Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to staying healthy, happy and mentally active in your day-to-day life. Unfortunately, such a thing is often easier said than done, especially in today’s hectic world. With electric lights, late nights, graveyard shifts and dozens of other inhibiting factors, finding a way to get that one quiet night is worth its weight in gold.
Humans are driven by symbols and ceremony. We like having rooms dedicated to certain things. Unfortunately, today’s bedrooms are often environments that are full of distractions. Here are a few tips for turning your bedroom into your sleep sanctuary.
Focus on Sleep and Relaxation
If you have a study or work area in your bedroom, try to find somewhere else for it. If you have a TV or an entertainment system, consider moving it to another room. Many people like to unwind in front of a TV before sleeping, but TV stimulates the brain even more, and most last-night programming is often more exciting than relaxing.
Music is a great way to help you relax before bed, but make sure that what you play for yourself is appropriate. Create an environment that is meant for sleep and sleep alone — not a room that you also associate with work or entertainment.
Manage the Lighting
Keep the lights in your sleeping sanctuary warm, but low. Avoid anything stark, cold and clinical, and make extensive use of coloured shades and low-watt bulbs. Having a dimly lit room prepares your body and mind for sleep, and helps put you more at ease. Be conscious of where light is coming into your room, as well. Note where street lamps may be shining through your curtains, and how bright the LED on your alarm clock is.
To help block external light sources, such as the sun or street lamps, consider installing blinds or thick, heavy curtains. These should keep any light from intruding unwanted into the room.
Keep Colours Warm and Muted
Avoid bright, energetic colours such as orange or bright yellow, and instead, look more at more autumn colours such as browns or darker reds. If you have anything brighter that you can’t or don’t want to get rid of, consider breaking it up with more neutral colours such as black or white.
Make the Bed Inviting
Invest in your bed. Buy new sheets, fluffy pillows, and the kind of comforter that makes your bed the sort of place you never want to leave. Your sleeping sanctuary is yours, and you should make it so. Nothing will prepare you for a good night more than a bed that feels as good as it looks. You’ll be spending quite a lot of time there, so it’s worth the effort.
Make sure your mattress is up to snuff! It can be easy to neglect but with so much of your day riding on how well you sleep, you need to make sure you’re in good hands while you sleep. New materials offer a variety of options from springs to foam mattresses. Some, like the Lull Mattress, even have a gel-infused layer to assist with air circulation and maintain that cool, comfortable feeling.
Consider the area around your bed, too. Decorate it with things you find relaxing and appealing. If you’re a nature lover, use natural colours and imagery to decorate the room. If you’re a fan of a certain cultural aesthetic, use that theme to your heart’s content.
Keep the Room Cool
It’s tempting when sleeping to make yourself as warm as possible, especially during colder winter months. When the wind is howling outside and you know it’s raining, you might try to burrito up in your blankets or turn the room into a furnace. However being too warm can be just as bad for your sleep as being too cold. Consider how the air circulates, and set the thermostat to a pleasant, but moderate temperature.
Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who contributes insights and advice for issues ranging from family life to home improvement.