There is more to sleep than meets the eye. It is not just about rest, but also the quality of that rest. Sleep is vital for your body to self-repair, revive, and re-energize, ready to face the next day. That is why having the perfect space to rest and recover in is of utmost importance. Sleep friendly environment contributes immensely to a healthy, vibrant, and happy life.
While there many schools of thought as to what a bedroom with ideal sleeping conditions constitutes, there is a general consensus on the bedroom as a safe space for rest and rejuvenation. As such it should be made up to make us feel comfortable, relaxing, and cozy.
What we are saying is that in every way your bedroom should be a haven where you can let loose and rest weary bones.
To create a conducive bedroom for sleep, it might help to think of it as a cave. That may sound strange but here is where that thought is coming from: Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, and cool to foster an environment that facilitates quality and quantitative sleep.
We all sleep differently and some people can be troubled sleepers. This post helps inform you of some of the elements in the bedroom that will help you have deep restorative sleep every night. It is clear that quality sleep is an amalgamation of many things that most people tend to overlook or simply know nothing about. For instance, your bedroom colors, lighting, and temperature can impact your sleep positively or negatively. Do you know that placing a warm water bottle at your feet or wearing socks on cooler nights helps dilate your blood vessels? It is like adjusting an internal thermostat to a cozier temperature for sleep?
The below points are equally revelatory to make your bedroom sleep-friendly.
1) A Good Bed
Having a good bed is a basic and paramount tool for good sleep. However, the term ‘best bed’ can be relative, and therefore it is really on you to define what constitutes a good bed. Well, let’s break down what the best bed is.
The physical structure of a bed has a role to play. It is important to have a bed that accommodates your girth height and weight. If any of these are not taken into account your bedroom will quickly go from your sanctuary to a torture chamber. Not only will sleeping be an uncomfortable affair, but you may also develop chronic back, neck, or shoulder pain over time.
2) The best mattress
The mattress plays a major role in whether you have blissful sleep, or you spend the night tossing and turning. They have a huge impact on the quality of sleep because the mattress prevents disruption of your sleep. The body is made up of a network of fine blood vessels called capillaries. These vessels run underneath your skin. So when you lie down to sleep, the section of the body that is pressed against the mattress for an extended period will tend to allow less blood flow.
When that happens, it means that the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to the skin is inhibited. As a result, the pain sensors and nerves in your skin send an alert to your brain instructing it that you need to rollover. While rolling over instantly restores blood flow, it also disrupts your sleep momentarily.
With that understanding, an ideal mattress reduces the pressure points on your body enabling you to have a better night’s sleep with less need to toss and turn.
When it comes to choosing the right mattress it does not necessarily mean an expensive option. It should be a very personal choice that is customized to your needs. If you prefer a firmer or softer option, then that is what you should go for provided it does indeed help you have deeper restorative sleep.
Those with medical conditions should consider orthopedic mattresses that better conform to the skeletal structure of the body. These mattresses also ease the pressure on the body’s pressure points as you sleep.
A good bed is, for the most part, a comfortable mattress that works for you. Considering that you spend a third of your day in bed, investing in a good mattress will translate to improved quality of sleep.
3) Fengshui in the bedroom
Feng shui is an ancient art and science that translates to “feng” meaning wind and “shui” meaning water. This art form was developed over 3,000 years ago in China. Wind and water in Chinese culture symbolize good health. Thus, Feng Shui has come to mean good fortune. Taoist have a strong belief that nature is vibrant with an energy force called chi. For that reason, arranging some things in your life in a certain way helps balance the chi in your space. In essence, feng shui is how we humans interact with our environment.
So, how does this apply to your bedroom and sleep?
Where the bedroom is concerned, the Feng Shui philosophy suggests that you design or arrange your environment in harmony with principles of natural energy flow. Given that your bedroom is a very personal space making some changes will help in your good fortune and wellness. Some of these changes can include but not limited to:
The bed should be placed in a commanding position. This means that the headboard should face towards the door without being in the door’s direct line. The headboard should also be against a wall with some space left in between. The sides of the bed should also allow some space before the wall.
Unclutter underneath your bed
Under the bed can be laden with unnecessary clutter. This can affect chi negatively while you are asleep in a passive “yin” state. Some of this clutter may create subconscious blocks in your life. Feng shui philosophy recommends having no storage whatsoever under your bed. That way, the life’s force energy known as’qi’can flow freely all-around your sleep area for healing and deeper less disturbed sleep. If you must store anything in this area, let it be sleep-related items such as linens, sheets, and blankets.
