How to Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep Sanctuary
Easy and Quick Design Steps to Help You Sleep Well
How great it is to wake up every morning feeling refreshed and relaxed after a good night sleep!
I could say, it probably is everyone's wildest dream.
You feel full of energy, cannot wait to start your day and you feel you can conquer the whole world. Sadly for many of us it is quite the opposite: we sleep badly, then we wake up feeling sluggish, low on energy and the whole day ahead of us seems to be a struggle to go through.
The 'science of good sleep' is a fairly complex subject - there are several factors in play. Amongst these factors is the state of your bedroom. It plays a very important role in getting enough quality sleep your body needs, and keeping you healthy and vital. If you ignore this important aspect of your home and more precisely your bedroom in the long run, you will pay a big price for it: you will loose your productivity, your energy, and eventually your health.
In order to live a healthy, balanced and fulfilled life you need to feel vital and energetic. You feel vital and energetic if your 'life force energy’ level - some call it mojo or zest, also known as chi - is high enough on a constant basis. There are several ways and methods to give yourself a life force energy boost - one of them is to sleep well. And one way to make sure you sleep well is to make sure your bedroom gives you proper sleep.
In a home each room has its own function and it is important that these spaces are designed and used in a way that promote and complement their initial purpose. Most of us think of the bedroom as just simply a room where we go to sleep - where we spend a few hours unconsciously 'doing nothing'. Lots of people also see it as a room where they can store and hide unwanted and unused items tucked away in the wardrobe, under the bed, behind the door. Then also lots of people use it as a space to work - either having a desk in the room or just simply working from the bed. While there could be a few legit reasons to use our bedroom as a study or office space during the day, in the long run it is going to negatively impact our ability of sleeping well.
In my experience most of us consider the bedroom as some 'inferior' space compared to the living room, dining room or kitchen and as such we tend to overlook the design and the function of the bedroom and how vitally important this space is when it comes to maintain or improve our general wellbeing.
It actually is a place where you start and end your day. Where you prepare yourself physically as well as mentally to go out and 'get through life' every single day. It is where you wind down after your day, where you rest, recharge and rejuvenate yourself. It is a place where you recuperate when being ill. And it is also a space where you connect with your partner, nurture your intimate relationship.
So, it is a vitally important space from all aspects of your life - it 'looks after' your health and happiness.
If you want to enjoy a healthy and happy life, you will need to consider carefully how you design and use this space - is it the way that positively supports and affect your sleep or any other related activities or is it a space that is 'just a room' where you lie down for the night.
What you need to think through to create a space and atmosphere that promotes good sleep and consequently good health?
Here are a few basic things you might want to consider - these are easy and quick design solutions that are totally under your control and will help you sleep better. Evaluate your bedroom and make the necessary adjustments if needed in order to create the best bedroom environment for you.
Take into consideration individual needs and preferences if you share your bedroom with a partner and find a fair compromise that works for
Bed, Mattress and Pillows
A good, quality bed and mattress can be an expensive investment but it is what makes the difference. Your bed needs to be big enough for you (and your partner) to have enough space to sleep comfortably. As for the mattress make sure it is comfortable and supportive to keep your spine aligned. Know your preference as to whether you prefer firmer mattresses or softer ones - although it is a general thumb-rule that going extreme either way is not a fortunate choice in the long run. A lot depends on your weight, your body type as well as your sleeping position.
A new mattress is needed if it is older than 7 years or you wake up every morning feeling 'broken' and tired. Choose top-quality pillows as well.
Make sure you have bedlinen that makes you feel comfortable - no itching or other feeling of discomfort and you do not wake up drenched in sweat during the night or in the morning. Choose natural fibres for your sheets and covers without extra anti-wrinkle coatings that promotes air flow and breathability. This is especially important if you suffer from any allergies. Also do not overdo it with duvets and pillows. Multiple duvets, throws and pillows can create an attractive visual focal point of your room, but when it comes to sleeping too many of them can make sleeping hot and uncomfortable. If your perfect bed is piled high, plan to remove most pieces at night.
My partner is quite sensitive to materials and fabrics, it can cause skin irritation or at least feeling of discomfort for him. So we only use natural and smooth, silky feeling sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers.
