Archive of ‘Designer’s Diary’ category

A Beginner’s Guide to Napping

napping(source)

As a nation, the US is becoming increasingly sleep deprived. Whether this is due to long working hours, looking after our children or more time spent on devices, we’re simply not getting as much sleep as we used to.

While a nap is no replacement for a good night’s sleep, it can certainly help us become more productive, happy and alert throughout the day. Not convinced? Well it might interest you to know that the humble nap was famously championed by famous figures such as Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci and Eleanor Roosevelt, who regularly scheduled a snooze into their day.

With World Sleep Day just around the corner, we’re here to guide you through the delicate art of napping with some frequently asked questions from a select group of beginners.

Q: Where should I nap?

A: The beauty of a nap is that you can do it almost anywhere. Unlike a full night’s sleep, you can choose any convenient place to rest because you will only be there for a short period of time. This could be on a desk, couch, bed, car or on public transport – the world is your oyster.

Q: What time of day should I nap?

A: To know when you should nap, simply listen to your body. Are your eyes feeling heavy? Are you finding it hard to concentrate? Are you feeling lethargic? If so, give your body the rest it needs.

If you prefer a routine, why not experiment with setting a time to nap every day. This could be on your lunch break at work or when you get home after a long day.

Q: How long should I nap for?

A: There is no set amount of time for how long a nap should be. However, it is important to understand how the length of a nap can affect the benefits you get.

10-20 minutes – Known as a ‘power nap’, this amount of sleep boosts your alertness and energy. This light sleep means it is easy to wake up without feeling tired.

30-60 minutes – This means you achieve some ‘slow-wave’ sleep, which helps improve your memory. But beware, this length of nap can leave you feeling groggy and tired, a state also known as sleep inertia.

90 minutes – A full cycle of sleep that includes REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, takes 90 minutes to complete. This length of nap allows you to dream and is easy to wake up from, leaving you feeling refreshed and more creative.

So there you have it, all the information you’ll possibly need to have your first successful nap!

Head over to Facebook and Twitter to share your own tips and advice with us.

 

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Reflect on our Blogging Highlights of 2015

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Reflect on our Blogging Highlights of 2015

2015 has been a great year for Christy. We have worked with some talented bloggers who have mentioned us in creative and captivating posts that we have loved.

We’ve listed a selection of fantastic blogs that have kindly written about Christy this year. From interior design blogs to lifestyle blogs, we’ve proudly featured on a range of amazing websites that keep us coming back for more.

Take a look at our list of beautiful blog posts featuring Christy below:

The Simply Luxurious Life

Back in April, Shannon from The Simply Luxurious life featured us in a dedicated blog post all about her love of our luxury bed linens. Not only did Shannon sign our praises, but she also gave her readers some interesting facts about the heritage of Christy. To add to her post, she even told us the secret to getting a good night’s sleep. What more could we possibly need?

Coco and Mingo

This stunning blog post from Jessica over at Coco and Mingo certainly caught our attention in May. Jessica updated readers on her spring and summer bedroom whilst providing a selection of amazingly crisp images of Christy lines proudly displayed on her bed. To remind yourself of this stunning Coco and Mingo post, head over to the blog here.

Little Miss Momma

Lifestyle blogger, Ashley recently took her readers on the journey of renovating her master bedroom. Ashley’s before and after pictures captivated us here at Christy. We couldn’t help but admire just how amazing the transformation looks, particularly the colourful new bed that takes centre stage.

Anna E. Lee Interior Design

In November, Anna from Anna E. Lee Interior Design updated her bedroom and chose brand new bedding from Christy. We were more than flattered when Anna explained her feelings about our linens. “The combination of linen and cotton, provides this bedding set with the most exquisite texture – creating a true sense of luxury.” Now we’re just blushing.

2015 has been a great year for working with amazing bloggers, most of which we didn’t get a chance to mention here. If you mentioned Christy in your blog this year – thank you.

We can’t wait to see what 2016 brings to our door!

 

Create the perfect pillow arrangement

Romany (4)

Create the perfect pillow arrangement

A beautiful and well-laid bed can be easily achieved at home. By following a few simple arrangement rules, you can transform an empty, cold looking bed into a warm cosy retreat.

Firstly, it’s good to look at the entire arrangement of your bed. Once you’ve chosen and set your bed linen, you’re left with a blank canvas where we can now lay the pillows – this will become the masterpiece of the master bedroom!

We recommend adopting a pillow layout similar to the diagram below…

diagram

Starting with the largest first, take two coordinating Shams and lay them in an upright position against the headboard. Shams create a staggered look to instantly revitalise any bed. Secondly lay your first set of pillows. We tend to chose a Plain Dye colored, non-patterned under pillow to breakup any color from the linen design. Prop the second set of linen matching pillows at the front. Make sure the back pillows are peeping over the top. You have now set the foundations of your bed fort. Make sure your pillows are straight, and fluffed! Now onto the front pillows… The fun part!!

A great place to start is by adopting pops of bold solid colors into your design. Your choice of pillow can make two beds, set with the same design look completely different. Don’t be afraid to choose contrasting palettes. Pick color shades from other items around your room such as: lamp, flowers, artwork, etc to bring in and tie the whole bedroom together.

So far your bed will look symmetrical. Create a more interesting tone by adding an odd amount of cushions. I’d suggest arranging from left to right, keep the larger cushions to the back to continue the staggered feel. Mix different sizes and styles towards the center. Be careful not to over do it – there is definitely such a thing as too many pillows!, Stray from using correlating colours and designs. It can, on occasion become overkill. Bright colors are the winning combination!

Ensure once again that all cushions are fluffed and pressed!

Don’t forget to place your favourite throw at the foot of the bed. It’s important to ensure at least one of the pillows chosen to layer, matches or compliments the throw, it will amalgamate all items together… Don’t forget, throws are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are the perfect ‘just in case’ layer for cold nights.

Now all that’s left to do is to slip into your cosiest of pyjamas, grab a good book and cuddle into your new retreat.

WARNING: Once you’ve created your perfect bed, getting out (especially on a cold morning) can cause difficulty and/or distress.

We would love to see your finished bed. Tweet us your pictures @christy_linens.

 

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/