4) Best colors for the bedroom
Bedroom color preference will vary because of people’s different tastes and sense of style. For those who are into Feng shui, you will know that the colors of your bedroom can be chosen to reflect your current needs. They also influence the outcome of those needs and desires. For instance, if you are seeking a partner, painting your bedroom walls pink or peach should steer you in that direction.
More passion in the bedroom may take a splash of red color to invite explosive emotion into your space. For healing and vitality, greens and blues should do the trick. If you are seeking calmness and relaxation, earthy tones in your bedroom should help you achieve that. All of these colors, depending on what your needs are, can help you bring your heart’s desire closer giving you peace of mind.
For those who do not subscribe to the Feng shui philosophy, you know that some colors work quite well in promoting relaxation and healthy sleep. The color in the bedroom can influence the mood and state of your mind. Work with colors that are toned down and have muted shades. They help you sleep better as opposed to more vibrant primary colors that are evocative.
Colors such as various shades of blue are calming and will help you sleep better while yellow is a happy color that works for the bedroom. Green is organic while orange is warm. Pink can work too as it is soft. It’s worth pointing out that for these bedroom colors, the tone is softer when flat finished as opposed to a gloss finish.
5) Use scents for the bedroom
Scents are powerful beyond belief. Science too seems to agree with that sentiment. Do you know that only scents can move directly to the brain’s emotion and memory center? Well, now you do. This explains why those memories you associate with the scent of a banana, garden roses, or bread baking in the oven, come on so strongly and so quickly.
That said, scents like chamomile, lavender, vanilla, and sandalwood can help you to fall asleep and encourage deeper sleep. One can opt to diffuse the above essential oils using an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom to create a zen scented atmosphere that induces sleep like a baby. The essential oils mentioned above have natural relaxing and mild sedative compounds that help relax you for better sleep.
Using an essential oil diffuser is quite simple. They do a great job of dispersing oils into the air in your room. All you have to do is simply add water and a few drops of your preferred essential oil as instructed by the manufacturer.
6) Set the ideal temperature for sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal thermostat setting that helps you sleep better and for longer, should be moderate. The most recommended temperature for the bedroom that allows you to achieve optimal sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you get in your bedroom to sleep and you are all snuggled into your bed, your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep. The mentioned temperatures above can help facilitate this process so that you sleep quicker. An interesting point worth noting is that when your room is cool, rather than warm, you are likely to fall asleep sooner. However, if the temperature setting on the thermostat is too low or too high, it will result in restlessness and poor sleep.
7) Best lighting for sleep
Choosing what kind of lighting you use in the bedroom can be pro or anti-sleep. Generally speaking, bright lighting boosts your mood, it also makes you feel energized, alert, and awake which is counterproductive when you are looking to wind down and snooze. Bright lights at night can inhibit or interfere with sleep by suppressing melatonin which is a hormone that encourages sleep.
Therefore going for a gentler, soft, and calm lighting in the bedroom is more conducive to sleep as it does not interfere with your circadian rhythm. Using well-shaded table lamps and soft lighting is great for when you are going to bed.
8) Utilize noise for sleep
Can noise contribute to a sleep-friendly bedroom environment? Well, the answer is yes. White noise can help some people sleep better. It combines all sound frequencies to create a background hum such as the case of a soothing hum produced by a ceiling fan or electric fan.
The other new and modern form of noise that can help with sleep comes in a different color. Pink noise is a consistent frequency that drowns out the sound of traffic such as moving cars, honks, loud neighbors and so forth. If outside noises easily disrupt your sleep, introducing a white or pink noise in the bedroom may help you sleep better.
9) Cleaning your bedroom
It should go without saying that a clean environment is just more comfortable. Ensuring that your bedroom is clean can help foster sleep. If your idea of relaxing before bed is to sit and sip a cup of chamomile tea as you wind down, you stand a better chance of enjoying that downtime if your bedroom is clean. That means the floors, beddings, surfaces, and bathrooms are clean.
A clean atmosphere helps you relax better and by extension sleep better. If you have had a long day, a soak in the tub of warm water and few drops of your favorite essential oils can help wash the toils of the day away. When you step into a clean bedroom, chances are you will wind down better and end up sleeping better.
Issues like mold and dust mites can affect sleep, especially if you suffer allergies from such. A clean bedroom is the answer to such avoidable sleep disruptors.
