Making your bedroom comfortable and a healthy place to sleep can help you improve the quality of your sleep. A healthy sleep environment offers a place to relax and recharge where it’s quiet, cool, dark, and comfortable. But these design trends offer the opposite and can have a negative effect on your ability to sleep well.
It’s not enough to get a comfortable mattress and call it a day. A bedroom designed for sleep needs more than that, although a good mattress is important. You should be careful to block out light, noise, and other disruptions that can make sleep more difficult. Here’s an insight into why.
Bold and bright lighting is appealing — but bad news if you’re trying to sleep. When you’re exposed to light as you’re trying to sleep, it’s confusing for your circadian rhythm, telling your brain that it’s daytime and time to be awake rather than asleep. When choosing lighting for your bedroom, look for light fixtures that will point away from your eyes, such as a lamp below eye level that points downward. A dimmer switch can be helpful as well, so you can turn down the brightness when it’s time to get some rest.
Hard floor surfaces
Although hardwood floors can be warm and look great, functionally, they’re not always the best choice for getting sleep. Hard flooring can be noisy, bouncing sound that can disturb your sleep. It may be too cold in the winter as well, making you feel more alert if you wake up in the night and put your feet on a cold floor. You can warm up your floor and baffle noise with a large rug on the floor. Or, you can use white noise such as a white noise machine or fan to deal with noise bouncing and avoid distractions.
Bright and busy patterns
Like bold lighting, patterns can offer style and intrigue — but they can be too busy and exciting for your bedroom. Your bedroom should be calming, not exciting. Save the bold looks for your living room or other spaces in your home, and go for a more light or neutral look instead. Light blue, green, and pastel or neutral colors tend to be more calming, so consider those for your bedroom walls instead. If you need a pop of interest, consider using a bright patterned pillow or other decorative item.
We know light is disruptive for sleep, and light curtains let light in even during the night when you should be sleeping. You may prefer a breezy window look, but you need better coverage to keep light out of your bedroom at night. Consider using light curtains during the day when you want to let light in, then closing blackout curtains underneath when the evening hits.
When designing your bedroom, it’s important to make your space appealing and beautiful, but don’t forget your bedroom’s most important function: sleep. Make sure your bedroom design isn’t sabotaging your sleep, so you can rest easy at night in a room that’s supportive of sleep.
~ Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.