How often do you find yourself in your bedroom? Experts estimate that the average person spends a third of their life asleep or attempting to drift off.
Good sleep habits often have a huge positive impact on both mental and physical health. Despite this, most people don’t prioritize getting a good night’s rest and don’t maintain a cozy and comfortable sleeping environment in their homes.
You deserve a better and more relaxing sleep sanctuary. Would it surprise you to learn that what you may think of as an ideal bedroom might not encourage the best slumber?
We’re here to help. Sometimes the smallest changes have the biggest impact on your sleep health! Check out the five tips below and use them as a starting point.
1. Let Your Bedroom Stay True to Its Purpose.
You may think it’s relaxing to have your computer, gaming consoles and TV remote controls within reach of your bed. But think about it: How many times have you slept way past your intended bedtime because you were distracted? Relaxing is not the same as relaxing for sleep.
Bedrooms should be exclusively for rest and romance, but certain circumstances may require more from the space. It’s one thing if you have no choice in the matter, but if you can help it, spend your work and recreational time in other parts of your home. The general idea is to keep you from staying up because of something you weren’t meant to do during sleep hours, anyway.
Here are some quick fixes for cramped living situations: Cover your digital screens and entertainment devices when not in use. Pack your laptop away when you’re not working. Have a closed box or drawer for remotes, controllers, chargers and other related objects. If you must charge your devices in your bedroom, pick an outlet far from your bed—bonus points if it can be hidden behind furniture.
2. Upgrade Your Mattress and Pillows.
Are you one of those people that always look forward to holidays because it means sleeping in a luxurious hotel or resort bed? You should want that level of comfort for yourself every day—not just when you’re vacationing.
Change your mattress if it’s sagging, lumpy, worn out or just plain old. Change your pillows if they’re flat or if you’ve had them for more than two years. Other signs that you need to upgrade your bed include waking up every day with little aches and pains and feeling the movements of a bed partner when you’re lying still.
When choosing a new mattress, make sure that it will support your spine alignment without being too firm. Pillows should be useful and not just an afterthought or for decoration.
Your sleeping position plays a big part in these decisions. For example: If you sleep face down, you should stay away from very soft mattresses and use a bolster for stomach sleepers. If you sleep on your back and find yourself suffering from snoring or acid reflux, try using a wedge pillow to slightly elevate your upper body while in slumber.
3. Maintain a Collection of Seasonal Bed Linens.
This tip is especially apt for people living in areas that experience extreme weather changes. If you maintain a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe, why not do the same for your bedroom?
The concept is the same: What’s comfortable during the summer can leave you freezing during cold weather months, and what’s cozy during winter nights can have you sweating buckets when temperatures run high again.
If you’re not the type to depend on your thermostat, you may keep your down-filled comforter in a closet during sweltering hot summers and sleep on linen or cotton sheets. You may add fleece blankets and extra pillows for warmth as the season changes.
Some materials are ideal for year-round use, such as sateen weave cotton or silk. The former is a little bit warmer than typical cotton but it is just as breathable and moisture-wicking. The latter is very comfortable but also hard to maintain, as it’s a luxury fabric.
4. Tone Down the Visual Noise.
It makes sense to keep the volume down when someone’s trying to sleep, but not many people give thought to sight overstimulation. Too much clutter in a room, combined with loud and bold prints and colors, can affect how long it takes for you to start catching sleep after you’ve settled into your bed.
Don’t insist on having everything you love in your bedroom. If you can find space for your beloved items elsewhere, put them there. This goes for everything—from Funko Pops to picture frames. One or two special objects isn’t a big deal, but if you’re keeping entire collections in your bedroom, it will only attract dust and make the space harder to clean up more often.
Bright hues and aggressive design choices may look great on a Pinterest pin or a magazine feature, but may feel imposing and anxiety-inducing in real life. Instead of multiple visual accents consider playing with textures instead. A plush pillow or a cable knit throw can be just as interesting as a complex printed pattern.
5. Make Your Bed When You Wake Up.
All of the advice we’ve given so far can cost you more than a moderate amount of time, money and spent energy. Here’s one change that is easy to implement: make your bed every day.
It’s not just your mom that thinks this is a good idea. A recent National Sleep Foundation poll concluded that people that made their bed after waking up are almost 20 percent likelier to sleep better. Those are great odds, and all it takes is five minutes before you start the rest of your day.
As a final note: More than 60 percent of the people polled also said that a neat sleeping area contributes to them getting a good night’s rest. Making your bed and cleaning your bedroom could be the best, most efficient, and most budget-friendly way to experience more relaxing to sleep in.