If you’re someone who has ever had a poor night’s sleep or struggles to fall asleep in general (ok, so everyone?) then you may be interested to learn that your sleep space plays a key role in the sleep process. What I mean by that is that the environment around you before you sleep and while you sleep can impact your overall sleep. I’m not just talking about blackout shades and your optimal pillow count (although those may be important to you), but the atmosphere as a whole. This is about a combination of creativity and intentionality with our sleep space.
To begin with, why aren’t I just calling it a bedroom? A bedroom can be a lot of things to us. For some of us, it doubles as an office (desk in the corner?), a movie theater, and a closet (whether it’s an armoire or dresser, clothes usually inhabit this area in some capacity). Similar to what we’ve heard about “closing up our work-from-home area at the end of the workday”, when we make a distinction between what our bedroom is and what our sleep space is, it takes on new meaning. Our brain then switches the designation of the space and registers it as “the place I’m supposed to do that thing where I lie down for 7-9 hours per night.” It may seem like just semantics at first, but this rewording is really a powerful reframe of this particular square footage of your home.
Start by making it a place you like to be. This does not mean make it a place you want to hangout in, but really make this a place that you are content to return to at the end of the day. If you don’t plan on redesigning your home anytime soon, not to worry, this can be as simple as making your bed, or as complex as painting your walls a new color. If you have dirty laundry piling up or clothes that need folding, this might contribute to the sense of “there’s more to do,” which may prevent you from relaxing later on when the lights go out. It seems miniscule but it does create a different energy in a room you’re trying to create peace and calm in.
To add to the likability of the space, incorporate other elements that give you a sense of ease like fresh flowers, a photo of the ocean, or family heirlooms. Of course, this is catered to what helps you unwind, so if flowers make you sneeze or think of funerals, then maybe a stack of books or a candle help create a unique ambience for you and your sleep space.
The light in your space is really important. Ideally, at night, you’re limiting your exposure to blue light and in the morning you’re spending time in natural light. Dim your lights as you near bedtime and if you can, eliminate any overhead or lamplight altogether. If you plan to read before bed, switch to a booklamp and make sure you wear your blue light blockers for any night screen time.
A hot sleep is not a good sleep. Try adjusting the temperature of your space to anywhere between 60-70 degrees while you sleep. Depending on the time of year, you may want to turn down your thermostat, open the window, or kick on the a/c to help you sleep in a cooler room.
The place it all goes down. Your bed (including the frame, mattress, sheets, blankets, comforters, and throw pillows) is the focal point of your sleep space. Although there are many recommendations out there about mattress firmness and bedding material, don’t forget to bring attention to the aesthetics. The color and pattern of your sheets, the layering of the bedding (are you a flat sheet person or do you go straight for the duvet or quilt?), the funky throw pillows or large shams (or lack thereof).
From temperature, to lighting, to knick knacks, to wall decor, and to bedding, you should walk into your room and melt into the mood you’ve concocted. All of these components act in unison to have you not only saying “I want to sleep here” but also you actually falling asleep here!
Catherine at Revive