Getting the proper amount of shut eye comes with a suite of benefits. It beefs up your immune system, helps manage weight, lowers your risk of developing certain diseases, reduces stress—the list goes on. Considering how many hours we log snoozing in our bedrooms, it’s important to create the right atmosphere for truly refreshing, valuable sleep.
When designing your bedroom, you should not only think about your own personal aesthetic but also how best to use your design toolkit to aid in better sleep. Here’s how:
Hello darkness, my old friend
Try thick curtains or blackout shades (which have the added benefit of cutting down on noise from loud neighbors and outside bustle). If you’re worried about the dreary, vampyric design potential of thick curtains, try a white or pastel shade.
Keep the light in your room dim and calming. Limit electronics and screens so you can fully shut your brain off before bed.
The dark also comes with cooler temperatures. Having a cool, dark bedroom signals to your brain that it’s night and time to recharge. Temperature regulation has even been found to reduce insomnia. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, buy a small, vintage-inspired fan that can circulate air and add a unique visual element to your room.
Color by mood
Select your colors based on the mood you want to evoke in your room. Use relaxing, refreshing paint and decor colors. Lighter colors make a room appear larger, and darker colors appear more intimate and warm. Have a variety to create a full emotional palette.
Keep it down, will you?
Reduce noise where possible so you can rest easy. As mentioned above, try thicker curtains to minimize noise from outside noises seeping into your slumber. Use decorative rugs and wall hangings to reduce surface sounds.
If total silence isn’t your jam, try incorporating soft, soothing white noise like a fan, noise maker, or air purifier.
Better breathing means better sleep. Dust and other allergens mitigate breathing issues that can interrupt rest. To fend off airway offenders, consider removing carpet that traps dust and grime, and go for hardwood instead. Invest in a mattress with allergen-reducing features or a mattress cover. Integrate plants into your design to help purify the air (more on this later).
Invest in a supportive bed and pillow with comfortable bedding. Think of ways to craft a perfect, plush nest for you to sink into when the sun goes down. Beyond bedding, you can also create an air of comfort with decorations. Soft armchairs, delicate textiles, candles. Play around with your own personal style while keeping comfort in mind.
Cultivate a space that promotes sleep naturally. Use plants for a clean, purifying element so you can catnap peacefully and wake feeling invigorated in the morning. Try essential oils like orange and lavender to promote ease. Pick natural, calming colors for your decor like green, blue, and neutrals.
The big picture
Ultimately, your room should be a place that refreshes and relaxes. Take a page from the book of feng shui and lay out your room based on practices that promote better sleep. Invest in a full or queen-sized mattress (even if it’s just you) to create a sense of space. Make sure there’s enough room on either side of the bed to comfortably get in and out. Create a pathway in your room for easy navigation. Keep clutter at bay for peace of mind.
Attend to the senses. These are, after all, how we interact with the world. Are the sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and textures of your room pleasing? Do you feel quiet and ready for sleep when you lay your head to rest at night?
Marry form and function. Contrast textures, colors, and patterns. Keep in mind: you sleep and wake in your bedroom. If it’s too comfortable, you won’t want to rise in the morning but if it’s too bright, you won’t feel like dozing off at night.
Try designating different areas of your room for different activities (work, reading, sleeping, etc.). This helps mentally aid in whatever activity you’re doing and adds some compelling contrast to the overall design of your slumber wonderland.