- 9 Tips for Maximizing Your Sleep Environment
- 1. Change How you Think about Your Room
- 2. Clean Out All the Clutter
- 3. Ditch All Electronics
- 4. Keep Your Room Dark
- 5. Keep Your Room Quiet
- 6. Keep Your Room Cool
- 15 Calming Bedroom Colors To Relax And Unwind
- 1. Lush Lavender
- 2. Tranquil White
- 3. Blue-Gray
- 4. Sea Blue
- 5. Pastel Purple
- 6. Dusty Pink
- 7. Neutral Beige
- 8. Sage Green
- 9. Light Yellow
- 10. Pale Orange
- 11. Muted Gray
- 12. Rustic Red
- 13. Hints of Gold
- 14. Taupe
- 15. Trendy Turquoise
9 Tips for Maximizing Your Sleep Environment
Thanks to growing advocacy and the abundance of available information on sleep medicine there is a growing awareness into the importance of getting quality sleep every night. More people are beginning to realize the benefits of practicing sleep hygiene, and how it can positively impact their daily lives.
Many people are choosing to make sleep a priority and realizing they can accomplish it by keeping a bedtime routine, exercising regularly, eating sleep-friendly foods, and relaxing before bedtime.
However, there is one aspect of sleep hygiene that still needs more attention. One that should be at the forefront of the pursuit for better sleep––the sleep environment.A third of your life is spent sleeping in a bedroom. All too often, people overlook the importance of what a bedroom actually means in getting great sleep.
Many of us use our rooms to watch TV, browse the internet, talk with our spouses about life decisions, and a variety of other activities not associated with sleep.
If sleep is important to you, it's time to start looking at how your bedroom impacts your sleep, and methods to improve it.
1. Change How you Think about Your Room
One of the biggest keys in maximizing the efficiency for sleep in your room is what you associate your room with. Ideally your room should be used for two purposes only: sleep and romance. Everything else done in your room serves no other purpose than to distract you from sleep. But how do you improve your room so that it's only associated with sleep?
2. Clean Out All the Clutter
Your room isn't your gym, office, or playroom. To begin associating it with sleep, you need to get all the stuff out that is potential distractions. Put the treadmill in another, get rid of the computer and work desk, and most importantly (and probably the hardest) ditch the television.
Having your bedroom as the place to go for other activities only leads to your brain associating the room with other things. If your bedroom is where your office is, it can help make your mind busy and even anxious about work, because you correlate the room with busy work.
Getting rid of the TV helps in many ways. For one, it's too easy to watch it before bedtime as it's in the room. Engaging programs can keep your mind awake longer as you get sucked into the story.
TVs also emit blue light, which can trick the body's production of melatonin into slowing down. Light is associated with wakefulness. When there's light, your body doesn't produce as much melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
And speaking of distractions…
3. Ditch All Electronics
For the same reasons you shouldn't have a TV or computer in your bedroom, you also shouldn't have a cellphone, tablet, laptop, portable game console, or e-reader in the room either. Most of these devices also emit the sleep stealing light and are used for consuming content that may rob you of sleep because it's so engaging.
You should also adjust the position and location of your alarm clock. Not only is the light from the digital display distracting, but many people find themselves constantly looking at the time displayed on their clock, and if it's getting late, start worrying about losing sleep.
This worry over losing sleep can cause anxiety, which will lead to even more lost sleep. The best solution for alarm clocks is to set them at the given wake-up time, place them on the other side of the room, and turn them away from you.
This keeps you from worrying about the time, and it also prevents you from sleeping in by hitting the snooze button as it forces you to get up from bed in the morning to turn it off.
4. Keep Your Room Dark
We've already discussed how artificial light mimics natural light to keep you from sleep. One of the best things for sleep is to eliminate all lights possible. That means don't leave a lamp on, remove any night-lights, and get heavy curtains or blackout blinds to eliminate outside light.