Air your bedroom every day, especially in the morning and do not let the old stuffy air sit there all day long. If you cannot open the windows, then make sure you have a proper ventilation system in place. If your bedroom - or as a matter of fact, your home - lacks adequate ventilation or you rarely open the window, the likelihood of having an increased level of pollutants built up is pretty high. Also, keeping some air cleaning plants can help improve the quality of air in your bedroom.
I always air our bedroom for 10 minutes before we go to bed, also in the morning when we wake up. This means I usually open the windows wide open. As our bedroom is not too big during the night we usually keep one of the windows a slightly bit open to make sure there is always fresh air in the room while we sleep.
Colours have psychological and physiological effect on us. The colours / shades you choose for your bedroom set the tone and mood for the entire space, hence they can influence your sleep. There are some personal preferences, also differences regarding our sensitiveness to colours so it is helpful if you are aware of how colours work on you. In general lighter, muted and neutral tones (taupes, greys, beiges, whites), light pastels and cold colours help you wind down and make the space feel calmer. Dark colours do have the ability to make a space feel more intimate, cozy and warm, however they have this feeling of heaviness and overpowering making you feel moody and less energetic.
I love vibrant colours but they are only used as 'vitamin colours' in our bedroom in forms of accessories - walls, bed, carpet, curtain are all in light and natural colours.
There are plenty of essential oils that can help you calm down and relax, both mentally and physically, and make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly: lavender, jasmine, chamomile, frankincense, geranium. It is a very simple, quick and inexpensive way to promote better sleep - only a few drops or just a few sniffs are enough to start feeling the sleep promoting benefits of them.
My personal favourite is lavender - as my mum taught me I keep dried lavender flowers in a small linen bag under our pillows. Sometimes I use oil burner or scented candle as well.
A room that is too warm or too cold can disrupt comfortable sleep. Certainly there are personal preferences and differences as to how warm or cold one likes their bedroom to be - however the ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is around 17-19 Celsius. Depending on what sort of heating system you have got you can control the temperature of your bedroom. Also, keeping the window open, having a fan, or an air-conditioning unit can help regulate the temperature and prevents the room from getting stuffy while you sleep.
Screen out electronics as much as possible. Or even better get rid of them: TV, digital clock, cable boxes or any other electronics that is not necessary in the bedroom and not used. All these device emit EMFs (ElectroMagneticFields) and blue light which can disturb your sleep and could cause different health problems.
This is quite a sensitive issue between me and my partner as he is kinda inseparable from his phone and also likes working and watching movies in bed on his laptop, while I want as much an electronics free bedroom as possible.
Mess and Clutter Mess and clutter do not just affect our home making it look untidy and disorganised, but the people living in that home too - we will experience the same impact sooner or later: being messy and disorganised. On the physical level clutter attracts dust that can cause allergic reaction. On mental level piling up things and junk, even if not in extreme amounts, can create energetic loops to constantly irritate our mind, reminding us of things which need fixing, finishing, starting, thus it can prevent us from sleeping well.
As a general rule try and keep your bedroom not only clutter free but also visually less stimulating and distractive - meaning decorating it with only a few items.
Our bedroom is not that big and it's decor and furnishing is 'light and airy' so it is easy to keep it nice and tidy (though my partner is perfectly capable of creating a big mess within seconds). The general rule is to tidy up the room before bedtime. Sometimes I too let the room a bit of run but only for a very short while - after 2-3 days I actually physically feel the need of 'sorting the room out', otherwise I cannot sleep well.
This is not directly related to the design of the bedroom, yet it has a great impact on the quality of your sleep. Though the link is stronger and more significant as one would initially think since a well designed bedroom promotes good sleep habits helping us ease into sleep quickly and easily.
I discuss this in a separate blog post talking about how to improve your sleep hygiene. However, this routine should contain some of the tips above - air the room, make it smell nice, tidy up, adjust the temperature - so it is worth trying and incorporating them into it on a daily basis.
Designing your sleep environment to establish the right conditions and atmosphere you need for sleep will make a huge a difference in your ability not only to easily and quickly to fall but to sleep through the night as well.
Give yourself the gift of comfortable living and a better sleep by turning your bedroom into a sanctuary welcoming place for living and sleeping.
And by all means download your beautiful gift, the Home Harmony Starter Kit, that will help you become more aware of your space and build a stronger connection with it.
Or you can just book a free 15 minute-long Discovery Call with me to explore your options and how I can help you.