Your body produces hormones while you sleep that help build muscle, fight illnesses and repair damage, so sleep deprivation can negatively affect your mood, health, weight, and brain function.
Because sleep is an essential component for good health and energy, it’s important to ensure that your bedroom environment is ideal for sleep. Read on for some simple and cost effective tips for creating a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom.
Your body’s natural daily cycles are called circadian rhythms, which respond primarily to light and darkness. Light-related circadian rhythms are the reason you sleep at night and wake in the morning. When there’s less light, your brain makes more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you tired. Being exposed to light at night may affect melatonin, leading to changes in circadian rhythms. 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.
Color has a powerful effect on your mood and affects your ability to sleep. Your bedroom should create a feeling of calm and peace to induce sleep. According to research, blue is the most conducive color for sleep. This is because your brain is especially receptive to the color blue, thanks to special receptors in your retinas called ganglion cells. These are sensitive to blue more than any other color, so when they see it they send a message to your brain that you’re in a calm environment, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
According to a Travelodge survey of 2,000 people in Britain, those who have blue bedrooms enjoy an average of 7 hours and 52 minutes of sleep each night. Per the CDC, a third of American adults gets fewer than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis, so a splash of color could be the first step towards a more restful night. Another benefit to a blue bedroom? Almost 60% of the blue bedroom owners in the Travelodge survey also reported waking up feeling happy on a regular basis.
Still not convinced to paint your bedroom blue? Studies have also shown that yellow and green are effective at promoting a restful night’s sleep. But whatever you do, don’t paint your bedroom purple! The same study showed that people with purple rooms averaged only 5 hours and 56 minutes of sleep, as it stimulates mental activity, boosts creativity and can contribute to more vivid nightmares.
During the day, your body temperature rises and falls slightly. This movement is tied to your sleep cycle. As you get tired, your body temperature decreases and reaches its lowest around 5:00 a.m., and then starts to climb slightly as the morning progresses. Therefore, the air temperature in your room can have a significant effect on your quality of sleep. If the room is too warm, it can interfere with your body’s natural dip in temperature and cause restlessness.
Experts say that the ideal temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees, but each of us has a slightly different optimal temperature, so experiment to determine what works best for you!
While it might be tempting to scroll through Instagram, browse the Compass app for a new home, or binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, screen time before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep. This is because electronic devices emit short-wavelength, artificial blue light, which disrupts your circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin release. A better alternative: pick up an old-fashioned printed book!
Aromatherapy creates a relaxing and calming atmosphere and can set the tone for a restful night’s sleep. Lavender is widely touted as one of the best essential oils for this purpose. A 2005 study assessed how lavender affected 31 young, healthy sleepers and the results showed that it increased the amount of slow- and deep-wave sleep for the participants, leaving them feeling a “higher vigor” the next morning. Lavender is also believed to decrease heart rate and blood pressure. Try to make aromatherapy part of your nightly routine, as continued use will help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
Check out these homes with amazing bedrooms that are sure to promote a good night’s sleep!