If you refuse to remove your cellphone from the room, one helpful tip is to flip it over, screen-side down, during bedtime. Many phones light up when there's an incoming text, email, or push notification from an app that may distract you from sleep or even wake you from sleep. Eliminate unwanted light at night by flipping your phone over.
5. Keep Your Room Quiet
Noise is another common sleep thief. Whether the sound comes from within the room itself, down the hall, or across the street, noise can prevent us from getting to sleep, and even worse, can rouse us from sleep.
In truth it's not so much sound itself that prevents sleep, it's the inconsistency of sound or silence that can be disruptive.
If your sleep environment has noises beyond your control (see noisy neighbors and traffic) try sleeping with a sound machine. Sound machines produce soothing, mellow sounds that not only help you relax for sleep, but drown out other sounds that may wake you from sleep.
Some people claim they need music to sleep. If you're someone who can't fall asleep without listening to music, try setting it on a timer to turn off a short time after you would normally fall asleep. This eliminates the chances of a sudden, inconsistent sound from waking you from sleep.
6. Keep Your Room Cool
As you go to sleep your body temperature begins to drop as it prepares itself for slumber. Keeping your room a cool temperature (between 60-67 degrees) can help aid the process of cooling your body.
A study in Britain showed that the color of your bedroom can impact the amount of sleep you get. In a survey of over 2,000 British homes it was found that the colors blue, yellow, and green helped sleepers get the most hours of sleep with blue averaging 7 hours 52 minutes, yellow at 7 hours 40 minutes, and green at 7 hours 36 minutes.
These colors are often associated with calmness and relaxation and can help put your mind at ease as you are trying to rest.
At the other end of the spectrum, colors such as purple, brown, and grey can potentially ruin the amount of sleep you get. Average hours for these colors are 6 hours 12 minutes for grey, 6 hours 5 minutes for brown, and 5 hours 56 minutes for purple.
Theories suggest that purple is an artistic color that stimulates the creative mind, and browns and greys are often associated with dreariness and depression.
As you can tell, there are a number of things that can rob you of sleep. Fortunately most of these things can be solved through practicing good sleep hygiene and making sleep a priority.
Unfortunately for some people, practicing good sleep hygiene and maximizing their sleep environment doesn't always help them sleep better.
Many of these people suffer from sleep disorders that need to be diagnosed and treated starting with a sleep study.
For residents of Alaska, The Alaska Sleep Clinic is here to help. We have over a decade worth of experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of sleep disorders including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and many others. If you're having trouble sleeping and think it may be a sign of a disorder, click the link below for a free consultation with a sleep specialist.
15 Calming Bedroom Colors To Relax And Unwind
Color choices are important when decorating a room, and no space is more important than your bedroom. The bedroom should be your sanctuary—it’s the space you wind down in the evening and feel rejuvenated by morning. Whether you’re adding feng shui into your bedroom style or merely deciding on ways to decorate a small bedroom, colors and accents play a large part in your decision.
Bedroom colors and moods go hand in hand and set the tone for a good night’s rest. While some color choices are subjective, other colors impact most of us the same way. Start feeling more zen with 15 of the most calming bedroom color ideas.
1. Lush Lavender
The flower itself is the perfect shade of purple with a light blue tone — perfectly regal and relaxing, but not overwhelming. Think about adding a lavender art or wall print with a soft lavender background. Just the bloom, lavender creates a calming effect in our bedroom and is one of those dreamy color schemes that will impact your mood.
2. Tranquil White
For a truly serene bedroom, don’t overlook the power of white. White walls tend to make small bedrooms look big and create the ideal calming space for busy minds. However, white can become boring, so think about including accent pillows, rugs, or artwork to add a touch of class to your sanctuary.
Are you looking for blue bedroom ideas? Blue-gray favors order and quiet strength, making it ideal for those who value organized, clean spaces. Remember, while dark blues can quickly overwhelm a small space, blue-grays create a relaxing environment. Reserve your use of deep blue colors for small decorative pieces.
