If you're like most people, you spend a good chunk of your day in your bedroom. In fact, assuming you're getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, that means you're spending at least a third of your life there. This is why it's so important to make sure that your bedroom isn't just a space with a bed, but a relaxing and peaceful sanctuary. Making over a bedroom may not sound like the most appealing of home projects, but it's important to understand the potential benefits:
- Better sleep - So many health problems can be linked to poor sleep habits. By creating a bedroom that allows you to escape from the pressures of life with sound slumber, you'll feel more energized each morning.
- Better health - A good night's sleep is the springboard to good health. You feel more alert, you accomplish more, and you make decisions that increase your well-being.
- Better life - Introducing quality sleep into your life is critical. With better sleep, your body is better prepared to handle the challenges life throws your way, including stress, depression, anxiety -- all of these elements are combated with sound sleep.
The following tips can help you achieve a serene and quiet space that allows you to get the sleep you need:
Reduce Unwanted Noise
Curtains, drapes or other window treatments made of thick, heavy fabric do more than just keep your bedroom space warm and comfortable; these window treatments can also dampen the noises outside your home. With the right window treatments, you’ll be less distracted by wildlife noises, chirping crickets, or the sounds of passing cars and sirens. This is a simple way to keep these distracting sounds outside of your bedroom, as well as reduce the amount of light that may be keeping you awake.
Neighbors can be noisy too, and reducing “noise bleed” from adjacent living spaces is especially important if you live in a small home or tiny apartment, according to Apartment Therapy. If you live in an apartment, your bedroom wall might border your neighbor's apartment. If you live in a small house, your bedroom might be close to the children's rooms.
By lining furniture on the walls that border other rooms, you can create a buffer zone to lessen the unwanted sounds in your sleeping space. Large furniture will provide additional protection from loud noises, and can make your bedroom a more peaceful place to sleep. You won't hear the argument between your neighbors next door, and you won't be subject to every whimper and snore your young children make. Without these distracting noises, you’ll be able to breathe easier, rest more peacefully and get to sleep faster.
Add White Noise
Originally intended to mimic the sounds of the womb, more people of all ages are turning to white noise machines to drown out environmental noises. Light sleepers and people who live in big cities often turn to noise machines to drown out sounds that can interrupt their sleep. How does sleeping with MORE noise help?
Our brains are keyed in to the sounds around us as we sleep to help alert us to any potential threats. We tend to register these noises if they deviate from what we are used to hearing. If you live near a train, eventually you’ll stop waking up when it rolls through. Adding a white noise helps keep all other sounds out so that your brain isn’t alerted to every other noise in the night.
Nothing starts off a vacation better than entering your hotel room to subtle scent that’s crisp yet refreshing. Many hotels use pricey aromatherapy diffusers to create unique, welcoming scents for guests. If you want to go all out, you can invest in the same kind of model used at your favorite hotel, complete with their signature scent -- but the less expensive oil diffusers that fit into an electrical outlet work just as well in a home environment. For those who prefer greener options, add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and then fill it with distilled water. Use this spray to freshen up your hotel bedding and upholstery.
Pro Tip: Opt for citrus-based or mint scents during the day; and at night, tranquil scents like chamomile and lavender help set the stage for sound sleeping.
Choose Calming Colors
According to an interesting study of 2,000 homes conducted by Travelodge, the color of our bedrooms may also have a direct effect on the length and quality of our sleep. That study found those who slept in blue rooms slept the most, while those who slept in purple rooms slept the least -- two hours less, on average! Researchers say the eye cells that respond to blue send the strongest signals to the deep area of the brain responsible for our 24-hour-cycles, which may explain why blue encourages longer sleep. Green and yellow also earned top honors, while gray and brown ranked only slightly higher than purple.
Creating a relaxing room also depends on the way colors are used. In general, rooms that use no more than two predominating colors, combined with neutrals like white or ivory, create the most relaxing palette. Too many colors or patterns can be disruptive or stimulating, working against rest and relaxation. Consider painting walls a light shade of your color of choice, adding occasional pops of a darker color in the same shade, all tied together by soft down bedding in a pale shade for a calm, soothing effect.
