Sleep is integral to our overall health and wellness. Yet, sleep is often the last thing we prioritize.
Our bodies need rest to repair and rejuvenate itself. That’s why the effects of sleep deprivation are overwhelming for our bodies. Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk of anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Although sleep disorders are oftentimes out of our control, there are a number of conscious decisions we can make to improve our sleep hygiene. One of which is optimizing our bedrooms for better sleep. Check out these six steps to styling your room for better sleep.
Create Your Sleep Haven
Your bedroom should be the place you long to retreat at the end of a long day, not the place that stresses you out. Although there are practical ways to keep your bedroom a sleep haven, like nixing the clutter (see point #2), there are also intentional interior design choices that can be made to put your mind at ease the moment you walk through the door.
First and foremost, consider the color palette of the room.
Color has a psychological effect on our brain. Certain colors calm us, while others stimulate our brains. Stay away from warm colors in the bedroom – these colors energize us. Rather, stick to blues and neutrals. Hues in this color family have been proven to lower blood pressure and help you relax.
Read the 7 eco-painting tips.
Next, pay attention to the layout of your space.
One popular concept in the interior design space that finds its basis in ancient Chinese philosophy is the concept of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is art of arranging objects to promote harmony and balance. According to Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life, “Feng Shui helps you arrange your space to support your best rest and connection with your partner and with yourself.”
Whether you are a believer or sceptic, consider these Feng Shui basics when optimizing your room for better sleep:
- Position your bed away from the door to promote feelings of safety;
- Use a wooden headboard, which is known for its strength and support;
- Remove distractions. Your bedroom so be a place that promotes rest, not work. Keep your office and exercise equipment out of your room.
Nix the Clutter
Now, back to the clutter. Did you know, messy rooms can have psychological consequences? The most common being feelings of anxiety and difficulty relaxing – two consequences that have a negative impact on sleep quality.
Most of us lead busy lives which lends itself to a messy lifestyle. It’s hard to pick up when you are always on the go! But if you find your room cluttered over 75% of the time, it may be time to change your habits or do some cleaning out. After all, fewer things lead to less clutter.
When cleaning out, a good rule of thumb is asking yourself these three questions:
- Do I want it?
- Do I use it?
- Do I need it?
If you answer “no” to any or all of those questions, toss it!
If you are not ready to part with old clothes or knick-knacks from the past, do your best to manage clutter throughout the day. It may sound simple, but put things back in their place after you use them. This habit will only become second-nature when put into practice on a regular basis.
Remember, cleaning a messy room becomes overwhelming only when you let the mess get overwhelming. At what the threshold you does your mess stress you out? Whatever that threshold is, keep the mess from reaching it.
Block Out the Light
Before the invention of alarm clocks, the Sun was responsible for telling our bodies when it was time to wake up. In fact, despite alarms and artificial light, our bodies are still hardwired to respond to the sun’s wake-up call. All this has to do light-sensitive cells in our eyes designed to absorb light to properly set our body’s internal clock called our circadian rhythm. The more light we get the less melatonin we produce. The chemical is known to make us more sleepy. That’s why as spring comes in and the amount of sunlight goes up, melatonin levels go down, which is why we feel energized.
When optimizing your room for better sleep, consider where are all the different sources of light are coming from. Perhaps that means hanging blackout curtains to keep the Sun from streaming in at the crack of dawn. Maybe it means removing the TV from your bedroom so the blue light doesn’t keep you up at night.
Read about the 5 Essential Tips on Romantic Lighting for your Home.
Whatever the case, make sure to monitor light sources when optimizing your sleep space for that’s what good rest depends on.
Splurge on Your Sleep Structure
Your mattress is the performance tool used to achieve your best night’s sleep – it’s not something to skimp on. The average lifespan of a traditional innerspring mattress is seven to eight years. Even if your mattress appears to be in good shape, it’s most likely lurking with dust mites, bacteria and dead skin cells. Yikes.
Without a decent mattress, your sleep quality will suffer. If you tend to wake up with aches or pains, or you notice a sag towards the middle of the bed, it may be time to bite the bullet and go shopping. Nowadays, you can find a quality mattress without spending thousands of dollars – you just have to search for it.
Lower the Temp
Temperature is one of the most impactful factors on sleep quality. That’s because, in order to fall asleep, our core body temperature must drop one to two degrees. This decrease in body temp helps you fall and stay asleep – the opposite of a warm body temperature, which causes you to feel energized. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night from a fever or feeling too hot? This is why.
In an optimal sleep environment, you should set the room temperature to around 65 to 68 degrees. It’s okay to pile on blankets. Even just exposing your head to the cool temps will keep your body temperature low.
Add some greens
It’s no coincidence that plants are considered tranquil. Not only are plants the perfect addition to style any room, but they are scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. And it doesn’t stop there.
Another benefit of indoor plants is that they improve indoor air quality. A study by NASA found that indoor plants absorb harmful toxins in the air through their leaves and roots and act as a sort of air filter removing carbon and increasing oxygen levels.
Improved air quality leads to improved sleep quality. That’s because air pollution causes irritation, swelling and congestion of the airways which can interrupt breathing.
Some of the best plants for improving air quality are peace lily, English ivy and golden pothos.
Interior design goes far beyond looks. It’s about functionality. Now you can sleep easy at night knowing your room is helping you get your best sleep possible!
August 23, 2018