To know how important good sleep is for each one of us, try skipping sleep two nights in a row (or sleeping just for two or three hours for a few nights on the run). Your body and mind will start feeling fatigued. Your mood will be cranky, and your performance at work will likely slip too.
We all know that good sleep is vital to healthy living. One trusted way of improving sleep quality (and hence, life quality) is to create a sleep-friendly bedroom.
Thinking about how on earth to create a sleep-friendly bedroom design? From mounting blackout custom curtains to using dimmer switches, we are going to share seven tips that really work. Read on.
- Use a bedroom layout that works for you.
Sounds confusing? Well, it is as simple as keeping the bed’s headboard resting against a solid wall (don’t let this be a wall that you share with your neighbor though), ensuring the bed isn’t in direct sight of the door, and keeping the path to the washroom short and clear. The first two are reassuring for the mind. The last one ensures that your night trips to the washroom don’t mean putting all your senses on alert which will compromise your sleep once you are back on the bed trying to slip back into sleep.
- Get the bed-window alignment right.
Check the direction of the windows in your bedroom. If you like to wake up at daybreak, place the headboard facing the windows towards the east. If you like to sleep till late, skip east-facing windows. The reason is simple. Sun rises from the east and east-facing windows get the maximum morning light that can disturb your morning snooze.
- Declutter your bedroom.
Clutter in physical space is a cue for chaos in the mind. A chaotic brain can’t manage the onset of sound sleep. So, the sensible thing to do is to remove all things that are visibly cluttering up your space. If you live in a small home (most of us do!) and the bedroom is a multiple-use space, you can bring in storage that hides your stuff inside shut doors. This makes your small bedroom look spacious, and cuts out the chaotic feeling which can irritate your nerves. Morning’s laundry, evening’s coat and shoes, bottles and jars of creams and cosmetics, or your child’s school bag, create storage for each and everything as required. If you have a storage bed, keep it for storing bed linen only. Don’t let your mind get the feeling that you are sleeping atop clutter.
- Hang blackout curtains on windows.
Both light and noise are enemies of sleep. Streetlight getting in at night and sunlight filtering in during the day can make sound sleep impossible. To counter this, install blackout curtains or custom roman shades on your bedroom windows. These are made of densely woven fabrics that don’t let external lights through them. If you don’t need to wake up at daybreak or if your bedroom window faces a streetlight, blackout curtains can keep the bedroom dark to let you sleep in peace.
- Design the bedroom as a calming zone.
Make your bedroom soothing for the senses by painting it in light and neutral colors. We recommend gentle shades like lavender, ivory, pale blue, and pale green for bedroom walls. These colors calm the mind and promote sound sleep. Keep the artwork on the wall pleasant to the eyes. Go for a tranquil landscape that will soothe rather than a bold abstract painting that will keep your brain ticking. You can also keep a white noise machine to drown out external sounds and trick the brain into a rhythmic, sleep-inducing state. Similarly, bringing in aromatherapy solutions like essential oils that promote sleep (lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood are excellent at this) can make your bedroom feel like your sleep’s best friend.
- Install dimmer switches for bedroom lights.
Your sleep is linked to melatonin levels in your blood. Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone that sets the body clock. Strong light interferes with normal melatonin production. Low light and darkness promote its secretion. A simple thing like a dimmer switch with your bedroom light can help improve sleep onset and sleep quality by encouraging the body to promote more melatonin. Just switch to dimmer light settings in the evenings and your body will get the signal to start making more melatonin.
- Change (and air) the bed linen often.
Your body recognizes the relaxing and pampering feel of clean, crisp, and sweet-smelling bed linen. Use pastel-colored or white/off-white cotton pillowcases and sheets and keep changing these regularly to improve your sleep. If possible, line-dry your bed linen. Your bedcover, duvet and comforter too need regular refreshing. One good way is to keep the lot out on the balcony on a sunny day or allow natural light to come into your room to cleanse it. Sun’s UV rays kill germs. Sun’s heat deodorizes and brings a fresh feel to your bedmates. Sun the uncovered pillows too. It fluffs them up nicely.
Now that you know some basic design upgrades that really help, go and transform your bedroom.