The bedroom is our sleep sanctuary, the place where we retreat to rest and rejuvenate. But did you know that the way you organise and optimise different areas of your bedroom can significantly influence the quality of your sleep? In this article, we’ll reveal our best bedroom tips for better sleep, ensuring you get the peaceful and restorative sleep your body needs and waking feeling refreshed.
The Ideal Bedroom for Sleep
Paint your bedroom
Blue is said to be the most calming colour, making it perfect for bedroom decor. According to a study by the University of Sussex, dark blue is considered the most relaxing colour, while muted blues, greens, and neutrals are also soothing shades. Most importantly, paint your room a colour that makes you feel at ease.
Turn off all lights
Darkness is your body’s cue to go to sleep. Lighting plays a significant role in regulating our body’s internal ‘clock’ or circadian rhythm. Exposure to bright light during the day keeps us alert, while dimmer light in the evenings signals to our bodies that it’s time to unwind. Protect your circadian rhythm by making sure your bedroom is totally dark while you sleep.
Use curtains or blinds
Blackout blinds or curtains will help reduce outside light and sound. As mentioned above, light is a cue for your body to be awake. If there is light pollution coming from outside your room curtains and blinds can make a huge difference.
Installing curtains or blinds can significantly reduce environmental noise from outside and ultimately improve your sleep quality. It is worth mentioning that sudden changes in the sound environment, rather than the sound itself, are typically the cause of disrupted sleep. Even sounds that do not fully wake you up can potentially impact the quality of your sleep.
Surround yourself with happiness
Having happy or soothing images or quotes in your room can help create a peaceful environment. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to bedroom decorations for better sleep. The most important consideration is how it makes you feel. You might like a peaceful and inspiring quote on your wall that you can read every night and every morning. Alternatively, you might prefer a photograph or a painting of a place where you feel serene, such as the beach or a forest. Other people have photos of their friends and family to bring a smile to their faces every morning.
Read a book
Reading a book is an excellent tech-free way to wind down before bed. Not only does it relax your mind, but the lack of a blue light screen means you can maintain healthy levels of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the sleep hormone and helps regulate our circadian rhythm. When exposed to blue light from devices such as phones and laptops, the production of melatonin is reduced, making it harder to fall asleep. Instead of scrolling through your phone or laptop before bed, try reading a book in dim lighting.
Choose natural bedding
Sheets, pillowcases and blankets made from natural fibres will help your body maintain the optimal temperature for sleep. Synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, trap heat, making you too hot to sleep comfortably. On the other hand, natural bedding fibres like cotton, wool, silk, and bamboo are more breathable, which helps regulate your body temperature for a peaceful sleep.
Keep a torch near your bed
This will keep your light exposure to a minimum if you have to get up in the night. The flashlight on your phone is not a good option if you’re trying to minimise blue light exposure. Instead, opt for a small torch. Keeping the light dim will reduce the impact on your circadian rhythm and make it easier to fall back asleep.
Turn on a diffuser
Use a sleepy scent, such as lavender, to help you drift off into slumber. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to induce relaxation and aid in sleep. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and valerian all have calming properties that can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Make sure to use a high-quality diffuser and follow the instructions carefully to ensure safety.
Dim your alarm clock
An alarm clock will help you avoid having your phone in your bedroom but remember to dim the display at night. Any bright light can be disruptive to your sleep, so make sure the display is not too glaring. If possible, choose a clock with an amber or red display, as these colours have less impact on our circadian rhythm.
Keep a pen & paper within arm’s reach
For those late-night ideas or last-minute additions to your to-do list. Sometimes, our minds can be too active to fall asleep, and we find ourselves thinking about things we need to do the next day. Keeping a pen and paper near your bed will help you jot down these thoughts so you can let them go and drift off into a peaceful sleep.
Keep your cool
Your bedroom should be cool but not cold. The quality of your sleep is significantly influenced by the temperature of your surroundings. To ensure optimal sleep conditions, the National Sleep Foundation suggests maintaining a temperature range between 15.6 to 20 degrees Celsius. Keeping cool and comfortable with a thermostat or fans is worth prioritising as it typically results in better sleep.
Have earplugs & an eye mask
If light and sound are out of your control, try a sleep mask and/or earplugs. Use a light-blocking sleep mask to keep any light from entering your eyes. This is particularly helpful if your bed partner likes to read or use technology in bed. The light from their activity can prevent you from falling asleep, but a quality sleep mask will block it out.
Use good earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if the noises are out of your control. This could be street noise, loud neighbours, or a snoring partner. These devices can significantly reduce outside environmental noise and improve your sleep quality.
Get the right mattress for you
Choosing the right mattress will have a significant impact on your sleep quality. A good mattress should provide support for your body to maintain proper alignment and comfort. The right amount of firmness differs for everyone as it depends on personal preference, weight, and sleeping position. Invest in a high-quality mattress that suits your specific needs for better sleep.
Invest in a quality pillow
A good pillow is essential for spinal alignment and comfort. The right pillow should be chosen based on sleeping position, size, shape, and desired firmness for a refreshing sleep. To prolong the life of your pillow, use a pillow protector to prevent stains and odours. Remember to replace your pillows every 1-2 years for optimal support.
Things that shouldn’t be in the bedroom
Hide the mess
If clutter stresses you out, put your mess out of sight. A clutter-free bedroom is a more relaxing environment and promotes better sleep. Keep items like clothes, laundry, and paperwork out of the bedroom. If you must have these items in your room, store them neatly and out of sight.
Leave the TV in the living room
Keep the television out of the bedroom for the best sleep. Watching TV in bed can lead to sleep disturbances and disrupt your natural sleep cycle. The bright light from the screen also suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. Reserve your bedroom for rest and relaxation only.
Forget about work
Leave your work and devices in another room or behind a privacy screen so they don’t interrupt your rest time. Seeing work-related items can trigger stress and make it difficult to unwind. Furthermore, the blue light from electronic devices can suppress melatonin production and disrupt your natural sleep cycle. Keep your bedroom a technology-free zone for optimal sleep.
Put pets in a different room
If it’s not possible for your furry friend to bunk down in another room, at least keep them off your bed. As much as we love our pets, their movements and sounds can interrupt our sleep and their fur often causes breathing issues or allergies. Consider investing in a comfortable bed for your pet in another room or section of the house to give you both a peaceful night’s rest.
In conclusion, by considering the different areas of your bedroom – from your bed to lighting, air quality, noise control, colour scheme, organisation, and scents – you can create a sleep-friendly bedroom environment. Remember, small changes can make a big difference in improving the quality of your sleep. Sweet dreams!
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your sleep health or any other medical condition.
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