an Umbrella…

Having spent the previous week excitedly anticipating the day in hot and stuffy Christy HQ we were ready to enjoy the sun at Wimbledon.

10:30 Southfields Station dressed for Pimms and Strawberries and Cream the rain begins and the umbrellas are out…

…13:00 – does anyone have a small boat…

We are joined by Lobster and Swan, Poppy Loves, Torie Jayne and Gemsmaquillage all looking beautifully summery and with high excited sprits that will not be quashed by the torrential rain we currently experiencing.

The atmosphere on Centre Court is electric with anticipation and heightened by the fact that as part of a long standing tradition Wimbledon has invited famous names from the world of sport to enjoy the middle Saturday including David Beckham which is causing much excitement!

There are some great names on Centre Court Rafa Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer and we were in for an exciting day of tennis and more than a measure of pride at seeing our fabulous (if we do say so ourselves) Christy Wimbledon Championships Towels being used exclusively on court throughout the tournament as they have been for the last 26 years.

Things you might not know about The Wimbledon Championships Towel by Christy

  • Our towels are the only towels used on court throughout the Championships.
  • We sent 6000 towels to be used on court which we launder before they are used to make sure they are super soft and fluffy.
  • The iconic Wimbledon towel is the fastest selling product in both volume and value at the official shop at Wimbledon.
  • The design for the towels is prepared 18 months in advance with the 2015 towel already finalised.
  • The 2015 Wimbledon Championship Towel will go into production in July/August 2014 and will go on sale in October 2014!
  • We only get a fraction of the towels back from The Championships

To own an iconic piece of the Championships visit our store locator to find you nearest stockist or click here to buy online in the UK.

For USA csutomers click here.

 
 

Hooray for the Start of Spring 2014

It may seem pretty hard to believe considering all of the miserable, weather we have been experiencing lately but, we promise, that will soon be coming to an end. With the occasional appearance of a little bit of sunshine comes the chance for new opportunities; the chance to have a major sort-out by embracing a bit of spring cleaning.

It is often said that a happy home equals a happy mind which we whole-heartedly agree with; there can’t possibly be a happier home than a freshly cleaned, (semi) clutter-free one! Sometimes, maybe all you need is a quick sort through the cupboards – it is astonishing just how therapeutic throwing out old or un-used items can be! Dusting, vacuuming and a fresh lick of paint can all work wonders in helping to transform a room. Better yet put the duster down and the DIY on hold…

A room makeover can be achieved through the smallest of changes: fresh, new bed linen or a set of fluffy bathroom towels. A set of Christy bed linen may be just what you need to revamp your bedroom, complete with matching cushions and throws! There is nothing better than getting your fresh new bedding off the washing line and putting it on the bed for the first time. There is nothing quite like standing back and looking at your nicely dresses new bed and then snuggling up into it with a good book.

Your feature wall may remain a mosaic of samples swatches but your bed will be your perfect haven and if you are organised enough to be both domestic goddess and DIY queen you’ve started spring with a head start.

 
 

Flowers for Valentines

valentines_day

Like the long-lasting Chrysanthemum, we should fill our lives with flowers that can really stand the test of time and, to do so, maybe we don’t actually need real flowers at all; floral bedding is enough to give any bedroom that desired classic romantic chic feeling. Both elegant and sophisticated, bed linen adorned with floral prints is the perfect way to impress on Valentine’s Day and through-out the year. Rose designs give a shabby chic vintage feel that, whilst bold prints are representative of fun and happiness. No matter what your style, it is difficult to go wrong with floral bedding; make a statement with bold blooms or appear delicately feminine by opting for dainty florals. There is certainly no denying that flowers are fashionable. In rich colours or cute pastel shades, blossom motifs are guaranteed to last – unlike the bouquets we adore that need refreshing. If you are looking to create a vintage vibe or want to introduce a bit of retro glamour, make florals the focal point of your bedroom for a fabulous style that will last longer than Valentine’s Day.

 

 
 

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