Create an Oasis with Light
When choosing lighting options for your bedroom, consider using a layered approach, incorporating brighter, generalized lighting for reading and work, and use softer lighting near the bed for a more peaceful nighttime ambiance. A dimmer switch lets you turn down bright overhead lights for an all-over glow. You could also invest in remote control outlets, a smart home or just an app that allows you to control your lights without having to leave the comfort of your bed.
Some consumers recommend using pink-hued light bulbs for bedside lamps, as these bulbs provide a softer light that promotes relaxation. Whichever type of bulb you choose, try not to fall asleep with the lights on. Why? Studies have found having the lights on while we sleep, even for brief periods of time, can have a negative impact on our overall quality of sleep as well as our health, increasing our risks for developing cancer, depression, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders.
No Pets in the Bedroom
It’s true: your beloved furbaby could be making your allergies worse. Your pets act as adorable little dust mops, bringing in pollen and other nasties on their fur each time they jump in your bed. If they sleep in your bedroom, and especially if they share your bed, your pets can significantly increase the amount of allergens you’re breathing in all night long.
Find another spot in the house for a comfy pet bed, and your little angel will get used to the new routine in no time. You’ll rest easier, and your pet probably will too.
Double down on monthly cleaning.
Beyond the weekly maintenance, schedule your own deep cleaning once every month to help keep your space feeling renewed day after day.
- Clean your windows inside and out. Free them of the dust and fingerprints that build up over time due to normal traffic.
- Have your drapes or blinds cleaned. Drapes can be dirtier than you think. They're dust magnets and hiding place for germs. Consider investing in a small, at-home steam cleaner to keep those drapes in tip top shape.
- Steam clean your rugs and floors. When you have light grout, the bathroom tile gets dingy in a hurry, rugs can look dull and discolored over time, and wood floors can lose their sheen. Steam cleaning not only provides an always new feeling in the bedroom, but it dispatches germs that aren’t picked up by the vacuum or broom.
If you’re tech-minded, you may be interested in measuring & optimizing your sleep by using a sleep app on your smartphone. Measuring your sleep quality on a regular basis gives insights into your sleeping habits and trends, such as how often you enter REM sleep, what times of night you wake up the most, and at what time it may be the easiest to wake up. Many of these apps measure sleep activity through the microphone, recommend meditation and breathing techniques that can be practiced before bedtime, or use “awake by” alarms that accept a target time range that you want to be woken up within, and then trigger the alarm when you’re nearest consciousness to make the waking process as painless as possible. Advances in technology like these leverage data and harness the power of science to place sophisticated sleep aids in the palm of our hands and improve sleep quality.
Add a Few Extra Touches
Once you get the basics down, add a few touches here and there to give the room the warmth. Candles create mood lighting, but well-placed reading lights are a more practical approach. Put a dimmer switch on the overhead to make the lighting flexible.
Add in some standard luxury hotel amenities, too.
- Hang a plush robe on the back of the door.
- Add some fresh flowers in the master bath and on the dresser.
- Place scented lotions around the room
- Keep a water carafe by the side of the bed
You can even hide a box of fine chocolates in the nightstand for a special treat. Dark chocolates are considered a bit healthier.
Sleep is critical for your physical and emotional health, productivity, alertness and overall well being. Making a few simple changes to your bedroom, like choosing a soothing color scheme, investing in quality pillows and comforters, and dampening extraneous noises can make a big difference in your ability to get more peaceful consistent sleep.ou may have sleep apnea. Don't hes
If your sleep issues go beyond your mattress and changes your habits to better ones, you may have sleep apnea. Don't hesitate to get a correct diagnosis and treatment to improve your sleep and life! Contact Alaska Sleep Clinic today!
Author bio: Guest post contributed by the Downlite Bedding team. Downlite designs, manufactures, and markets comfort bedding for major hotel chains, airbnb hosts, and consumers. The family-owned business is an industry leader with three generations of product knowledge and experience.