Have you experienced First Night Phenomenon?

Man stretching on side of bed, grumpy cat next to him

Think about the first night you spent at your current property. Dark, unfamiliar, perhaps even anxiety-inducing. It's perfectly normal to feel this way before you've made that house your home, but what you might not know is that it isn't just some unexplained phenomenon.

That discomfort that you feel is a unique psychological and physiological scenario that only ever takes place when you sleep for the first time at a new place, aptly named the "first-night effect".

Getting your forty winks

This strange effect, which has often been put down as "just one of those things" in property, has now been illuminated by a new study from Brown University. Their investigation, which involved studying the brain patterns of a number of individuals trying to sleep on their first night compared to a week later, found something extraordinary: a part of the left hemisphere of the brain remains active, even when the participant is deep asleep - and only on the first night.

The researchers hypothesise that this strange effect and subsequent poor sleep is a result of the brain trying to remain vigilant against threats in a strange environment, causing unconscious anxiety and disrupting sleep.

Sleeping tight

You might be wondering how this affects you as a property owner. Perhaps you just want to get comfortable in your new home as soon as possible, or you want to ensure that your tenants feel completely comfortable in a recent property investment acquisition. In either case, there are a few things you could try with your interior design to beat back that anxiety.

Review your colour scheme. Keep your bedrooms and other places of relaxation a lovely light blue, which is one of the most frequently-used colours used to help reduce anxiety. In fact, one survey from British hotelier Travelodge found that people with blue bedrooms were getting far better sleep than those with other dominant colours. This could, of course, just be a correlation, but it pays to try everything when making the most of your property.

Then, reconsider your lighting. Consider installing a dimmer switch so that you or your tenant can adjust the lighting levels down to something more comfortable and suitable to the time of day. The effect of bright lights on sleep are self-explanatory, but you might be surprised by how many people forget the simple dimmer as a solution.

A new colour scheme and more suitable lighting could be the key to a better night's sleep for you or for your tenant. Of course, sleep is that much easier when you aren't fretting over your mortgage! Get in touch with the team at Squirrel Mortgages and find out how we can help you make the most of your property portfolio.