Bedroom design tips to help you sleep better at night

Update a bedroom for a good night’s sleep.

During these testing times, it’s only natural that our sleep may suffer. From the change in our daily sleep routine, less outdoor time and less exercise, to juggling work and children or worrying about vulnerable family members, good sleep hygiene has never been more important.

Good quality sleep has multiple benefits: it reduces stress, boosts our mood, ensures we concentrate better, reduces anxiety, and allows the body to better rest and repair.

As the place where we lay our heads every night, the bedroom is an easy place to start when it comes to improving our sleep. From a soothing colour scheme, to the role of Feng Shui and symmetry, there are several design features to consider creating a bedroom environment for optimal sleep.

Ahead of DIY season and given we’re all spending more time at home, Tempur Sleep Expert and chartered psychologist Suzy Reading has compiled a guide on how to rework a bedroom for better sleep.

‘The bedroom is the ideal place to start when considering how to improve our sleep environment,’ says Suzy. ‘It sounds simple, but without careful consideration, a bedroom can inhibit good sleep. Loud, brash colours in a bedroom can inadvertently keep us more awake, while gadgets emit blue light and prevent us feeling drowsy in the run up to sleep.’

Botanical trend

Image credit: Polly Wreford

BEDROOM DESIGN TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Good bedroom design needn’t cost a fortune; it’s about making small changes to improve the space and boost its sleep-inducing qualities. Read on for Suzy’s sleep-inducing bedroom design tips.

1. COLOUR SCHEME

In interior design, colour groups fall into two categories – cool colours and warm colours. For the best night’s sleep, use cool colours in the bedroom as these help the body to unwind, ready for sleep. Light blue, moss green, soft yellow and dusky grey all work well. Choose a colour that has meaning to you. If you love green, it will work better for you than blue, for example.

Warm colours, on the other hand, can have an adverse effect and have been shown to raise the heart rate and blood pressure, increasing our likelihood of staying awake. Avoid using red, purple or any bright colours as these prevent melatonin release, which the body produces to wind down ahead of sleep. If you are really set on using a bright colour, try adding as an accent colour, rather than one overpowering block of colour. Include colours in artwork or cushions, for example.

Bedroom design tips

Photography: Chris Everard

See 20 easy tips that can help you get to sleep tonight

2. FENG SHUI

Feng Shui is based on the principles of adding balance to a space for added calm. In a bedroom, this means implanting a design based on symmetry and pairing items together. For example, place two bedside tables on either side of the bed or install a pair of paintings. You could also add matching potted plants for more impact.

Feng Shui also means keeping a space clear and devoid of clutter, so be selective with furniture and keep clutter and ornaments to a minimum. Take a ‘less is more’ approach and keep the bedroom clean and tidy, as this will only improve sleep long-term.

Bedroom design tips for a better sleep

Photography: Jan Baldwin

3. PLANTS AND GREENERY

Consider adding greenery to your bedroom. Plants can boost air quality, increase air circulation and extract chemicals. Spending just five minutes in nature has a calming effect, so why not bring the outdoors in?

Ferns, succulents, bamboo, aloe vera and ivy plants are easy care varieties for green-fingered beginners. Match the plant type to the level of light and ensure your plants are well watered and dusted frequently, as dust prevents sunshine absorption needed for good plant health.

Bedroom design tips

Photography: Catherine Gratwicke

See How to sleep better – five ways sleep improves your health

4. BLOCK LIGHT AND SOUND

It sounds obvious, but ensure all chinks of light are blocked, as sunshine is a natural indicator to our body to wake up. Use blackout blinds and ensure curtains are fully closed before sleep. Similarly, use earplugs to block out any noise. Remember that a bedroom should be like a cave for optimal sleep, so ensure it is cool, dark and quiet ahead of sleep and throughout the night.

How to sleep

Photography: Paul Raeside

5. BEDDING AND NIGHTWEAR

Avoid using synthetic materials such as polyester bedding and instead use linen, silk and cotton for the most natural bedding types. These breathable fabrics allow the body to both cool better and stay warmer. Invest in a natural duvet type, such as feather-down, and again avoid man-made materials as these can irritate the skin. The same goes for nightwear, so choose cotton, silk or linen for a more comfortable sleep experience. Keep an extra blanket close by should the temperature drop in the night.

Bedroom sleep tips

Photography: Damian Russell

See Bedroom colour ideas – to brighten and lift your scheme

6. NATURAL REMEDIES

Adding essential oil fragrances into your room can aid sleep and create a soothing environment. Try spritzing your sheets with a light layer of lavender spray before sleep or use a diffuser with a natural scent such as mint or lemon. Taking a warm shower or bath with essential oils before bed can also make us feel more naturally tired, along with a hot drink.

Bedroom design tips

Photography: James Robinson

7. BANISH BLUE LIGHT

Blue light emitted from gadgets, computers, phones and screens is an instant signal to our brains and bodies to stay awake. Place these items in a different room and use a traditional alarm clock rather than a phone alarm. When it’s dark, we release the chemical melatonin, which is crucial to trigger sleep as it makes the body relax and feel naturally drowsy, so don’t let blue light prevent you from dropping off.

8. INVEST IN A GOOD QUALITY MATTRESS

We spend up to a third of our lives asleep, so investing in a quality mattress can really make all the difference to your sleep quality. A good mattress will gently support your entire body while keeping your spine in a neutral position. This will not only help improve your quality of sleep – the more comfortable and supported you are, the less you will toss and turn – but will also help muscles recover overnight and alleviate any aches and pains.

how to sleep better

Photography: John Day

Tempur, uk.tempur.com

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