Guest blog from the writers at Tuck.
Everything about and in the bedroom should point you toward one purpose—sleep. But where do you start and what kind of environment lulls you into a restful slumber? Everything from the layout and colors to textiles and lighting works together to create the conditions for a full seven to nine hours of sleep. It all starts with comfort but includes aspects of design that are well within your control to enhance and strengthen the quality of your sleep.
Focus on Comfort
Your body should automatically relax as soon as you walk through the threshold of your bedroom door. The mattress, of course, is the most important sleep-related purchase you’ll make. Your age, medical conditions, weight, and height all come into play when it comes to mattress comfort. Start by finding a mattress that supports your weight. From there, factor in medical conditions like arthritis, scoliosis, or sleep apnea. For example, conforming foam mattresses often relieve pain related to scoliosis while firmer mattresses can benefit those with sleep apnea.
Bed pillows should align your neck and spine for maximum comfort. Don’t underestimate the power of decorative throw pillows either. They may not add to your comfort while you sleep, but they make the bed look that much more inviting. Two or three in different sizes can add the visual appeal to help you relax.
Light for Sleep
Sunlight syncs your sleep cycle with the Earth’s day/night pattern by suppressing sleep hormones. Bright artificial light, especially that from high-efficiency light bulbs, can do the same thing, which means you have to be careful in the bedroom.
Window treatments like drapes, blinds, and blackout curtains should be used to manage natural light. Keep tabs on ambient light sources by installing dimmer switches so you can keep light levels low at night. Task and accent lighting should generally be directed away from the bed. A reading lamp on or near your nightstand is okay, but be sure it directs light downward away from your face.
Calm the Colors
Color changes how you feel and can even influence body temperature. Your body temperature needs to drop at the beginning of the sleep cycle, and the right colors can help with that process.
Cool neutrals like gray, white, and silver along with cool pastels in blue and green are well known for their calming effect. A Travelodge survey even found that blue bedrooms extended sleep times by 12 to 24 minutes. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a room full of color, but it should be used wisely. Accent walls, accessories, and textiles are the places for the bright and bold rather than your full wall color.
Mother Nature to the (Sleep) Rescue
Nature can slow activity in the part of the brain where depressive thoughts ruminate and restore the ability to focus and concentrate. You can achieve that same affect in the bedroom with the right design elements.
Natural Finishes and Textures: Natural wood finishes, stone, sand, and even brick can point the mind toward nature. Get creative in how you bring the outdoors in and you’ll start to feel like you stepped into a home retreat.
Artwork: You don’t need a live plant to reap the sleep benefits. Photos, paintings, and sculptures (even nature-themed sculptural accents like lamps) can be enough to calm the mind for sleep.
Your sleep environment influences your ability to fall and stay asleep. Start smart or go all in but work towards a bedroom that both expresses your personality and enhances the depth and length of your sleep cycle.