There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning, counting the dwindling hours left until the alarm goes off in the morning. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try a bedroom makeover.
According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, “A quiet, dark and cool environment can help promote sound slumber.” Let’s put that advice to work with some bedroom design tips that will help you create a restful haven for a good night’s sleep.
Keep it quiet
Adding soft goods to your design can do a lot to absorb ambient noise and make your bedroom a quiet place. Choose plush, thick textiles for curtains, rugs and bed coverings to muffle sounds. An upholstered chair and added throw pillows will also help.
If your bedroom looks out onto a noisy street, save a spot on your nightstand for a device to help you with sleeping with white noise so you can drown out traffic and other sounds.
Keep it dark
Choose a calming color scheme for your room. Though most sleep experts agree that color is a highly personal choice, Michael Breus, Ph.D. suggests using paints with a matte finish to keep things muted.
Light is a major cue to your brain to wake up, so control your bedroom environment with appropriate lighting. Consider installing dimmer switches on overhead lights so you can keep lighting low in the evening. Make sure that bedside table lamps are equipped with low-wattage bulbs as well: you only want enough light to read by as you get sleepy.
Window treatments. To keep out too-early daylight that interferes with sleep, install luxurious velvet or woven curtains. If you prefer a lighter look, consider light-blocking shades beneath gauzy curtains. Open the drapes or lift the blinds when you wake to let the sunlight in. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sunlight helps you feel alert in the morning and leads to healthier sleep patterns at night.
Keep it cool
If your bedroom has its own thermostat, turn it down. According to WebMD, a small decrease in body temperature helps induce sleep.
To keep cool, use breathable cotton sheets and a lightweight comforter. A throw blanket that can be easily tossed aside is better than one tucked into the mattress.