We all know that the secret to a successful day is a good night’s sleep beforehand, but these days it seems like actually getting a “good” amount of sleep is harder than ever. While the temptation of browsing a smartphone in bed or thinking about the stresses of your job are definitely factors that can contribute to poor sleep habits, your bedroom itself might actually be what’s stopping you from getting the best quality sleep possible.
You should take this into account when building your new home from house plans and designing and outfitting your new bedroom. Everything from the color of your walls to the layout of your bedroom can have a huge impact on your sleep, and when several of these elements are off it can all add up to some serious nighttime troubles. If you’re worried that your bedroom might be stopping you from sleeping soundly at night, check out these simple and effective solutions to reshape the space and reclaim your nights.
Choose Soothing Colors
The key to creating a bedroom that’s conducive to a restful night of sleep is creating a soothing, comforting environment that actually makes you want to relax and rest, and the best way to achieve that is through a soothing color palette. Cool tones like blues, purples, and greens are soothing and contemplative and will help to soften the light in the room, as opposed to bright yellows and oranges, which are more stimulating and may keep you up.
Painting the walls in your bedroom with the cool color is going to have the biggest effect, since its likely going to be the biggest color block in the space. You’re also going to want to pick complementary colors for your carpet, furniture, and bedding, so make sure to choose a color palette that complements the room and your tastes.
Find the Right Light Balance
The right amount of light is key to ensuring that your sleep both starts and ends correctly, which is dark at night and bright in the morning. One way to achieve this is by installing blackout curtains or blinds, which will help stop all outside light from entering into the bedroom when you’re ready to sleep. This works great if you live in a populated, urban area that has a lot of light pollution from street lamps. Another option is to position your bed so that the light from the window doesn’t shine right on you at night.
Blackout curtains are especially great if you live in a home that gets a lot of natural light during the day, since they give you the flexibility to enjoy it before you go to sleep. You can open the curtains to take in all that sun and Vitamin D, which is essential to developing a proper circadian rhythm, and then block out the light once it’s time to go to sleep.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Putting a ceiling fan in your bedroom has numerous benefits for your sleep patterns, starting with the fact that it can help you better regulate temperature. Studies show that the ideal temperate for your bedroom should be around 65 degrees, and a ceiling fan is a simple and effective way to make you feel close to that just-right temperature by creating breezes that make the room feel cooler than it actually is. If you feel too hot or too cold at night, your body is going to work harder to try and achieve the right internal temperature, which means lots of sweating or shivering that is likely to make it hard to go to sleep or keep you up if you do fall asleep and then wake up.
Another benefit of ceiling fans is the soothing sounds they make while on, which is akin to a gentle white noise that many people find calming and soothing. Ceiling fans are also very inexpensive to operate, costing just a few cents per day on average compared to air conditioning units, making them a smart choice for running an energy efficient home.
Get Rid of the Television
Make sure that your bedroom’s primary purpose is sleeping and not entertainment, and you’re going to make it more likely that you’ll get many restful nights of great sleep. That means that you’re going to need to get rid of that TV in your bedroom, as well as any other major electronics that would keep you occupied instead of slipping off into dreamland. Books, tablets, and smartphones should be used sparingly, and put away at least 30 minutes before you actually put your head on the pillow to go to sleep, otherwise they could keep you up as well.
Replace Your Old Mattress
Buying a new mattress can seem like a daunting task or a waste of time, but it’s actually one of the best things you can do to improve your sleeping. Many people opt for memory foam mattresses because they conform to your body and don’t have those pesky metal springs that can poke into you at night when they get old. Many modern mattresses are also made to be hypoallergenic, which can help reduce the buildup of dust and other debris that could lead to severe allergic issues that would also prevent you from sleeping.
Block Out Noise
Loud bedrooms are notoriously bad for getting a good night’s sleep, so you may want to look into purchasing a sound machine to help stop the noise. Using earplugs too often or for too long can lead to ear damage, so don’t rely on these temporary solutions as long-term fixes. You can also install double-pane windows to decrease outside sound. Some homes are also designed with special insulated walls that can help dampen unwanted sound.
Upgrade Your Alarm Clock
Old fashioned alarm clocks that jolt you out of bed can actually make it harder for you to function during the day because it disrupts your sleep too abruptly. Try switching to an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up with soothing sounds, lights and even aromas that slowly increase over a few minutes. Remember, a good night’s sleep has to end well to really be effective.
Footnote: The lead image for this article comprises the following four photographs (clockwise from top): master bedroom in a 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath luxury home plan (House Plan #163-1052); bedroom in a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath country home plan (House Plan #142-1168); master bedroom in a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath country home plan (House Plan #180-1020); master bedroom in a 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath Craftsman home plan (House Plan #109--1191).