It’s a new year, and with that comes resolutions. Is one of those resolutions to get better sleep? We hope so!
Did you know that great sleep starts with your environment? As important as diet, exercise, and our wind-down routines are, they would be nothing without a sleep sanctuary to put it all into practice.
So while we start hitting the treadmill and cutting back on that jolly juice, let’s also take a look at how a simple bedroom makeover can lead to a better night’s sleep.
It all starts with a sleep audit.
Your bedroom should have two purposes. Sleep and sex. That means breaking the habit of using your bed as a home office and “that chair” as your wardrobe dumping ground.
Let’s start with giving our bedrooms a sleep audit by removing anything we don’t need. Clutter can cause stress and anxiety, and as Marie Kondo says, “Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.” So one of the sleep solutions is to tidy up.
- Do you have stuff stored under the bed? If it’s not sleep-related (pillows or linen) it must go.
- Do you have exercise equipment taking up space? High-intensity workouts should be banished from the bedroom. But if a slow morning yoga session is a part of your morning wake-up, the yoga mat can stay.
- Excess books, electronics, unfolded laundry, and anything else that may remind you of work or to-dos should be packed away or moved out of the bedroom.
- Is your nightstand a clutter collector? Only your current read and a glass of water should be present. If your nightstand has drawers, you can use these to minimize the visible clutter too.
A bedroom color says a lot about your sleep
Does your bedroom need a new coat of paint? Painting a feature wall, or going full decorator on your walls is the simplest way to overhaul a bedroom. But remember, go matte rather than gloss as this helps keep the color softer.
- Think cool shades, as these have known to lower blood pressure and heart rates as the colors have relaxing properties. It’s also said that rooms that are hues of blue or moss green have been found to increase your sleep duration.
- If painting your wall is out of the question, use your bedroom accents to bring in relaxing colors. Add a touch of color to your upholstery, linen and drapes.
- Light blue, gray, silver, greens, and lavender are great color choices, but if you’re into neutrals, beiges, whites, and creams work well too.
- Stay away from vibrant, busy, and dark colors (red, purple, lime, fuchsia, black, deep blue, etc.) and wallpapers with too many patterns. Opt for smaller patterns with subtle elements if a feature wall is what you’re into.
A bed fit for royal snoozes
While your room might scream sleep queen, it’s the bed that’s going to seal the deal. Is your mattress more than 7 years old? Is your linen one-size-fits-all-seasons? If your aim is quality sleep, these two things will take the bulk of your budget.
A good mattress must have a starring role in your sleep quality and not only for sleep but also for your overall health. If you think about it, you spend (ideally) 7-9 hours a day on your mattress, so investing in a good one is a no-brainer.
- A good mattress can fend off aging bones, give you correct spinal support and ensure that your sleep is not disrupted by tossing and turning.
- Understanding your sleep positions, pressure points, and body needs (do you need more support or less?) is the start of choosing the right mattress. Is it a bed for one or two? And what is the size of your room? These are all important questions to ask yourself when you’re looking for a new bed.
Your bedding not only adds to the decor of your room, and serves to complete the look you’re creating but it plays a vital role in regulating your body temperature, giving you a sense of comfort, and keeping your neck aligned. Plus, if you’re a sheet snob like us, the thought of hitting the hay in crisp linen is definitely motivation to get to sleep on time.
- Don’t be lured by thread count. A thread count of 400 and over (which may seem like a celebrity sleep dream) can trap your body heat, and if you’re a hot sleeper, will cause night sweats and sleep disruptions. Aim for a thread count between 280 – 450, and if you know you’ll get a bit chilly in the night, keep your duvet folded at your feet to pull over if needed.
- Summer and winter linen have been designed specifically for the seasons. When buying a duvet, look for a hybrid-all-season filler. This way you won’t have to change your most expensive piece when a new season rolls around. However, do invest in winter and summer sheets, as these will help regulate your body temperature and add warmth for those winter months. (Plus they’re much easier to store away).
Light makes for light sleepers
Light. The frenemy of sleep. We need it to keep our body clocks in sync and need it out of sight when we close our eyes. What can we do to keep it out? And what type of light helps us sleep?
Our simplest decor solution to keeping light out? Blackout curtains or blinds. These are designed to make the dark darker, and also buffer noise from the outdoors. However, if blackout curtains are out of the question, get yourself a sleep mask.
The type of artificial light that we use in our bedroom can affect our body clocks, trigger a busy mind, and keep us awake. The best kind of light to use in your bedroom would be one with less blue light and more red light. In other words, a light bulb with amber or orange undertones.
Quiet and calm to clear the mind clutter
Limiting the amount of noise entering your bedroom is an easy way to say good night, peacefully. And no, it’s not all about double glazing. Here are some noise-reducing hacks you can implement right now:
- Add a plush rug to help reduce noise, even more so if you have a partner that needs to creep around at night.
- Upholster your furniture to buffer sound. Think headboards, reading chairs, ottomans, and benches. They’re also a great way to bring in a personal color touch to complement your look.
- Get a ceiling fan to create white noise. The air movement helps create a white sound that is monotonous enough to help us fall asleep and block out outside interference.
- Use curtains and blinds to add a sound barrier. Anything covered in fabric helps absorb vibrations.
If noise is an issue in your neighborhood, earplugs or white noise machines can help distract your mind from the noisy neighbors and help get you to sleep faster for longer.
Sleep hygiene 101
As much as our room decor is appealing to our eyes and can motivate us to get more sleep, it’s the habits of good sleepers that put the cherry on top. Following a sleep and wake hygiene routine can help prepare us for sleep and wind down our minds. Keep up these simple tasks for a complete sleep (bedroom) makeover.
- Leave electronics at the door (or in the other room). This means, cable boxes, digital alarm clocks, electronic photo frames, and of course, your cellular phone.
- Pack away clothes. Leaving outfits on the floor can create unnecessary anxiety which means a distracting sleep.
- Make your bed every day. Getting into the routine of making your bed can help kickstart your day’s productivity. Getting into a made bed at the end of the day can also induce relaxation as there is nothing more pleasant than getting into a fresh bed. (wouldn’t you agree?)
Are you ready to start your bedroom sleep makeover? Let’s the good sleep begin!