Our daily lives tend to get pretty hectic. Between fighting morning traffic, grabbing lunch on the go, answering thousands of emails, and picking up kids from school, it is increasingly challenging to find time and space to decompress.
According to research by the Mental Health Foundation, nearly 12 million adults in the UK seek medical help for mental health problems each year. Most of them suffer from anxiety and depression, much of which is caused by stress. While there are numerous ways to mitigate stress, the most basic requirement is sufficient rest. So, today we’d like to share a few tips that will help you turn your bedroom into a sanctuary.
Pick the right paint colour
While it may be tempting to paint your walls in bright bold colour, when it comes to your bedroom design you should always put your natural response to various colours first. For example, ultra violet is a trending wall colour in 2018. However, if you don’t associate this colour with tranquillity and mental rest, don’t blindly follow the trend.
Image: Design by Deborah
Multiple studies have been done into the psychology of colour. For example, Travelogs surveyed 2,000 people in the UK and found that blue bedrooms are the most conducive of sleep. Yellow was the second-best colour, followed by an earthy green.
Set up a light control system
We can’t emphasize enough how important darkness is to quality sleep. The level of melatonin, a hormone produced by our brain and known as the “sleep hormone”, increases with darkness, sending signals to our body that it’s time to rest. Therefore, when planning the interior design of your bedroom, create a system that would allow you to easily control the level of light in your bedroom. For example, heavy curtains or blinds can help you block out most of the street light.
From triggering respiratory issues to increasing stress levels, clutter has been scientifically proven to negatively impact our psychological and physical health.
According to Dr. Emerson M. Wickwire from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, “Physical clutter causes mental clutter, which activates the brain and negatively impacts sleep.” So get rid of it!
Your bedroom is a place to decompress and let go of your daily hassles. Dedicate at least 30-40 minutes each week to decluttering your closets, trays and baskets, makeup vanities, and floors. Devise a system according to which you organize your clothes, blankets, jewellery, and any other items in your bedroom and make an effort to stick to that system. Check out this guide to decluttering every room in your house.
Make your bedroom feel warm and cosy
Choosing the right fabrics is essential in creating a cosy feel in your bedroom. This goes for curtains, rugs, and bedding. We suggest staying away from synthetic fabrics as much as possible. Cotton bedding is soft and breathable. Wool provides excellent insulation. Linen is soft and durable. If you are prone to respiratory disorders, we strongly suggest hypoallergenic fabrics for your bedding.
Layering items – be it rugs or pillows – goes a long way to enveloping a room. You can also add a tufted headboard, a soft plush throw blanket, plants, family pictures, and a faux fireplace.
Pick the right mattress
Research Triangle International, Dr. Andy Krystal and Dr. Jack Edinger from Duke University ran a 4-year study, during which they examined sleep pattern differences among 128 people, who slept on 7 different mattresses, 4 weeks per mattress. It turned out that even a tiny difference in mattress support correlates with changes in sleep and pain.
The unfortunate part is that it is still not clear which mattress is best for sleep. That’s why when purchasing a mattress, a solid strategy is to look for one with at least a 30-day return policy. That way you get to test a mattress over a more extended period of time and see how its level of firmness or softness affects your sleep and back.
Ban devices from your bedroom
Electronic devices, such as smartphones or laptops, are disastrous to sleep for numerous reasons.
1) The light emitted by the screens of these devices reduces melatonin levels, which, as we have earlier established, is crucial to getting our bodies in a sleep mode.
2) Electronics do not allow for the activity level in our brains to subside, keeping it alert.
3) Notification sounds can easily interrupt our sleep.
4) Even if you have your notifications on mute at night, when you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or grab a glass of water, your brain is tempted to check your phone.
For these and many other reasons, implement a strict no-phone (or laptop or iPad) policy in your bedroom. And the excuse of “I’m using my phone for the alarm” is not good enough. You can buy an alarm clock for £20.
Designing and decorating a bedroom is not only about your aesthetic preferences. This room serves a very specific and vital function – getting rest. So find a way to incorporate scientifically proven methods of improving sleep in the décor of your bedroom. Sleep tight!