The bedroom is a sacred space: a haven where we can recharge so we can feel ready to take on another day.
Sleep is absolutely essential to a healthy body and mind. Your cognitive abilities, your weight, your resistance to illness, and your heart health all depend on getting a good night’s rest, every night.
Adjusting your sleep environment, even in small ways, can have the biggest impact on the quality of our sleep, especially if you live in a city that’s always bustling with activity.
We’ve compiled a list of bedroom upgrades that can upgrade your quality of life as a whole. All of these are easy bedroom fixes that can help prepare your senses to wind down at the end of a long day.
A Better Mattress and Pillows
When it comes to sleep, it’s all about comfort. So, if sleep hasn’t been comfortable lately, maybe it’s time to switch out your lumpy mattress and worn-out pillows.
While we all want a bed that’s soft and cozy, your mattress should still be sturdy and ergonomic enough to support your body as you sleep. Your pillows, on the other hand, must be able to adapt to whatever position you sleep in and keep your body cool at the same time.
Most importantly, your pillows must support your neck properly and keep your head in a neutral position when you lie down—that is, your chin is not pointing towards your chest or the ceiling.
Your choice of mattress and pillows will all boil down to personal preference, while still taking stock of how you sleep. Note that most mattresses have a lifespan of eight years, while doctors recommend replacing pillows every two years.
Light trickling in from the outside can disrupt your slumber, thereby affecting the overall quality of your sleep. So, it’s not enough to just keep the lights out in your bedroom, you also must block outside light from coming in.
Blackout curtains help your bedroom stay pitch dark while you sleep. These are usually made from dark, heavy fabrics that can block light and darken rooms. However, in case you don’t watch to switch out your current curtains, you can turn them into blackout curtains by adding blackout liners instead.
Speaking of light, having a steady stream of bright, white light in your bedroom can also make it harder for you to sleep. Research shows that exposure to bright, artificial light before bedtime hinders the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
Dimming the lights, or switching to warmer lighting, an hour before bed can help you ease into sleep better. Ambient lighting makes this easier as it allows for dimmable lighting whose brightness and temperature can be controlled remotely.
Silence is important for getting restful sleep. Research shows that the brain still processes sound even as we sleep. However, silence can be a rare commodity, especially in neighborhoods within the city. If total silence can’t be achieved, we can turn to ambient noise to help achieve the sleep that we want.
Ambient noise helps you cover up or block out off-putting background noises, such as the sound of construction taking place at three in the morning. For this upgrade, there’s really no need to invest in a white noise machine. You can just play water waves and other ocean sounds, or whatever ambient noise you prefer, and put it on speaker.
The Smell of Lavender
Lavender doesn’t just smell nice, but it can also help you get better sleep. Research shows that lavender decreases heart rate and blood pressure, which puts the body in a relaxed state for falling asleep.
There are many ways to incorporate lavender into your bedroom. You can put two to three drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser to fill your room with a subtle lavender scent that can help you wind down. Or, you can use a lavender hand and body lotion just before you go to sleep to help you relax while keeping your skin moisturized.
A Pop of Color Psychology
Bold and bright colors might be attractive, but they are not at all helpful when it comes to sleep. These colors tend to increase the amount of energy in the room, which works against any effort to rest or relax. Instead, upgrade your bedroom and surround yourself with relaxing, cool tones such as grays, blues, and browns.
If you don’t want to repaint your bedroom, however, there are other ways to introduce these colors to your sleeping environment—you can always change up the colors of your bedroom furnishings, beddings, sheets, and throw blankets to a much cooler palette.