There’s nothing as refreshing as coming home from an exhausting day at work and tumbling into a nice, clean bed for a good, long sleep. Without a doubt, it’s one of the things you look forward to after you’ve had such a busy day.
Imagine then being so tired but tossing and turning because you couldn’t find a position that was comfortable enough. Or falling asleep only to be jerked awake again. Or waking up from a long sleep, yet still feeling exhausted and sleepy.
So what’s wrong? Most of the times, your bedroom is probably not set up in a way that allows you to get optimal rest for your mind and your body. There could be too much stuff lying around, the walls stimulate your senses instead of helping you relax, your pillow doesn’t support your back, or you didn’t unwind properly before getting to bed.
There are so many reasons and it can be quite overwhelming to figure it out. Nevertheless, if you want to get a proper rest every night and wake up refreshed and recharged, you’ve got to make sure that your bedroom offers the right environment you need for the right kind of sleep.
Here are some ways to improve your bedroom so you can get the best possible sleep every night:
1. Create a general space that calms you
According to Ilene Rosen, a physician who specializes in sleep medicine, our environment affects how fast we fall asleep as well as how soundly we sleep. That’s why it’s important to make sure your room is one that is comfortable, cozy, and ideal for perfect for a good night’s rest.
If your bedroom walls come in bright, neon colors (such as yellow or orange), maybe it’s time to rethink and repaint them with soothing colors, such as a pale blue. People often describe blue as something that evokes feelings of calmness and serenity. If you want to be fully relaxed and get maximum sleep, you want to paint your walls something that will make your room feel peaceful or tranquil.
1.2 Bed and sheets
Getting maximum sleep is more than just making sure your walls are the right, relaxing shade. You’ve got to take your bed and sheets into consideration too. The right kind of mattress is subjective—it varies from person to person and only you can tell what’s comfortable for you.
Sheets are another matter altogether. Duvets and comforters will vary depending on the season. Regardless of whether it’s summer or winter, however, it’s important to wash your sheets regularly. Common allergens, pollen, mold, and the like, can linger in your bedding and affect the overall quality of your sleep. Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab recommends changing your sheets at least every one to two weeks to make sure they remain clean.
Pillows are more than little fluffs to rest our heads on when we sleep. Sara Butler from The Joint Chiropractic says, “Your pillow is meant to help support your upper body as you sleep and keep your spine in natural alignment. It has to fit your size and your curves, and it also needs to be the right kind of pillow for the sleeping position you prefer.”
If you wake up every morning feeling stiff and tired, it could be that you’re using the wrong kind of pillow which could eventually lead to back problems. Getting the right pillow to support your sleeping position will help you sleep better.
2. Keep it cool
The right temperature is necessary if you’re looking to get the right kind of sleep. Have you ever had a hard time falling asleep because it felt too hot and sweaty? When it comes to sleep, temperatures that are too hot can affect the quality of your sleep. Sleep experts say that the optimal temperature range is somewhere between 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Having an air conditioning or a fan will help keep the room in the temperature that helps your body get the best sleep possible. Run a test for several nights to see what works and is most comfortable for you. If you share the room with someone, Amerisleep recommends using different comforter weights so both of you can sleep optimally.
3. Remove work-related stuff
Whether you go off to a physical office or are a freelancer working from home, your bedroom mustn’t become your office as well. The purpose of the bedroom, after all, is for you to relax and sleep in—not work. If you’re about to doze off and see the pile of paperwork that you still need to do, it won’t help you sleep at all. The sight of your laptop lying among your other things could bring to mind the tasks you need to get done before the end of the week which could in turn remind you of the bills you need to pay and pretty soon you’ll find yourself thinking of everything but sleep.
If you live in a small space, it might be a little challenging, but as much as possible, clear away anything related to work before you go to bed. Leave your laptop and the work you took home outside or in another room in your house. Tuck away your laptop into a drawer if there’s no other place to put it. That way, you are setting a physical boundary for yourself and telling your mind that it’s no longer time to work but sleep.
4. Clear away your mess
When you enter your room at the end of each day, what do you see? Do you look forward to unwinding because you know that your room is a peaceful place that will help you relax? Or do you feel your stress levels rising again when you enter your room because your space is so cluttered that you don’t know where the bed ends and the floor begins?
Improving your bedroom for better sleep includes improving how your bedroom looks, among other things. If you have a small bedroom where storage is limited, you can look for creative ways to store your things. (Check out bedroom storage ideas for small bedrooms and these clever shoe storage ideas)
Pinterest also provides a lot of great inspiration for storing your clothes in your closet without taking too much space and if you don’t have a closet or dresser, there are creative ways to keep your clothes so you don’t have that much clutter around your bedroom. Once you’re able to do away with the mess, you’ll find that it’s much easier to relax and fall asleep because you don’t have to see the many things looming over your or the mess out of the corner of your eye.
5. Add scents to help you relax
Sometimes, it’s hard to fall asleep because your muscles are wound too tight and a million thoughts are racing through your mind. When you’re going through that, aromatherapy, using scents for medicinal purposes, helps. Aromatherapy can aid with restfulness and muscle relaxation, and in some cases, can also improve your sleep quality and treat insomnia.
A lot of people prefer the scent of lavender in the form of essential oils or vapor rubs. Its sweet smell helps calm them and puts them to sleep faster and for longer hours. Lavender is not the only scent that will help you relax and sleep better. Several other fragrances can do the same, including vanilla, valerian extract, sandalwood, juniper, and more (check out this list by FragranceX for more). With scents like this, you’ll find yourself relaxing much faster as you settle in for the night.
6. Turn off all the lights
Sleeping with the lights on confuses your circadian rhythm which is your body’s internal clock. It’s what tells you that it’s time to sleep or time to wake up. Leaving the lights on (and not just the ceiling lights, but your bedside lamp, TV, laptop/computer, and even your smartphone) will unbalance your sleep cycle and ruin the quality of your sleep.
On the other hand, sleeping with the lights off will give you a deeper, higher-quality rest and will benefit you in several ways. According to Healthline, here is what a good night’s sleep does to your body:
- Repairs your brain and body
- Allows muscle recovery
- Fights illness and chronic conditions
- Puts you in a better mood
It’s good practice to turn off the TV and a majority of the lights in your room 30 minutes before you sleep. Avoid using your smartphone and when you’re about to turn in for the night, turn off your devices or keep them in your bedside drawer so you’ll get the deep, uninterrupted, restful sleep you need.