Interior design does more than create an attractive space, it supports the purpose of a room. And there’s nowhere that’s more important than in the bedroom. Everything about it should help you feel calm, relaxed, and stress-free. Here are a few of our favourite design elements and tips to help you get your ZZZs.
1. Blackout Curtains
Light, especially natural light, suppresses sleep hormones. In fact, as natural light begins to fade at sunset, the release of sleep hormones slowly begins. By the time it’s completely dark, your sleep hormones are at their full strength.
That’s why, to fall and stay asleep, the bedroom should be kept as dark as possible. Moonlight, street lamps, headlights, and other sources of light pollution can wake you up enough to interfere with your sleep hormones.
Blackout curtains and heavy drapes keep bedrooms dark and come in all shades, patterns, and designs. They’re not your only option though. If you prefer shades, blackout shades (Roman, cellular, or solar) can be lined with mylar or foil to block out light too.
For those who like a light, airy bedroom, a second layer of sheers or blinds gives you more control over the amount of light that enters the room.
2. Palette and Wall Color
Colour can have a psychological impact that either helps or hinders sleep. Travelodge conducted a 2,000 person study and found that 58% of participants slept better in a blue room. It was closely followed by yellow and green. Blues are known for their calming influence and green harkens back to nature, which also relaxes the mind and body.
The hue makes a difference too. Pastels have long been a bedroom favourite because bright colours tend to overstimulate the eyes.
You’ll have to carefully consider accent colours as well. Red, orange, and other “warm” colours invigorate and energize while blues, greens, and neutrals calm and soothe. If you love bright colours, use them in moderation like on a throw pillow or two rather than in curtains or a rug.
3. Natural Fabrics and Design Elements
What exactly are natural design elements? They’re anything that’s inspired by nature and can include pieces that use natural textures, colours, and fabrics in their design.
For example, photographs and paintings of natural scenes can have a similar effect on the brain as a walk outside. A walk in the woods reduces rumination and activity in the part of the brain linked to feelings of depression. That’s a pretty significant effect that you definitely want in the bedroom.
And, of course, we can’t talk about nature without mentioning houseplants. They make a statement in the bedroom and bring the outdoors directly to your nightstand. A houseplant not only brings the shapes and colours of nature indoors but some species clean the air both night and day, which further enhances your sleep.
4. Furniture Placement
In general, a symmetrical room layout and furniture placement leave the mind calmer. As the largest piece of furniture in the room, bed placement can make the biggest difference.
The bed is usually best placed along the biggest wall. However, in rectangular or over-sized rooms, you may have to balance the bed with an opposing love seat or side table with chairs. Large square rooms often benefit from a bed that’s centred in the room to ground the space.
A sleep-supportive bedroom design is a way to make your bedroom a place you want to spend time in. Designs that help you relieve stress are the way to get better sleep so you can be at your best.
Also, keep in mind that the quality of your bed mattress is of utmost importance. Make sure you’ve got a comfortable mattress that supports your weight and preferred sleep position as well as a bed frame that fully supports the weight of you, your partner, and the mattress.
This is a guest post by Samantha Kent, researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favourite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.