The bedroom is meant the sanctuary in your home – the spot where you can leave behind the worries of the day and gain some calming, restful sleep. If your bedroom is more mish-mash than sanctuary, here are some tips on creating a room where sleep will become a pleasure.
The colours that you use in your bedroom will have a huge effect on the feeling of your room as a whole. Soft, restful colours, or rich, sedate colours are your best choices. Blues and greens have traditionally been the most popular choices for the bedroom as they are associated with peace, calm, and serenity. Neutrals and gentle, earthy colours are also good choices. You can bring in splashes of brighter colour and personality through accessories. You could even opt for deeper, richer colours such as reds, purples, and chocolates, as long as they’re on the warmer end of the colour spectrum rather than feeling cold. Don’t use highly contrasting colour schemes or bright colours as they will stimulate you too much when you are trying to relax.
The mattress is an important component of what you sleep on. If your mattress is more than seven years old, there’s a good chance that it no longer meets your needs. As well, after seven years, your mattress will weigh twice as much due to dead skin cells, sweat, oil, fungus, dust mites, and their faeces. Not very pleasant-sounding is it? The mattress that you sleep on should be comfortable and supportive. This is different for different people so it is imperative that you take your time when shopping for a new mattress. Being rushed will greatly increase your chances of selecting the wrong mattress. Spend at least 15 minutes on the bed that you are thinking of getting to see how it feels. Consider your partner as well. There are now mattresses available that can be tailored for both of your needs – avoiding the need to compromise.
Your pillow is also important. Synthetic pillows should be replaced at least every three years and natural pillows at least every seven years. After this time they will have lost their loft and springiness, and likely be infested with the same critters that are in your old mattress. As a general guide, go for a medium pillow if you sleep on your back, a firm pillow if you sleep on your side, and a soft pillow if you sleep on your stomach. If you have allergies, try a hypoallergenic cotton, wool, or synthetic fill.
The sheets also play a factor. Polyester, fleece or satin sheets, while they can feel good, can trap heat and moisture. Instead, go for cotton sheets which breathe well and also feel good against the skin. Egyptian cotton sheets are considered to be the best, but any cotton is good. Look at the thread count when you are buying sheets – the higher the thread count, the better the sheets will feel and the longer they’ll last. In most climates, a medium weight doona will be perfect. In hot weather, sheets will likely be enough, while in winter, you can add blankets to reach the right level of coziness.
If there ever was a place for touch, the bedroom is it. While the sheets themselves should be cotton, bring in texture in the form of faux fur blankets, silk or cashmere throws, suede bedheads, and so forth. Rugs will cover a bare floor and make the whole area feel more inviting, and have the added bonus of protecting your from the shock of cold floors.
Feng Shui has its place in the bedroom. Don’t position the bed so that your feet point directly at the door. This will allow the chi, or life force energy, to flow right out of the room. However, do place the bed so that you can see the door without straining your neck, and so that there’s room for both you and your partner to enter and exit the bed with ease. The bed should not be pushed into a corner.
The bedroom should be the most clutter free space in the home. Clutter can distract us and make it difficult to sleep. Don’t allow there to be too many patterns, or too much furniture. Put laundry away as soon as it is done, and keep the nightstands free of books and magazines. Always ensure that there is a clear path to the door, so that you don’t trip in the middle of the night. If the room looks too visually busy, it will stimulate your brain and stop you from getting the rest that you need.
We naturally sleep better when the air is a little bit cooler. Also, since the body temperature drops as we sleep, cooler air helps to signify the body that it is time to rest. If you have air conditioning, set it to a slightly lower level than the rest of the home, or open a window or run a fan. Keep the humidity at a comfortable level too – a humidifier or dehumidifier can help here.
The body needs almost total darkness in order to sleep properly, so it is important to have window coverings that block out ambient light from passing cars, streetlights, the neighbours, the moon, and any other source. Opaque curtains are great but if these are not strong enough, look for ones that are made from blockout material. These are specifically designed to eliminate light.