Most people neglect to decorate their bedrooms. They think that the bedroom is the place to sleep, so why decorate it?
Whether it’s too-bright lighting sources, a lack of cleanliness, or even the color of the walls, there are a ton of factors that can add up to sleepless nights — and some you wouldn’t expect.
If you’re having trouble making yourself comfortable enough in your bedroom to get a good night’s sleep, take a look at the five tips below to see if maybe a change in décor is in order.
1. Adjust the Lighting
It’s difficult to overstate how important proper lighting is when it comes to feeling drowsy. Since we’re conditioned to become sleepy when it starts to get dark, our brains can become confused when there’s too much light at a time when it’s supposed to be dim. This can lead to a lot of tossing and turning when you’d really rather be drifting off into dreamland. If this is the case, the first thing to do is take a look at the wattage of bulbs in your bedroom’s lights. If the number is high, try picking out a bulb with a lower watt, like a 40- or 60-watt bulb — you’re aiming for ambient lighting, and preferably something that isn’t shining like a spotlight directly on your bed. Houzz recommends installing a dimmer switch so you can slowly lower the electrical lights as it gets closer to bedtime.
If it’s outside light that’s interfering with your sleep, take a hint from your friendly neighborhood goths and install heavy black curtains, or even blackout liners on the outside of your regular window coverings. They can help prevent that nagging morning light from shining through before you’re ready to face the day.
2. Choose Colors Wisely
Although you may not exactly be seeing the color of your bedroom décor while you’re asleep, it’s the first and last color you see when you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, so you’ll want to make it something that soothes you.
“Choose wall colors that elicit warmth and calm,” advises the Sleep Foundation website.” Although researchers have studied the psychology of color and some believe that certain hues affect our mood (for example, red being stimulating), no one knows your color-feeling connections better than you do. Pick colors, artwork, blankets, and so forth that are soothing to you.” Choose a color scheme that gives you a sense of being in a calm sanctuary. If you need some ideas — and if you’re not someone who’s calmed by bright red or neon yellow — Houzz recommends that you pick the traditional “sleepy colors”: “Apply cool and warm hues and make use of neutrals to create balance. Soft shades of yellow, peach, green and blue are ideal.”
3. Enhance Your Bedroom With Scents
Of course you’re not going to be comfortable falling asleep in a smelly bedroom, but if you’re even having trouble getting to sleep in a neutral-smelling room, it’s time to make some olfactory improvements.
An article at Today quotes Dr. Natalie Dautovich as saying, “Your olfactory system is directly linked to the emotional center in your brain, so when you sniff something that brings back a good memory, your body releases feel-good, relaxing chemicals that can set the stage for great sleep.” Dr. Dautovich also recommends calming scents such as lavender, vanilla, and jasmine, which have a relaxing effect when inhaled. (It should go without saying that you ought to clean your bedroom frequently as well — nobody wants to wake up having a cough attack from too much dust, or fall asleep with a musty odor in their nostrils.)
Try spritzing your pillows with the scents, or making a potpourri sachet that you can place inside a pillowcase or dresser drawer. You can also decorate your bedroom with scented candles, but be sure to remember to blow them out before you fall asleep!
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