A good night’s sleep is important for all aspects of our wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is a time for our immune systems to replenish, our psyches to process the day, and our bodies to repair damage caused by stress and environmental toxins. It is difficult to be at our best when we do not get consistent, quality rest, and yet many people tell us that they’re not sleeping well.
In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week (March 7-13), we have put together twenty tips to create a bedroom that will support a restful night’s sleep! And we’ve included some before and after pictures of one of our recent bedroom makeovers.
Tips for Decorating Your Bedroom to Get a Better Sleep:
1) Remove any artificial light. Cell phone chargers, DVRs, alarm clocks all emit tiny lights that disrupt our sleep—it’s best to remove electronics from the bedroom. Also make sure your blinds block any light coming from outside such as street lamps, headlights, etc… You will want to keep your room dark at night to help you sleep, but bright in the day to lift your spirits. Choose window treatments that can be pulled back or up during the day and will block out light while you sleep.
2) Calm Vs. Busy Bedrooms: Often bedrooms not only house the bed, but more and more are also home offices, exercise rooms, and media rooms—it’s no wonder so many people have a hard time sleeping. Give your mind and body a break. Computers, desks, televisions, and exercise equipment just detract from the cozy, peaceful, romantic atmosphere you want to create in your bedroom. Imagine how hard it is to have a restful night’s sleep when you’re facing your desk piled with papers, a computer just waiting to be used. Your desk is like a big visual reminder of all the work that needs to be completed, emails to be answered, and bills to be paid. If possible, move anything that does not support sleep or romance to another room. If due to a lack of space this is not possible, hide these objects when they’re not in use in an armoire or closet.
3) Be EMF (Electro Magnetic Field ) free. Not only are studies beginning to confirm that the frequencies from cell phones, cordless phones and other electronics are bad for our health- but energetically being “wired” in your bedroom does not create an atmosphere conducive for sleep. Try to create an EMF-free bedroom by removing all electronics other than what is necessary (such as lights, battery clock radio and land line phone).
4) Keep pen and paper by the bed. If you frequently wake up in the middle of the night thinking of things you need to do, unfinished business, or any thoughts or feelings that repeatedly come up, you can write down what’s on your mind knowing you can take care of it the next day. Out of your mind and onto paper.
5) Keep your bedroom clutter free and the space under the bed clear. A messy room is not restful and keeps our mind active by reminding us of all the things (like laundry, organizing, etc), that we need to do.
6) Decorate your bedroom with soothing colors. Each color carries its own unique vibration that affects our energy. Consider calm, peaceful colors such as blues or greens.
7) Create a pleasing view from your bed. Try to arrange your bed so you have a nice view; this view will be a last impression as we fall asleep and what we wake up to in the morning. Hang artwork you love across from the bed — preferably art that is relaxing is color or subject. You can also place your bed so you have a nice window view. If you have a view of the bathroom from your bed and can’t rearrange the furniture, keep the bathroom door closed at night.
8 ) Limit your art and photographs. Only choose artwork that is conducive to sleep—nothing to active. And don’t hang heavy art above the bed. It’s hard for your body to fully relax with something heavy overhead.
9) You will spend almost a third of your life asleep, so make sure your bedroom is a healthy place. Next time you buy new bedding, consider replacing sheets and pillows made of synthetic materials with organic bedding. If you don’t buy organic, buy natural materials like linen or cotton and avoid anything that says “permanent press, ” “wrinkle free,” or “stain repellants” because they’re often treated with chemicals like formaldehyde. You may also consider buying a natural, organic mattress made of wool or natural rubber. And since mattresses also attract dust mites, which can trigger or inflame allergies and asthma, try sealing your mattress in an allergy cover also made from natural materials.
10) Attractive Views from the Bed. Whatever you see from your bed is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning, so make sure you like what you see. For example, if you look at an empty wall, you may want to enhance your view with artwork you find beautiful or inspirational. if you have a view of a bathroom, keep the bathroom door closed at night. In Feng Shui, bathrooms are places where energy, like water, is pushed down through the drains and can be a “drain” on your health.
11) A Sense of Privacy. Remove or limit the number of photographs of your friends, family, and children that you keep in your bedroom. All those images of people and places you know are constantly reminding you of memories and relationships—they therefore have a very active energy and can make the room feel more public than private.
12) Position your bed so that you feel secure. It’s human nature not to feel relaxed when our backs are to a door and we can’t see if someone is entering the room—it makes us feel vulnerable. Place your bed so that you have a view of the door, but that your feet are not pointed directly at the door, and that you have the support of a solid wall and/or headboard behind you.
13) Clear the Clutter and Clean: So clean and get rid of the clutter—even the clutter under the bed. You may also want to try washing the sheets with a natural laundry detergent with a hint of a scent, like lavender which is known for its soothing properties. Then enjoy climbing into bed with fresh sheets!
14) Increase fresh air and sunlight. Always open curtains during the day to refresh the room energetically and lift your spirits. Open your windows at least ten minutes a day to clean (and clear) the air. The Environmental Protection Agency says pollution inside our homes can be two to five times higher than outside our homes, even in industrialized cities.
15) Create a quiet room. If you have a choice, locate your bedroom away from a busy street or other sources of noise. Consider double pane windows or a sound machine outside your room if noise is a problem.
16) Make your bedroom as healthy as possible. There are so many toxins in our environments that are potentially harmful to our health. It’s important to make sure we reduce toxins in our home and decorate with healthy materials. The bedroom is probably the best place to start creating healthier home. Use natural cleaning products. Take a shower before bed so you’re not tracking outside environmental toxins into the bedroom. Either do not apply any personal care products before bed and/ or choose healthier products. Unwrap dry cleaning and air it out – so toxins off-gas, before putting it in a bedroom closet and/or use a non-toxic drycleaner. Avoid wearing shoes that you’ve worn outside in the bedroom. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Decorate with healthy paints, finishes, and furniture.
17) Avoid having a lot of mirrors in the bedroom or a very large mirror. Mirrors have a very active energy. Locate mirrors so that you do not see yourself when you are lying in bed and avoid more than one mirror or very large mirrors.
18) Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow. This may sound obvious, but sometimes we “tolerate” discomforts in our environments. Your mattress and pillow should perfectly support you.
19) Avoid putting a television in your bedroom. Televisions tend to become the focal point of a room and in a sense, take over the room. Even when they are turned off, they have an active energy.
20) Have consistent bedtime rituals. While watching television and reading may seem relaxing, studies show they have the opposite effect. Avoid watching TV and using your computer before bedtime. Also consider dimming lights a few hours before bedtime and taking a warm bath or shower. Keeping a notepad by your bed to write down any last minute things that are on your mind will also help you let go until morning. You may consider some form of nighttime ritual before bed; this could be as simple as thinking about all the things you are grateful for, taking a few deep breaths, or setting an intention or praying.