How to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary
New year, new bedroom
A New Year’s resolution that is easily achievable and will have enormous benefits on your health, relationships, exercise and work is improving your sleep. A decent night’s sleep can repair your body, bolster your memory, reduce risks of depression, reduce stress, make you more alert and improve your mood.
The advantages of having a comfortable, clean, peaceful room where you can retreat to at the end of the day should not be underestimated. Below we’ve listed some of the small but significant changes you could make today to turn your bedroom into the sanctuary you deserve and your precious sleep desires.
Comfort is key
Your bed is the heart of your sleep sanctuary and the place you spend a third of your life so make sure it is somewhere you enjoy being. Invest in quality and comfort and ensure you are replacing the key items regularly:
- Mattresses (every 8 years)
- Pillows (every 2–3 years, although some believe every 6 months)
- Duvet (every 5 years)
Bedding should always be cotton as synthetic materials don’t breathe particularly well, making you hot and therefore disrupting your sleep. 100% Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are the best choices as they are soft, durable and breathable.
Dim the lights
Light inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. Your brain won’t produce melatonin if there is light so it is important to keep your room dark. Black-out blinds or curtains are particularly useful for this as are eye masks. Keep the alarm clock light off (knowing the time during sleep only causes stress) and use bedside lighting as opposed to overhead.
Touch bedside lights work really well as they allow for varying degrees of light intensity, meaning you can keep light to a minimum just before you go to sleep.
Keep it cool
Everyone has a slightly different optimal temperature for their room but research has indicated that an ideal room temperature of 65F/18C as being best for a restful night’s sleep.
Your bedroom needs to be a visually inviting place. A messy room can remind you of the chores waiting and does not help one to switch off and relax. Less is more furniture wise, put your clothes away and avoid having exercise equipment, computers and televisions in your sleep sanctuary. It should be a place you can go to switch off and escape the stresses of the day.
Keep it neutral
Blue and greens are considered cool and calming colours for the walls. If they don’t suit, try more earthy neutral tones like taupe, grey and beige. Avoid dark colours and walls of differing colours, they over stimulate the brain and make the room feel oppressive
Keep it fresh
Scented candles and diffusers not only set the mood, but can also help relieve stress and prepare one for sleep. Avoid heavy scents and instead opt for something lighter and softer. Lavender and vanilla are sleep inducing while mint and eucalyptus help reduce stress. Opening a window and airing out the bedroom also helps rid of musty smells and brings in fresh air.
A white noise machine, soothing sounds or ear plugs can all be used to balance or block out unwanted, background disturbances.