Remodeling Against Insomnia: Better Bedroom Design for Better Sleep
Apart from certain lifestyle and health factors, the very design of your bedroom could be contributing to your lack of sleep.
The good news:
If your bedroom has elements that don’t allow it to be sleep-conducive, it could be an opportunity to do a bit of remodeling. Even the most minor changes in your bedroom can affect how you sleep at night.
However, let’s start with possibly the biggest change you need to make.
#1 Blue is the Sleepiest Color
In order to understand why blue is the ideal bedroom color, you need to know how it’s processed by the human eye. As light is received in the back of your eye, it interacts with the retina. At the cellular level, different photoreceptors in the retina allow the light to be sent to the brain and processed as images.
One of these receptors are called ganglion cells, which affect the part of your brain that controls your circadian rhythms, the 24-hour biological rhythms that dictate your sleepiness and wakefulness.
These ganglion cells are most sensitive to the color blue. In fact, when blue hues are picked up by these cells in your eyes, it could lower your heart rate and blood pressure, making it easier to relax and get some sleep.
But you don’t need to stick to blue if the color just isn’t right for you. Any neutral or relaxing color is bound to elicit feelings of relaxation, such as pale grays, caramels, pale yellows, or other gentle, pastel hues.
You could even combine some of these colors in your bedroom using not only paint, but accessories like lampshades, bed sheets, pillow cases, furniture, and even curtains. In fact, curtains are another very important part of sleep-friendly remodeling.
#2 Get Blackout Curtains
In full darkness, humans produce more melatonin – the hormone that affects chemical changes in the body resulting to sleep. Blackout curtains can let you sleep in complete and total darkness.
If you have curtains that let light through, replace them with blackout curtains. However, if you can’t part with the lovely curtains that you already have, there’s the option of gluing/sewing blackout curtain liners over them, giving them the ability to block out all external light.
The lack of light is a must for anyone who’s having trouble sleeping. Insomniacs shouldn’t even be using night lights.
However, if you depend on your night light to find your way inside your bedroom in the dark, there is an alternative: just use glow in the dark tape. Simply place the tape on objects that you want to find or don’t want to hit as you navigate in the dark, like the door, or the edges of tables and other furniture.
#3 Ditch the Electronic Screens and Other Sources of Blue Light
While blue hues from the objects and walls inside your bedroom may help you sleep, electric light from the blue spectrum does the exact opposite. ‘Blue light’ mostly comes from the electronic screens that most of us depend on day to day.
The really bad news is that there have been scientific studies proving how exposure to blue light minutes or even hours before bedtime lowers melatonin levels, which, as mentioned above, is the hormone that engages sleep.
So just ditch the TV. In fact, if your chronic insomnia is so bad, don’t take your phone inside your bedroom, either. The more hours you put between looking at electronic screens and your actual bedtime, the better.
If you can go without looking at your TV or phone for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, it could do a lot for your chronic insomnia. Instead of a TV in the bedroom, put up a painting that relaxes you.
It doesn’t have to be a painting or an artwork; it could be anything that elicits feelings of calmness – because that’s what your bedroom should be – an oasis of calm and serenity.
#4 Relaxation Through Decoration
Apart from calming paintings and artwork, you can decorate your bedroom with relaxing objects like antique lamps, room dividers draped with luxurious fabrics, or even huge stuffed toys that elicit feelings of comfort.
As long as it helps you relax and be more comfortable, it has a place in your bedroom remodeling. You can even try the option of getting an electric fireplace – apart from great heaters during the winter, some of the better models actually mimic the look of realistic flames, possibly serving as a warm night light that won’t disrupt your sleep.
Another decorative motif that’s highly sleep-inducing is natural wood. The look and texture of fine wooden craftsmanship not only elicits admiration – in the bedroom, it provides feelings of warmth, safety, and relaxation. So if you have some fine wooden furniture at home, it’s best to reserve them for the bedroom.
#5 Visually De-clutter Your Bedroom
A good use for all that fine wooden furniture is to hide the visual clutter in your room. Looking around inside your bedroom shouldn’t be a stressful experience. The less clutter you see, the less the clutter affects your state of mind.
When it comes to sleep-inducing bedroom remodeling – whether it’s color, accessories, curtains, carpets, or essential bedroom furniture – minimalism works best for most insomniacs. Keep it simple, silly. The less visual stimulation inside your bedroom, the easier it’ll be for you to fall asleep.
#6 Associate Your Bedroom with Sleep, Calmness, and Relaxation
As recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, part of good sleep hygiene is to keep your bed and bedroom associated with nothing but sleep and other relaxing activities. Apart from sleep and sexual intercourse, this can also mean calming activities, like Hatha yoga, tai chi, or mindfulness meditation.
By repeatedly performing calming rituals in your bedroom, you’re training your brain to associate it with sleep and relaxation. This can also mean lighting incense or candles with relaxing scents like lavender or chamomile – just be sure to place them on ceramic, metal, or other fireproof candle/incense holders for safety.
#7 Get the Best Mattress You Can Find
If you don’t already sleep in a mattress that agrees with your back, then you should start finding one immediately. Some of the best mattresses are made with latex, which is known for being firm and supportive.
Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, are known for being soft and actually allowing your body’s shape to ‘sink’ into the mattress as it reacts to your body heat. There are even mattresses manufactured with both memory foam and latex to combine the benefits of the two materials.
If you’re suffering from any conditions, you should definitely consult your doctor on which type mattress would be best for your back.
An important part of getting a new mattress is getting to try it before actually committing to purchasing it.
Because your mattress is perhaps the most important part of your bedroom; everything else won’t matter if you’re not sleeping on a comfy mattress. You need to physically find out if the mattress you’re eyeing is the right one for you. In fact, remodeling against insomnia can start and end with the perfect mattress.
From Rienzi Mosqueda