Are you looking for easy, cheap and quick ways to improve your sleeping sanctuary, but not sure where to start? Numerous studies confirm time and time again that the environment we sleep in can make a big difference to our sleep quality, but despite this fact, many of us continue to sleep in rooms that are cluttered, disorganised or generally full of distractions that rob us of our sleep.
Enter these 10 bedroom hacks, which, when combined with other small changes, can make a big impact on how rested you feel.
1. Banish natural light.
An hour or two before your desired bedtime, make your room as dark as possible. This will mimic the natural setting of the sun and signal to your brain that it’s almost time for sleep. The easiest option is to buy a black-out blind, but that can also be the most pricey.
This clever blogger from Lifehacker explains how to create your own black-out shades that give a nice balance between light and dark, or you could simply buy some heavy drapes to draw across your window when you want to sleep.
2. Add curtains or drapes to your bed.
Some light curtains or drapes around the bed may not be for everybody, but creating a feeling of safety and seclusion from all potential distractions can be incredibly useful when trying to sleep.
We can’t all afford a four-poster bed, but these intriguing suggestions from Apartment Therapy explain how to create the illusion of one cheaply and easily.
3. Get a plant.
Plants around the home (and office) have been proven to have a multitude of health benefits, such as increased oxygen, reduced stress and anxiety, improved immunity and brain function and boosted mood. Having one in your bedroom is a wonderful way of increasing air flow and creating a feeling of calm and serenity.
Aloe vera, jasmine and lavender plants are all good options for their snooze-promoting properties.
4. Repaint the wall opposite your bed.
In a study by Travelodge, rooms painted with cooler colours like pale blues, moss greens or aquamarines slept for more hours per night, when compared to those sleeping in rooms with ‘louder’ colours. In fact, when it comes down to it, purple has been shown to lead to the least amount of sleep, whilst stark primary colours like red or anything that signifies danger should be avoided entirely.
Try repainting the wall opposite your bed with a cooler hue (or your whole room if you like), to see if it makes a difference to your relaxation levels. It’s worth noting though that personal preference also plays a role here, so feel free to choose a colour that has a positive meaning to you.
5. Keep it clean!
Want to sleep better? Make your bed!
In a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, those who made their beds regularly enjoyed better sleep, whilst sleeping in a clean room free of mess and clutter was found to promote sleep quality.
So vacuum those floors, dust those shelves and throw on some fresh sheets. If the clean room doesn’t make you want to jump into bed at night, at least your efforts will have tired you out!
6. Find ways to connect with your room.
The more positive associations we have with our bedroom, the more we’ll want to spend time in it. Fill your room with pleasing (but non-distracting) visuals, such as photos, artwork, keepsakes, flowers and plants, to create a pleasing and comforting sleep spot.
7. Tap into your sense of smell.
Smell is so important for many of us, in more ways than we know. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we all associate scents and aromas with a variety of feelings and experiences, so use this to your advantage and infuse your room with a smell you like.
It could be a relaxing aroma like lavender or cucumber; a warming scent like cinnamon or a fresh scent that reminds of you holidays by the beach. Whatever it is, use these scents to remind you of your favourite things and promote happy sleep.
8. Ban non-fiction from the nightstand.
Your bedroom can be a fine place to store shelved books, but reading non-fiction before you sleep can lead to projection and endless wondering about the future. Instead, read something fictional that isn’t too fast-paced. This gives your brain a chance to escape from the demands of everyday life and unwind instead.