Dealing with lack of adequate sleep is something many people struggle with. Insomnia and sleep deprivation in general comes in many forms, from the inability to fall asleep quickly, to not being able to stay asleep through the night.
No matter what your personal sleep issues are, you should start by changing your sleep environment. If you are trying to sleep in a room that is too bright, has a lot of distractions, or is constantly cluttered, it is going to be difficult for you to get adequate rest.
Keep reading to learn more about setting up the perfect calming room sanctuary for a good night’s sleep.
1. Have a Dark and Relaxing Sleep Environment
To start setting up your perfect sleep sanctuary, make sure your room is dark and promotes relaxation. You don’t want it to be too bright, have gadgets on all night that cause light disturbances while you are sleeping, or be overly cluttered, which is nowhere near relaxing enough for good sleep.
Here are some tips for making sure you have a relaxing calming room and it is kept as dark as possible.
Get Blackout Curtains
Even if you keep your bedroom lights off at night when you are trying to sleep, there are many ways light can creep in through your windows. You might live close to the street, where street lights outside could come blaring in through the window. It could be something as simple as your neighbors next to you having their indoor lights on, or having the sun come up before you’re ready for bed.
While regular curtains and blinds are a good start to keeping the light out, it is not always sufficient enough. The next best thing is to get blackout curtains. If you don’t like how they look in your room, put them close to the window, then add another set of more aesthetically appealing curtains in front of them. You are able to block out the light, but also achieve the look you want in your bedroom.
Use Dimmer Switches for Lights
Another great idea is to get dimmer switches. Obviously, you are going to turn off the lights completely when it’s time to go to sleep, but what about when you are relaxing and doing your nighttime routine? You probably don’t want to sit in darkness while meditating or reading, but it is good to have softer light.
Dimmer switches allow you to control just how light or dark it is in your bedroom, so it is easy to adjust for different parts of the day and night.
Turn Off Electronics with Bright Lights
This is something many people don’t consider when it comes to various distractions at night. Even if your room is as dark and relaxing as can be, you might have disturbances from just small pockets of light. This could be little lights from your laptop charging next to you on the nightstand, a light from your cell phone every time you get a notification, or light from the cable box if it is in front of you.
It is a good idea to completely unplug any devices or appliances that might be disturbing your slumber. Flip your cell phone over so the light doesn’t disturb you, and consider rotating your computer and other devices (like the alarm clock) to keep the light from interrupting your sleep.
Get a Reading Lamp
Reading is a great activity to do at night before bed instead of watching TV or using your cell phone. It is relaxing and gets you into a good state of mind before bed.
Unfortunately, it requires a good amount of light, which might stimulate you instead of helping you to fall asleep. Consider instead a reading lamp, which is a little softer and is only bright enough to read, without flooding your entire bedroom.
2. Keep Peaceful and Calming Room Decor
Once you have the lighting adjusted in your bedroom to keep it dark for optimal sleep, it is time to think about how you have your bedroom decorated. Colors can invoke all sorts of moods, from helping you feel cozier, to relaxing your body and mind. Unfortunately, there are also some color palettes that might keep you from getting the rest you need.
Here are some tips for decorating your bedroom in a calm and peaceful way.
Decorate in Muted Colors
Focus on more muted colors, aiming for neutrals and pastels. For a more calming room environment, stick to cool colors like soft blues, greens, and purples. Avoid bright and bold colors, instead going for a light sage green, baby blue, and violet purple.
If you want your bedroom to be cozy, it is okay to incorporate warm colors like orange, red, and brown, but these should also be lighter and more muted. Think about how you feel in the fall when you are in a cozy room. This is what warm colors will give you.
Keep Neutral Shades on the Walls
For the walls, try to keep the color subtle and neutral. Choose from different white, off-white, tan, and grey shades only. Avoid all other colors for the bedroom wall, otherwise you risk being too stimulated when it is time to go to sleep.
