- Sleep in darkness
- Make the sleeping area very dark if possible
- Use room-darkening shades or heavy, lined draperies; pin drapes closed
- Block any light entering the room
- Keep a clear path to bathroom
- Block or remove sources of white or blue light (any clock or watch with a white- or blue-lit dial, computer, cell phone, television)
- Or wear an eye mask during sleep
- Reduce noise: wear earplugs; silence cell phone calls and nonessential alerts
- Keep temperatures cool
- Avoid watching TV, reading, or working in the sleeping area
Your bedroom setting is vital to getting healthy and consistent sleep. Creating a relaxing space that will help you fall and stay asleep can make a world of difference to our sleep quality. Little changes to lighting, sound, smell, and temperature – plus finishing touches to design and bedding – all play a significant role in creating the perfect sleeping environment.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of top tips that you can use to transform your bedroom into a comfortable, cozy, and relaxing sleeping environment where you can get a proper night’s rest.
Emphasize colors that make you feel at ease
Floors, walls, furniture, and bedding all contribute to the color scheme of your bedroom. It’s therefore useful to emphasize colors that make you feel at peace at bedtime. For a lot of people, these tend to be warmer, softer colors, but you can pick whatever works best for you.
If you’re renting or are on a limited budget, it’s still possible to re-work the color scheme of your bedroom. For example, you could use bedding, rugs, cushions, houseplants, or wall art, to add your desired color to the space.
Declutter and organize your belongings
Visual clutter can cause us to feel messy, out of control and overwhelmed. This can stir up feelings of stress and anxiety, which are known to be significant barriers to sleep. Decluttering and reorganizing your bedroom can help to make it a much cleaner and stress-free space.
This 2016 study of people with mild to severe clutter issues found that their messy living spaces had a significantly negative impact on their home, and satisfaction with their lives overall. Research also shows that people who have more cluttered bedrooms take longer to fall asleep than those with neat and tidy rooms. This pattern forms part of an unhealthy cycle where you then wake up lacking the energy to tidy your room.
Take steps to make the space practical and easy to navigate
No matter the size of your bedroom, it’s important not to feel cramped. Making the most of underbed storage or vertical space can help make the most of even the smallest of bedrooms. This can free up floor space that you can use for furniture such as a bedside table that can help keep things tidy. Or you might just like to keep the more airy feel that the freed space creates.
When designing and organizing your bedroom, a handy tip is to try and make every action you’ll do in that room stress-free. For example, having a clear pathway from your bed to the bathroom can remove tripping hazards, and organizing your wardrobe neatly can make it easier to get ready in the mornings. Creating a stress and frustration-free bedroom will help to give your space an aura of calmness and comfort.
Use finishing touches to make your bedroom feel homely
There’s nothing more comforting than having somewhere cosy to unwind and relax, especially after a long day. The most effective way to achieve that sense of ‘home’ is often very personal. Examples might include displaying pictures of loved ones and/or objects that reflect special memories – or hanging meaningful art on the walls. Other decorations like fairy lights* and warm blankets* are another great way to give your bedroom that cozy feel.
These personal touches don’t have to be expensive or fancy, they just have to mean something to you.
Light is the most powerful signal of melatonin – the hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock). When it’s dark, production of melatonin increases and signals to the body that it’s time to sleep. Meanwhile, light decreases melatonin production, tricking the body into thinking that it’s daytime. Therefore, making your bedroom as dark as possible before sleeping can help to keep your circadian rhythm in check and promote healthy, restorative sleep. While different smells don’t tend to wake people up from sleep, some scents can be used to create a calming environment. For example, studies have shown that aromatherapy and essential oils* can promote relaxation and help you get a good night’s rest. Lavender especially, has been shown to increase the amount of deep sleep a person gets.
Your bed is the central part of your bedroom, so it’s important to make sure that it’s comfortable. Your mattress should be well-built and comfortable, however, the level of firmness will depend on your preference. The most important thing is that it supports your body weight in a way that relieves pressure on any point of your body. New mattresses can be expensive, but worthwhile if it helps you to get better sleep. Research shows that the right mattress can decrease stress and back pain. Good Housekeeping has some useful tips on buying the right mattress.
It’s also worth thinking about your pillows, sheets, duvets, and throws. Pillows are important in preventing neck pain as they keep your head and spine well-aligned.
The SpineAlign Team