Those deadlines at work, your mother-in-law’s birthday… we all have those thoughts and distractions that can hinder a good night’s sleep. Throw in increasingly long hours at the office and even more technologies to keep us up (thousands of new TV series and game apps), and it’s no wonder we feel more and more cranky every day.
Of course you know enough sleep is important; the problem is how do you get to that state of relaxation bliss? Well, as it turns out, the environment in which you choose to snooze plays a vital part. And here you thought all you had to do was count sheep and ensure your bed is soft. Think again!
Let’s see some easy ways in which you can enhance your sleeping pattern to wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed each and every morning!
Research has shown that being awoken by the sun is actually good for you; however, there are times when a dark room is vital, and that includes those hours of beauty sleep you need to catch up on.
A dark room is important for a good night’s sleep, but even more so for napping children, shift workers, and people who follow non-traditional sleeping hours (like doctors). But even for night-time sleep, you still need to block out artificial light creeping in, like the streetlamp outside your window.
Here is where we advise blackout curtains and dark drapes or blinds to completely shut out that light. Not only are these supreme factors in helping you sleep, but they are also energy efficient (blackout curtains help to keep the heat from escaping in winter, and stops the sun from heating up your room in the summer). Also, they can help to block or muffle outdoor noises, like traffic or neighbours.
Yes, we know ice cold is cooler than being cool, but that is not what you want when you’re aiming for some shuteye. On the other hand, neither is a sweltering and sweat-inducing atmosphere. That is why we have no problem with a good old-fashioned ceiling fan, as long as it keeps your bedroom cool and not cold.
Ceiling fans not only keep you cool, but also comfortable by having you feel those light sensations of air moving over your skin. In addition, ceiling fans are a cost-effective way of keeping it cool, especially when compared to the costs of air conditioners.
homify hint: During the summer, you want the fan to blow the cool air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter-clockwise direction (as you look up at it).
When it comes to lighting, most people are replacing the light bulbs in their homes with LED bulbs as they are more energy efficient, and also because they radiate a high-quality level of lighting. We approve of LED lighting most definitely, but the problem is that they can mimic daylight very well, and that is not what you want to achieve in your bedroom.
Adding LED bulbs to your bedroom lamps can make it harder to fall asleep, as you switch that relaxing atmosphere with a clear-as-day one. We advise that you opt for a regular, old-fashioned incandescent (or halogen) light bulb when it comes to your bedside lamps. Have them emit a soft, warm light to induce your bedroom with a state of calmness. And if you have a dimmer installed, even better!
We all appreciate a nice aroma, whether it’s a good coffee, freshly cut grass, or the scent of our favourite perfume. But no need to leave those oil burners, incense and scented candles in the bathroom or living room. Their relaxation qualities can work just as well on you in your bedroom.
But fragrance is more impactful on your mood and energy than you may realize. So, ensure that the candles or other type of air fresheners in your bedroom are soothing and calming. Citrus, for example, has a more invigorating fragrance, so that is not something you want to bring into a place for slumber. Lavender is a much better option.
Other scents that have proven their soothing talents are vanilla, jasmine, chamomile, and sandalwood.
By now you should know that televisions, smartphones and tablets all emit a blue light that disrupts your natural melatonin production, meaning they are major no-no’s for the bedroom. But have you ever considered ditching that alarm clock?
Although most of us rely on our cellular phones to wake us up in the mornings, some people still enjoy the look and feel of an alarm clock on their bedside table. But certain studies tell us that if that alarm clock is within your eyesight, the light could disrupt your sleep.
There is also a subliminal stress associated with the alarm clock, whereby you’re continually looking at your clock to see what time it is. Our advice? Cover it with a washcloth or hand towel.
If you’re not a morning person who naturally rises with the birds’ chirping, place your alarm clock (with an adjustable dimming backlight) on the opposite side of the room to keep electronics as far away from your sleeping head as possible.
Colours talk, and that’s a fact. There are some colour schemes that will relax you and others that won’t. And naturally you want to opt for a bedroom palette that’s calming.
Even if your bedroom walls are snow white, having bright red elements in your furniture and décor could lead to you feeling more awake at night time. Cooler colours are the absolute best colours for relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep, which is why many people opt for soft blues and greens.
Since you are in charge of your interior look, it is completely up to you whether you want to paint the walls, use wallpaper, or simply include accessories in cool colours to create that relaxing look you’re after.
Let’s see: How colours influence your bedroom.
A bed that is big and snug enough is an obvious rule for enhancing sleep, but what does Feng Shui teach us about perfect slumber?
As energetic beings, we humans need to have a rejuvenating rest that involves lots of circulation flowing around us while we sleep. If your mattress is directly on the floor, you miss a sense of total circulation.
However, it is worse if you store items underneath your bed, as this is the equivalent of sleeping on memories. For example, keeping your music- or book collection under the bed is like sleeping on that information, meaning they’re always active somewhere in your mind.
Try clearing out that space under your bed, appoint your bed as a space for renewal and rest, and see what a difference it makes.
Apparently, experts say that symmetry can create a peaceful feeling in the bedroom, allowing us to relax more. By making the effort to buy matching pairs where possible (i.e. bedside lamps, scatter cushions) and create a symmetrical look, your sleeping- and relaxing levels could be up in no time at all.
We know this isn’t always possible, so try and have your room as nice and even as possible. Try to have your decorative elements balance each other in a cool and soft colour palette. And hopefully sweet dreams are just around the corner!