Focus on Simplicity
While it is great to have a lot of different décor styles in other rooms of your home, you want to focus on simplicity in your bedroom. Choose muted, neutral colors, keep it orderly, and only have a few decorative elements if you can. This will keep it from feeling overwhelming and stimulate your brain too much. The last thing you want is a bedroom that makes you alert and energetic.
People often underestimate how beneficial it is to have a clutter-free home. When you go to sleep in a bedroom that is disorganized and filled to the brim with clothing, shoes, and other belongings, it makes it that much harder for your brain rest. When you declutter and keep your bedroom clean, it can actually help to reduce stress. Plus, you will also wake up in a better mood.
3. Improve Your Mattress and Bedding
It probably goes without saying, but if you are having trouble sleeping, decide whether or not your bed or bedding is the problem. If you have had your mattress for longer than seven years, it is probably time for an upgrade. On the other hand, sometimes just getting new pillows and bedding is more than enough to create a cozy bed.
Choose Soft, High-Quality Bedding
Start with your bedding, as this is often the easiest thing to replace. If you wake up with head or neck pain, try switching to a different type of pillow. If your pillows are flat, you might need something a little thicker. If you have been using a firm pillow, try a softer pillow next time. It might take a little experimenting to see what pillows are best for you, since everyone has different preferences.
For the bedding, look for something that is soft and luxurious, instead of just your generic cotton sheets. This really can make all the difference as it helps you relax, get comfortable, and actually enjoy being in your bed.
Bedding Should Regulate Body Temperature
Another thing to look for in your new bedding is whether or not it can be used in different weather conditions. For example, flannel sheets are amazing during the colder months, but when summer arrives, you will be very miserable. If you live somewhere with extreme temperature changes, pick up different bedding depending on the climate.
Some sheets and comforters are meant for all types of weather, such as Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters. These might be worth looking into if you want a calming room.
Replace Your Mattress as Needed
Mattresses can get expensive, so don’t feel like you need to replace your mattress just because you aren’t getting good sleep. However, if you have an older mattress or you wake up with aches and pains, it might be a good idea. Here are some signs that it is time to replace it:
It is no longer big enough for who sleeps on it.
You constantly wake up with back or hip pain.
There is damage to the mattress (often from age).
You no longer have that cozy, comfortable feeling when lying down.
4. Avoid These Bad Bedroom Habits
If after these other bedroom changes, you are still struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, it is time to consider your bedroom habits. You might have developed some bad habits that you don’t realize are actually affecting your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Make sure you avoid these habits while in your bedroom and getting ready for bed:
Eating in Bed
This can be tempting when you want to watch Netflix at night in your bed, but not only is TV not recommended, but eating in bed can be disastrous. This poses a few different problems. First of all, the food you are eating might have something that will stimulate your brain, so it is causing you to get more energy instead of helping you feel tired.
You might also start to think of your bedroom as the hangout spot when you make a habit of eating in bed, which makes it hard to mentally view the bed as a place for rest. Also consider that eating too soon before going to sleep can cause abdominal discomfort and heartburn.
Working in Your Bedroom
Another common bad habit in the bedroom is working in your room. If you work from home, try to have a dedicated work space elsewhere. Even if you don’t have an office, this can be at your dining room table or a desk in your living room.
If you need to work in your bedroom, at least have a small computer desk instead of working in your bed. You need to associate the bed with entire sleep or being intimate with your partner. Anything else can make it hard to get enough rest.
Keeping Your Phone Close By
You probably know you shouldn’t be using your phone right before bed or leaving it on the bed while going to sleep in your calming room sanctuary. However, even having the vibrating ringer on or keeping it close to your bed can be a problem. This will encourage you to check it every time you wake up, which can then cause you to check social media, read emails, and get easily distracted.
If you use your phone as an alarm clock, try to keep it on a dresser or other furniture not directly next to you in bed.
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