There’s nothing quite like the feeling of helplessness that comes with a bout of insomnia. Lying in bed, knowing you’re tired but utterly unable to slip away into sleep, checking the clock and counting down the missed hours before the inevitable alarm, is enough to throw off your entire week, sometimes, and that’s only if you’re able to eventually get back on schedule.
And that’s to say nothing of the fact that sleeping is the best thing ever! I’m never as at peace as I am when I’m warm and cozy in my bed, released from the stresses of the day. It’s not just that getting your hours in keeps you healthy, alert, and less stressed; it’s about having the ultimate retreat, your place of safety.
That’s why a good night’s sleep is about more than picking a mattress and a pillow. It’s about making sure that your bedroom is designed and arranged to serve that most important of its functions, to guide you gently and easily into a sound, refreshing sleep. With that in mind, here are some basic design tips to ensure your bedroom is setting you up for success.
Colors and Patterns
Many of us become obsessed with the perfect, pristine bedrooms we see in magazines or online. Big, bold bed-frames so sturdy they might be seaworthy are adorned with dozens of pillows, their complex patterns providing the still image with a rich sense of texture and visual flair. Perhaps there are other beautiful splashes of character, like vintage wallpaper or an intricate rug, all of it coming together to make for the most sublime, bright, inviting image of a model bedroom you could imagine.
But, are these rooms designed to be looked at, or slept in?
A bedroom should be calming, quieting your mind and relaxing your body. Bright colors and bold patterns might be pleasing to the eye during the day, but when it comes to laying your head down to rest at night, you want to be sure that your environment isn’t just pleasant, but serene. Be sure, when you design your bedroom, that you’re thinking about what color pallet or patterns put you in the best place to fall asleep, not just what pleases you when you’re awake.
Everything Neat, Everything in its Place
It’s a cliche to say at this point, but it doesn’t make it any less true: a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. I’ve spoken elsewhere about how important it is for a person’s overall wellbeing to maintain a tidy home, but nowhere is this more uniquely true than in the bedroom. Because it’s where we go to finally let go of the day’s burdens, it’s not uncommon for our bedroom floors to be disaster areas of tossed aside keys and discarded clothing. Depending on your home, it might also be where you prepare for your day in the morning, where you get dressed or put on makeup, where you do your morning yoga. All of this leads to the bedroom often going neglected when it comes to cleanliness. Because it’s a private space, a place where we get ready and put ourselves together, it’s where we can worry less about leaving a mess. But, when it’s time to sleep, that mess can wiggle its way into your head and keep you awake for hours. Make sure your bedroom is organized, and that you put the work in to maintain that organization. It will lead to a more restful night’s sleep.
More Light, Less Sleep
This is probably the one area I struggle the most. Our ability to fall asleep is intimately associated with how we experience light. Studies show that looking at a screen, from phone to TV, in the hour leading up to bedtime can dramatically increase the amount of time it takes to actually lose consciousness. Consider this when deciding whether or not to put a television in your bedroom. It’s not necessarily a way to calm yourself, but also an energy source, not because it engages us mentally, but because it engages us visually.
And it goes beyond screens. Different qualities of light make rooms feel different. We all know this, instinctively, even if we don’t think about it. It doesn’t take an interior designer to know that the bright white halogen bulbs of a school classroom are a tad bit more stimulating than the soft yellow glow of a covered lamp, or low candle light. Your bedroom isn’t just where you sleep, it’s also where you prepare for sleep, which means the way you choose to light the space should be not just inviting but soothing.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the latest wellness-through design, and also keep your eyes here for more exclusive content, including a look at our upcoming premium, beautiful art-piece oil diffuser!
Live Well, and Be Well.