7 Steps to a Bedroom Designed for Better Sleep.

Who would have thought that something as simple as better bedroom design could help you to sounder sleep? If you’ve been struggling with insomnia then it really could help.

The rooms in our homes have distinct purposes – sometimes 2 or 3 purposes – and we design them accordingly. But often the bedroom gets left out and becomes a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t have a home because it’s not a room that visitors usually see.

Here’s a 5 step plan for how to tackle this. There’s nothing to lose by trying it – certainly not any more sleep.

The first thing to do is to go into your bedroom right now and see how you feel when you walk in. If you’re reading this in the bedroom, go out and walk in again...

If you felt calm, peaceful and as if you didn’t want to leave, then this article may not be for you. But if you felt stressed because there are work issues in the briefcase on the bed table that need attention or your eye was distracted by the clutter and you couldn’t see the bed for all the clothes strewn over it, then follow the steps below.

For more on getting better sleep so that you wake feeling refreshed, look at http://sleepbetterlivebetter.net/

So...

These are little changes that could make a big difference to the quality of your sleep. Do the ‘walk-in-and-feel’ test again after each step so that you know when you’ve got it right.

Step 1. Get tidying.

Some of us are just not naturally tidy and that’s ok. But if you untidiness habit is getting out of hand it might be time to rein it in and have a blitz.

For comprehensive tips on clearing clutter there’s a hub here, but put on some energetic music and sort out what’s beautiful, practical or meaningful and keep these but in the right places – closet, drawers or on display. Anything that’s broken, not used or not needed should be thrown out, given away or sold.

Make your room easy on the eye and a haven of tranquillity so that you want to be there and feel relaxed when you are.

Remove all exercise equipment, TVs, DVD players and computer/work-related stuff. These are all waking activities and this room is for sleeping, relaxing and love. If you like to watch TV or surf when you’re in bed but are also having trouble sleeping, try removing these items for a minimum 2 week period and see if your sleep improves.

Step 2. Colour.

If you can, and if you need to, paint or paper the walls of your bedroom in a relaxing shade. Bright colours that are vibrant and about being awake, will detract your mind (albeit subconsciously) from sleep.

Colour therapists recommend green for calm but find any shade that makes you feel relaxed and fits in with your fabrics and furnishings.

Step 3. Lighting.

If you need a bright light to dress under and a focussed light to do make-up, soft lights for reading and relaxing and a general overhead light, then plan this into your bedroom design.

A local lighting specialist may be able to help and there’s an article on sleepbetterlivebetter.net that covers lighting and how to get it right.

Step 4. Furniture and storage.

Once you’ve had your de-clutter, put your stuff away and out of site. Storage boxes that fit into a closet/cupboard are a good idea so work out what you need regularly and what can be put in a box at the back of a closet. And if you’re thinking about getting a new bed, divan beds often have drawers that are ideal.

Your bed should be the best that you can afford – comfortable and durable – and the mattress should be changed every 8-10 years. If you’re not sure if you need a new mattress, look at the sleepbetterlivebetter link above.

Step 5. Ventilation.

Natural ventilation is great if it doesn’t come with a lot of traffic fumes. If windows are painted shut then consider having them un-stuck but be sure to address security issues with locks on the windows.

Change the filters on humidifiers and air-conditioning units regularly, especially if you have allergies as the dust that collects in them can make these works.

Step 6. Temperature.

Do you need a heater, extra radiator or an air-con unit? Do you need a lighter or heavier duvet? Do you and your bed partner have different temperature needs? The ‘his and hers duvet might be the answer.

Having the room at the wrong temperature, or the wrong bedding, making you too hot or cold will upset your sleep quality.

Step 7. The right smell.

Candles, fresh air or air fresheners can all help to add the right ‘something’ to your room’s ambience. Don’t underestimate this aspect but also be careful if you have allergies and perfumes make this worse and never leave lighted candles unattended.

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