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How to Design The Perfect Stress-free Bedroom

By Jonathan 16 September 2019

When we think about the most “practical” room in our house, we typically think of our kitchen or our bathroom. But because of the need to sleep, we’re going to spend at least 2,300 hours in our bedrooms per year. That’s more time than we’ll spend in any other room, and the time we do spend there has a huge effect on the rest of our life. There’s a reason people say “sleeping is healing.” If it goes well, our health, productivity, and mental wellbeing improves. If it doesn’t, then that all starts to get a lot worse.

This means when it comes to design: 

Comfort is more important than aesthetics.

So when you make any decision in designing your room, it has to go through this filter:

As nice as this may be, is this going to help me relax and sleep?

Your desire for creative expression will want to ignore this, but it’ll often lead you towards stressful clutter and a busy room. Here are some helpful tips instead:

  • Less is more. Have as little in your bedroom as possible. Your bedroom is primarily a space for sleeping and shutting out the stress and anxiety of the outside world. Less clutter means less stress, fewer reminders of things to do, and as a result, a room that supports your relaxation and sleep. This goes for both the design of the room (the amount of furniture) and the approach you take to cleaning it. You don’t have to be Mary Poppins, but avoiding clutter from bedsheets and strewn clothes will go a long way towards reducing stress. As the saying goes “an unmade bed fills the room.”

  • Try blues, or warm earth tones to settle you into a relaxing state and create a more serene bedroom. Humans are extremely responsive to colour, blue in particular has been shown to appeal to the ganglion cells in your eyes, triggering it to calm your brain and lower your heart rate.

  • Throw in some tactile fabrics like a cashmere blanket or sheepskin rug on the floor (perfect for sinking your feet into in the morning). In the most simple way, these provide a pleasant sensory element to your room which can both enhance comfort and tickle the nerves first thing upon waking up. A good rug can also muffle the sound of your partner moving around the room.

  • Get a candle or a softly lit lamp. Nothing affects the body’s melatonin levels more than light. Exposure to blue/green light (the kind of light seen in the morning and your phone screen) prompts your body to release cortisol – a hormone that both motivates you to wake up and limits the release of melatonin, the hormone which motivates you to sleep. A softly lit, warm lamp will darken your room, limiting the amount of blue/green light and encourage your body’s release of melatonin, helping you to fall asleep.

  • If you need them, grab some blackout curtains. Your body has its own circadian rhythm that is deeply tied to the natural rise and fall of light. In short, if you can sleep and wake to the rise and fall of the sun this is ideal, but if you can’t because you live in a city with constant orange street lights, consider grabbing some blackout curtains to help ensure you get the right amount of melatonin release.

  • Get the right mattress for you. Coupled with a good frame, a great mattress is crucial for supporting your back and both preventing and remedying any back pain you accumulate throughout your day. As the best mattress varies between each person, make sure you test any mattress you buy.

  • Get some weighted blankets. Heavy blankets have been shown to decrease anxiety and improve mental health. Although, before throwing them onto the bed, make sure you take into account the temperature of your room as being too hot can have a negative effect on your sleep quality.

  • Remove your smartphone from the bedroom. Not only will the blue/green light of the screen upset your natural sleep hormones, but your phone, emails, and messages will only keep your brain whirring and in problem-solving mode – the opposite of drifting off into sleep!

  • Always have a fiction book near your bed. Why fiction? Non-fiction will kick start your brain’s planning muscles, while fiction will kick start your dreams. It’s also great for reducing unwanted stress.

And breathe… now you have a stress-free bedroom.

Creating an anxiety-free bedroom is all about refocusing your room around what it’s purpose is meant to be: getting you great, high-quality sleep. The more you focus the room around this, the more you’ll watch as stress and anxiety wash away every time you step inside.

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