4. Sea Blue
Transport yourself to the ocean each time you step foot in your bedroom. Sea blue represents peace and tranquility, making it a perfect choice for a serene bedroom. However, it’s important to remember that the softer styles require a bit of finesse. Consider adding an accent wall or using something as simple as a darker toned picture frame to add some variety.
5. Pastel Purple
While deep purple is associated with sadness and frustration, lighter shades of purple (or a form of lavender) are considered peaceful and tranquil. Pastel purple works well as a wall color or an accent color to any neutral, but be careful not to go overboard. Tie it into your area rug, tabletop frames, or even a blanket draped over the back of a chair.
6. Dusty Pink
While the color pink is generally more feminine, dusty pink is a calming color for any bedroom. If you’re a person who tends toward fear of the unknown, dusty pink as a wall color or accent will help create feelings of security. Dusty pink is also an excellent accent color for any pastel color scheme. Consider adding a dusty rose nightlight or lamp to your room.
7. Neutral Beige
The most calming spectrum of colors the neutral category, tan or beige. If you have a busy mind or stressful schedule, choose neutral walls for a relaxing night’s sleep. Because neutrals can become a little too muted, tie in a complementary accent color sea green, gray or soft mint.
8. Sage Green
Sage green represents nature, making this a symbol for rejuvenation and tranquility. In many cultures, the color green is associated with good luck and renewal. Use potted plants to bring out your bedroom’s true nature. Leafy foliage, decorative pots and maybe even a little bamboo will complete your sanctuary.
9. Light Yellow
Yellow is one of the brightest colors on the spectrum, making it a wonderful choice for a bedroom to help you feel refreshed and vibrant. Remember to use something toned down to ground the bright color of yellow. Deep tones in photography, frames, and furniture will help you avoid from soaring too close to the sun.
10. Pale Orange
The color orange is associated with physical energy and emotional strength. For master bedrooms, it’s best to choose a muted orange, apricot, peach, or a light orange-red. Add some branches in a whimsical vase or custom candles as your nightstand centerpiece.
11. Muted Gray
Gray color combinations play an important role in any calming master bedroom. Gray is emotionless, which ironically helps to balance our feelings. A muted gray accent wall or decor will convey a feeling of ease to any bedroom. White photo frames, green potted plants, or even pastel pillows will balance this color.
12. Rustic Red
Choosing the proper shade of red in your bedroom can make all the difference in design. An earthy red terracotta can help ground your thoughts and calm your mind. A gentle, earth-honed red can be used to bring a soft, relaxing warmth into the master bedroom of a rustic home. Think wood accents, luxurious fleece blankets, and big furniture when working with reds.
13. Hints of Gold
Gold is known as a color of affluence, success, or wealth. However, gold should be used sparingly in a bedroom. Too much of the color gold can be overpowering, while gentle accents of gold can help you drift off to thoughts to abundance and prosperity. Consider hanging gold-framed artwork or adding a gold-accented lamp in your bedroom.
Does the color taupe belong in the bedroom? Absolutely! If you want to feng shui your bedroom, taupe can invoke a feeling of peace and control. Focus on taupe as a wall color and incorporate colorful artwork or lighten things up with some potted plants.
15. Trendy Turquoise
If you’re hoping for a blend that inspires creativity as well as calm, ordered thought, turquoise may be your color. It’s the perfect blend between the order of blues and the vibrancy of yellows. Herringbone rugs, wooden photo frames or soft pink accents are ideal decor to any turquoise-centric design.
The master bedroom is the one room that should be your own personal escape. It’s the place you go to relax after a long day and re-energize for tomorrow. Understanding what motivates you will help you choose the best color for your bedroom. While color is largely a personal choice, keep these color palettes in mind for bedroom decor ideas to create the space you need for a restful sleep.