While getting better sleep often involves adopting a few healthy habits, your bedroom design also plays a role. Setting your sleep space up for a better night’s sleep is easily achieved through a few simple techniques.
Check out these ideas for transforming your bedroom into an inviting sleep sanctuary to escape from the daily stresses of life, and melt away into total relaxation.
Bedroom Design: Start with Feeling and a Purpose
You know the key purposes for your bedroom: relax, sleep and recharge. Therefore, your bedroom design should capture this overall feeling with a space that feels comfortable and inviting. Create a space that entices you to crawl into bed.
The first thing you need to do is cut the chaos. If your bedroom performs double duty as an office, it’s time to clear out the computer and paperwork. If this is impossible, make it so it can be hidden away – out of sight out of mind. A desk with a roll cover or within a cabinet works well for this. Ditto goes for children’s toys. This is your sanctuary, and your chance to unwind your body and mind.
Banishing the television also offers perks. Most late night programming stimulates, rather than relaxing. News can create stress and anxiety, and entertaining shows suck you in. The light itself also affects melatonin signaling. Better solutions? Curling up with a book and dimmer lighting, listening to relaxing music, or listening to an e-book.
Some of the most popular bedroom design styles are mid-century modern (using clean lines and solid colors); edgy glam (think bold and upscale); and transitional (a mixture of different styles like contemporary and rustic). Create an inspiration board online or from magazines to see what styles, colors and fabrics will contribute for your perfect escape.
Make the Bed a Focal Piece
Draw attention to the bed as the functional anchor piece for the room. Your eyes should immediately gravitate to the bed as it invites you in.
Considering the amount of time you spend sleeping, a good mattress is one of the most important pieces of furniture to invest in. (Time for a new one? Take a look at our guide to the best bed brands in 2016, featuring mattresses from Amerisleep and others).
If your partner moves or you sleep on different schedules, make sure your mattress rates high in motion isolation so that their movements do not wake you. Swap mattresses every 8 – 10 years or when they no longer feel comfortable, and pillows every 18-24 months.
The most comforting material for sheets and bedspreads are natural fabrics, such as cotton or bamboo. Satins and flannels are pretty, but lack the breathability of other fabrics and won’t be as effective as wicking away moisture throughout the night. Even in the winter, you don’t want to wake up sweaty.
Plush bedspreads prove ideal in the cooler months, but swap bulky duvets for a lighter cover when temperatures warm up. Cooler temperatures are best for sleep, so you don’t want to be fighting with a hot bed at night. One smart option is layering a light duvet with a coverlet or blanket at the foot of the bed in case it gets chilly.
For a frame and headboard, go simple, solid or as elaborate as you wish. If you are crafty, the headboard and accent pillows are good places to showcase your DYI skills. But, try to keep frilly bed pillows to a minimum — less is more in bedroom design and they can get in the way.
Finally, make your bed daily so you can easily slip into a world of relaxation and calmness at the end of the day. And, don’t forget to wash those sheets and pillowcases regularly (experts suggest every one to two weeks at a minimum).
Choose Colors that Soothe
There are a few different directions you can go with color when it comes to bedroom design. It’s thought that shades and hues have some effect on our senses, with certain colors inspiring energy and others calm.
A soft, muted palette of light colors remains one of the more preferred options. These include soft greys, whites, light blues and greens. These colors generally inspire calm and relaxation.
If you like a bolder, more passionate bedroom, think deep, rich hues. These are best reflected in accent wall colors, thick rugs, and plush bedding. Both bold modern and eastern-influenced design schemes tend to apply here, with deep purples and reds, rich blues, golds and silvers and lots of texture or velvety fabrics.
Whatever direction you decided to choose, ensure that the color and style separates your bedroom from the rest of the house. It should immediately set the tone for rest, with all attention focused on the bed.
Double Duty Details
The accessories and secondary furniture you choose serves to complement the overall design. It may also play double duty to helping you get a good night sleep.
Blackout curtains help keep light out while adding to the ambience of the room. These can range from heavy velvets to stunning satins and every style in between. Long drapes add a touch of elegance, and also let you sleep in peace until the alarm rings.
Look for attractive objects, such as a gorgeous potted plant or unique vases to replace the television and computer that you should have taken out of your room by now! With fresh plants, you have the added boost of air-cleansing oxygen. With electronics, you might find yourself staying up later than intended and missing valuable shuteye. Avoid noisy clocks or ones with glowing numbers.
If you need additional air circulation, look for a fan for the floor or side table, or install a ceiling fan that complements your décor. Create a tropical feel with a wicker bladed ceiling fan, go vintage with a small antique side table fan, even modern with a tower fan. If you tend to have dust issues, opt for one with a filtration system to keep your air fresh.
Fans can also help with noise reduction, as your hearing gets more acute when you are in a quiet room. A white noise or sleep machine also make smart bedroom partners in noisier locales.
Lighting Softens the Mood
Lighting plays an understandably important role of your bedroom. It should help to create a mood and ambiance that promote relaxation. It also serves important physiological functions with the regulation of your internal clock and the production of melatonin – the hormone that helps you fall asleep.
It’s best to have lighting options other than bright, glaring overhead bulbs. By installing dimmer switches, or having dim reading lamps by your bed for a lower lighting option, you will signal to your internal clock that it is time to wind down and sleep. For a more romantic feel, try a small chandelier. Ideally, look for bulbs in the yellow to reddish hues and avoid blue, brighter hues.
When it comes to sleep time though, your room needs to be dark. If you need to arise in the night, avoid turning on bright lights. Instead use a small flashlight, or baseboard level nightlights. Some nightlights filter out the blue frequency of light that prevents melatonin production; possibly helpful if you tend to get up often.
Essential oils such as lavender and ylang-ylang help with a relaxation response in the large muscle groups. Studies have found that pleasant smells like lavender promote relaxation and rose was even shown to promote more peaceful dreams.
Make sure no trash, food, plates or dirty clothing is lingering in your bedroom come bedtime. Try a DIY room spray, put a few drops on your pillow, or place an essential oil diffuser on your side table to recreate a spa like experience.
What small changes in your sleep space help you rest easier? Share your best bedroom design ideas for getting better sleep below, or let us know what you think of the ideas above.