Did you know that the average human spends over a third of their life sleeping? While this fact might astonish you, many people just don’t realize how important sleep is and how sensitive their bodies are to their sleeping environment. Where you sleep at night dramatically affects your sleep quality. Yes, that’s right your bedroom’s design can play a major role how you sleep. Think about it, it’s already rather difficult to try and get a good night’s sleep these days. There’s so much pressure, stress, family worries, and long working days that already keep us up at night, which is why it’s imperative to do everything you can to improve your sleep quality. Good room design falls into this category - think Feng Shui – the Chinese have been practicing this method of philosophical room design for centuries.
Why You Need Sleep
On average, people today sleep less. Not too long ago people were getting at least 8 hours of solid sleep a night, but these days the numbers have dramatically changed to an average of 6 hours per night. The truth is our bodies need sleep; we need sleep to function to our maximum potential. Sleep is important. There are so many benefits of sleep. You’ll find your overall mood will improve with enough sleep. You’ll see the results in healthier looking skin, better vision, and even a better memory. Sleep is when the body recovers and rejuvenates as well, and without it you’ll become drawn and eventually sick. Look at your bedroom as a reflection of what your life is. One of the biggest indicators that your life isn’t in order is through a room’s clutter, and not surprisingly, a cluttered room reflects a cluttered life and it’s one of the leading contributors to a sleepless night.
It’s Time to De-Clutter
It’s so easy just to throw your clothes on the ground after a busy day’s work. It’s so easy to let things in your room pile up, eventually getting out of control. Some people are messier than others, but believe it or not, this mess causes more problems than just tripping over in the dark. A cluttered room makes it more difficult to relax, resulting in the inability to fall asleep. Do yourself a huge favor and de-clutter; get rid of things you don’t need (Hirshkowitz, M. 2004:143). It’s quite possible you’ve thought that you’ve been suffering from a sleep disorder most of your life, but without even realizing it, it could have been your lifestyle the whole time. But what is it that makes clutter so bad? Clutter attracts dust and traps it, causing a number of different allergies which can cause restless nights. Additionally, if you have a computer or laptop in your room, it’s time to move it. Your computer or laptop is teeming with a number of harmful different toxins that cause restlessness at night, including lead, cadmium, epoxy plastics, and flame retardants (Beres, R & L. 2010:296).
It’s Time for an Electronics Cull
In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for the average person to have numerous electronic gadgets from phones to laptops and mp3s to LED TVs in their bedrooms. It may come as a shock, but keeping such electronic equipment in your sleeping space, including your digital clock, can interfere with your sleep. Such electronic items send out invisible waves. These waves are transmitted and can break a night’s sleep. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for a TV to keep playing while you’ve fallen asleep, which is also known to interrupt a deep sleep (Petrin, L. 2013:55). Additionally, you’ll also need to get rid of every electronic device that has LED lighting. LED lighting is a blue based light, which is also the same as morning night. Although it’s nighttime and dark outside, your body may be tricked into thinking it was earlier with LED-lit devices, which will disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm of in other words its natural body clock, making it more difficult to fall asleep at the right time (Petrin, L. 2013:56). Natural light is essential during the day. It gives your body its much-needed dose of vitamin D and it also transmits the message it’s daytime to your brain, alerting you that you need to be awake. Your room needs to be well-lit throughout the daytime hours; however, it’s also essential to sleep in a pitch black room, blocking out any possible lights sources, such as an outdoors streetlamp. Through monitoring the amount of light your room gets, you’ll be able to help regulate your body clock more, making it easier to fall asleep and enjoy an unbroken slumber.
Is your Bed Okay?
A good bed is one of the most important things when it comes to your bedroom design and the quality of your sleep. As a rule of thumb, you ought to look at replacing your mattress every 5 to 7 years to ensure ongoing comfort, support and hygiene. When it comes to your mattress and pillows, the worst thing you can do is opt for a cheap version because you’ll just end up paying for it later and compromising your sleep. You need a decent mattress to support your spine and the same goes for pillows. High-thread count bedding and coordinated sheets and covers make it even more inviting and unique for you, thus creating more comfort. Size also matters. A bed too small or too short will have you tossing and turning all night, making it difficult to fall asleep at night. Make sure you test the bed out; don’t be afraid to lie down on it in the store to get a real feel for it.
Your Rug Could be Toxic
They may look beautiful. They may add to the room’s décor. They may be cozy, but that shaggy rug you’ve loved for years in your bedroom could actually be causing you more harm than good. Rugs, carpets and the like are notorious for harboring bacteria, toxins, and even tiny little bugs that are invisible to the naked eye. Even the makeup of the rug could be toxic as adhesives and carpet backings all contain chemicals that could essentially affect the quality of your sleep. If you feel like you really need a rug in your room, opt for a rug or carpet that is untreated and made of natural fibers (Beres, R & L. 2010:296).
Consider a Tranquil Environment
A tranquil environment aids a good night’s sleep. First of all, you need to consider the color scheme of your bedroom as this is something that’s easily changed with very little cost, especially if you do it yourself. Relaxing hues such as greens, blues and neutrals encourage relaxation. To add to the peaceful ambiance, you could also try experimenting with monochromatic color schemes or high-contrasting patterns. Bright colors can often tamper with a room’s lighting and at other times they can cause stress or shock, once again impairing the sleep quality. If your bedroom space is limited, there’s little you can do about it unless you’re prepared to move house. A cramped room can make you feel claustrophobic, which in turn affects the body’s breathing throughout the night. Use optical illusions to create more space. If you’re room is cramped, paint it with lighter colors to help it appear bigger. On the other hand, if it’s too big, your room can feel empty and lonely, which will also have a psychological impact on how you sleep. Overcome a room too large by using darker hues on the walls. Or alternatively, if you want to create a well-balanced room using light and dark colors, paint your walls with two different colors. A two-toned wall will not only act as a modern feature, it will also create warmth and that much needed space, giving you the best of both worlds (Petrin, L. 2013:56).
The Layout Counts
So, you may not have an abundance of space when it comes to decorating and designing your bedroom, but the layout of your room does matter – it affects your sleep. When your room is overcrowded and full, negative energy is created, which in turn contributes to restless sleeps. A room that is packed full of things can be overwhelming, not to mention it collects dust, leading to nighttime coughing and avoidable allergies. Split your room into different zones and have a zone for each purpose, such as sleeping, studying, and dressing; this way, you’ll only have the items you need, your room will be less cluttered, there won’t be as much dust, and you’ll be able to move freely about as well (Griffin, E. 2009:42). The interior of your bedroom plays an important role on the quality of your sleep. If you consider your bedroom design carefully, you could ultimately do yourself a favor and aid a good night’s sleep. There are a number of things you can do to your sleeping room without having to do any serious renovations to assist in a better night’s sleep, and it’s definitely worth considering since you spend so much of your time in this one room. Your bedroom is your kingdom. It’s the very first place you’ll see when you wake up in the morning and it’s also the last before you sleep. This is the most personal area of your house, so if nothing else, you do have a moral obligation to make your room as comfortable as possible to enable a full night’s sleep. In short, your bedroom should act as your own personal oasis and you need to always bear in mind that its design does impact your sleep, and sleep should always be one of your top priorities.