10) Bedroom rugs
It’s hard to think of something more unpleasant than the cold shocking feeling that strikes you when you get off your warm bed and your bare under feet meet the cold floor. This often happens in the dead of the night when you have to visit the bathroom. Such minor things can jolt you to a higher level of awareness that interferes with sleep. By the time you get back in bed to sleep, it might take longer to drift away. Such unpleasant moments can be avoided by introducing a rug to your bedside.
Every time you get off the bed for any reason, whether morning, day time, in the middle of the night, your bare under feet are met by a caress of plush velvety comfort. Sinking back to sleep when you come back to bed is so much quicker. There are numerous styles of bedside rugs. They not only elevate the decorative aspects of your bedroom but are practical and very comfortable. Bedroom rugs can be small, expansive, or runners.
11) Bedroom plants
Having special plants in the bedroom can help with sleep. We are talking about one or two nice manageable potted plants and not implying that you convert your bedroom into the Amazon. It is important to note that while plants respire or breathe all the time, photosynthesis happens during the day because light is pre-requisite for that process.
During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon monoxide and give out oxygen during the day. But at night, that changes, and plants give off carbon monoxide while breathing in oxygen just like humans. For that reason not all plants are ideal for the bedroom as they may end up competing with you for oxygen while you sleep. You don’t want that.
However, there are those select few plants that flip the script and give off oxygen at night while absorbing the carbon monoxide in the air and thus promote sleep. Such plants include:
- Epiphytic bromeliads
- Aloe Vera
- Snake plant
Any of these plants in the bedroom will breathe out oxygen at night and therefore keep oxygen flowing for a better sleep environment. They cleanse the air as you sleep by absorbing the carbon monoxide that you breathe out.
Having a comfortable couch or yoga mat handy in your bedroom can help with sleep. Shower and refresh in the evening. Sit down and have a few minutes of conscious pausing. A breathing exercise or a moment of calmness and quietness can go along way in flipping the switch from work and shutting off the outside world. To help you wind down and be present while enjoying rejuvenating time with your family and loved ones. This can lessen anxiety and worry for better revitalizing sleep.
13) Go dark
Most people are lucky enough to work during the day and sleep at night. However, other people’s clocks have been inverted because they have to work at night and rustle up some sleep during the day. Installing blackout curtains in the bedroom is a good call because it is beneficial to both light sleepers as well as those who have to catch their snooze during the day.
If you live in a lofty apartment in a marina or in the city, chances are that even at night with your apartment lights off, there may still be some strong brilliant streets or building lights sifting through your curtain. For sensitive sleepers, that can be enough to disrupt their sleep. Blackout curtains are a great solution because they make the room go totally dark with no chance of outside light seeping through.
For day sleepers, blackout curtains are a must-have in your bedroom. Other than blocking out sunlight, they also do a great job of blocking out noise too while keeping the temperature in the room at optimal because of their thermal insulation. All that adds up to better sleep, even during the middle of the day.
14) Have a book by the bedside table
Having a single book on your bedside table is a good idea and can contribute towards an ideal sleeping environment. However, one should avoid having a whole stack of books or a library in the bedroom, that’s because books have active energy and stimulate our minds. When looking to sleep, you do not need nor want that sort of stimulation as it does not help you shut down.
Reading a chapter or two from a book right before nodding off is a splendid idea that often helps you sleep better.
15) Invest in quality bedding
Your bedding can play a significant role in whether you are sleeping blissfully or tossing and turning. That is because quality bedding can help keep your body warm or cool for optimal sleeping temperature. Investing in a goose down comforter that has the versatility to adapt to any season can be part of the key to blissful sleep all year round. They can feel like a white fluffy cloud during the summer months. They keep you warm and cozy on the chilliest of snowy winter nights. That’s because down comforters are filled with goose feathers, giving you the best of both worlds with their ability to be breathable when hot and retain heat when cold. This allows your body optimal sleep temperature despite the season.
Creating an ideal bedroom for sleep is well worth the effort. That’s because it allows you better relaxation in your inner sanctum and more importantly, facilitates quality sleep. The individual items mentioned in this post come together to form an ideal sleep setting that works with your natural circadian rhythm and not against it. Always remember that the way you treat your house is the way it will treat you back. If you neglect it, it will neglect your health. This is most true about the bedroom which is perhaps the most crucial room in your home.