Health

5 Steps to Optimizing Your Room for Better Sleep

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There is nothing like coming home after a long day, kicking off your shoes and climbing into a perfectly made bed.

Our bedroom is designed for rest and rejuvenation. Yet, oftentimes we lose sight of the purpose of this room. We bring in TVs, computers, exercise equipment, and before you know it, this room becomes associated with activity, not rest. Without proper boundaries, our bedroom will become a place the stimulates rather than relaxes. Before we can optimize our room for better sleep, we need to set our intentions straight. Bedrooms are for sleep, sex and snuggles. Nothing else.

With our heads in the right space, here are five tips for styling your room for better sleep.

  1. Nail down the perfect palette

When choosing a color for your bedroom, stay away from intense colors like reds, purples, and oranges. Colors in these hues tend to energize and stimulate our brains, which the opposite of what we want to achieve here—sleep.

The best colors for sleep are cool tones that help you feel relaxed. Try out light shades of blue and neutral when creating your sleep haven. Hues in this color family have been proven to lower blood pressure and help you relax. Not to mention, blue psychologically stands for serenity, calm, tranquility and peace.

  1. Splurge on your sleep structure

The color on your bedroom walls isn’t the only thing that promotes a good night’s sleep. In fact, your mattress has the largest impact on the quality of sleep you receive each night.

We spend an average of 27 years in bed over the course of our lifetime, making our mattress arguably the most important piece of furniture we could splurge on.  If you tend to wake up with aches or pains, or you notice a sag towards the middle of the bed, it may be time to bite the bullet and go shopping.

However, your mattress isn’t the only thing to consider. Take a look at your bedding accessories too. We’re talking sheets, pillows and everything in between. Your sleeping structure as a whole impacts the quality of sleep you get. Make sure your bed is the sleep cocoon you long to curl up in come nighttime.

  1. Keep it Cool

Did you know out core body temperature drops each night one to two degrees? It’s this drop in body temp that helps us fall and stay asleep.

According to sleep specialists, the optimal room temperature for sleep is 65 to 68 degrees. But don’t worry! You can still bury yourself in your blankets. As long as your head is exposed to the cool air you will reap the benefits of lower temps that aid in sleep.

  1. Get the light right

Our bodies are designed to respond to light. After all, before alarm clocks were around, the sun was responsible for telling our bodies when it was time to wake up. Even now, our bodies are still hardwired to respond to the sun’s wake-up call. That’s because of the light-sensitive cells in our eyes that trigger our body’s internal clock which monitors our sleep-wake cycle.

To eliminate light pollution from streaming in throughout the night or to block out the early-morning light, consider hanging block out curtains.

You can also create a peaceful ambiance by the lighting choices you make in the bedroom. Harsh, fluorescent lighting is not ideal for a sleep oasis. Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFBs) also emit blue light which interferes with your sleep quality. Use soft, ambient lighting with incandescent bulbs to create the perfect sleep haven to help you wind down in the evenings.

  1. Add some foliage

Not only are indoor plants a hot trend in interior design, they can actually help you sleep.

Plants improve indoor air quality by removing toxins from the atmosphere. A study by NASA found that indoor plants absorb harmful toxins lingering in the air through their leaves and roots and act as a sort of air filter removing carbon and increasing oxygen levels.

Improved air quality leads to improved sleep quality. That’s because air pollution causes irritation, swelling and congestion of the airways which can interrupt breathing.

Some of the best plants for sleep are golden pothos, English ivy, and aloe vera.

Interior design goes far beyond looks. It’s about functionality. Now you can sleep easy at night knowing your room is helping you get your best sleep possible!

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Lisa Smalls is a freelance writer from North Carolina. She loves writing about all things interior design. When she isn’t writing, you can find her rearranging her furniture or brainstorming which room to paint next.

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