Moving in is an exciting time full of mental and physical exertion. Once you’ve unpacked everything and settled into your new bedroom, sleep should be easy, right? I mean, you’ve spent a lot of effort playing Tetris with moving boxes, organising your house and mentally ticking off your move-in list – sleep is a guarantee.
Except, well, it isn’t. In fact, first night insomnia in a new home is so common that there’s a phrase for it: “first-night effect”. A combination of stress and the brain’s natural anxiety when sleeping in a new environment makes it difficult to catch our regular Zs.
However, some small changes to your bedroom and behaviour can help you get an uninterrupted, natural sleep in your new home. Find out our tips to sleep through the night on move-in day below.
Relax and Unwind
Stress directly influences the duration and quality of sleep, so unwinding sometime in the day before bed can help. Move-in day is especially stressful – even if it goes smoothly, the process is taxing both physically and mentally. On move-in day, then, find some time for activities proven to help people unwind.
Meditation, for example, has been proven time again to reduce stress. A recent trial of 3515 participants showed that meditation had moderate improvements in stress levels, for example. Other examples include yoga, spending some time in nature on a walk or drinking some stress-relieving chamomile tea.
Mind The Extra Caffeine
Bundled in with move-in day is an increased reliance on caffeine. Grabbing an extra cup of coffee or three can seem a necessity when you start getting mentally tired but try to avoid drinking high caffeine drinks after lunchtime.
People tend to underestimate how long caffeine stays in our system. The quarter-life of caffeine is around 12 hours, meaning it stays in our body for around that amount. That means if you opt for a pick-me-up drink at 4PM, it’ll stay in your system until 4AM the next day – that’s not too great for sleep.
Instead of drowning in coffee, opt for drinking a glass of water, taking short breaks and going for a walk instead. Herbal teas are fine, too. Your body and brain will thank you later!
Unpack Your Bedroom First and Make It Extra Comfy
If you need to paint your new bedroom, make sure it’s a comfortably neutral colour. Should you be doing a bit of painting the same day as move-in day, do it as early as possible in the day – you don’t want to be kept up with an annoying paint smell.
Also, be sure to unpack your bedroom first. The last thing you want is to rush unpacking your bedroom and leaving it half-finished. Take your time and make it as comfortable as possible while adding bits and pieces from your older bedroom.
Get To Know Your New Neighbourhood
You can appease the suspicious, anxious side of your unconscious a little bit by having a walk around your new neighbourhood. Take a walk around the block and have a chat with your new neighbours if the opportunity arises. By familiarising yourself with both your new home and the neighbourhood itself, your brain will stop evaluating your new home as a potential danger.
It’s always nice to appreciate your new street and reflect on all of the hard work you’ve put in to get there. Making stops at a local corner shop or park can help you get orientated, too.
Wake Up Bright and Early On Move-In Day
While you may think grabbing a few extra hours on move-in day is a good move, waking up bright and early to get some sunshine can put you in good stead. Scientifically, early morning sunlight reinforces our circadian rhythms, meaning we drift off naturally to sleep easier later in the day.
Artificial light can stifle the effects of natural light on our circadian rhythms, though, so put the phone away and turn the television off an hour or so before sleeping. In fact, limiting artificial light later in the day is one of the most effective home remedies for good sleep.
Invest In A New, Natural Mattress
Of course, the best way to sleep is a new mattress. Even if you’re the most laid-back person on Earth, you won’t sleep well on move-in day with an uncomfortable mattress.
In line with our advice to go for natural sleep remedies and exercises, a natural mattress can be perfect for the first few years in your new home.
Our range of natural mattresses are hypoallergenic and environmentally conscious, as well as boasting strong back support and natural resistance to dust, mould and other nasties.
If a natural mattress is a bit out of your comfort zone, Happy Beds stocks a range of other products such as pillow-top mattresses, rolled mattresses and everything in between.