A decluttered bedroom is a decluttered mind.
First thing’s first.
No more stress-inducing reminders of chores, work, or distractions. The bedroom is a place for rest and recovery. It should be cozy, comfortable, and clean.
If you have too many things laying around in the bedroom, find a place to hide clutter ASAP. This includes clothes on the bed and random knick-knacks that don’t belong in the bedroom like mail!
Create an intentional space
Less is more and everything has its place. It either belongs in the bedroom or it doesn’t. A quick way to declutter your bedroom is to start with the nightstand and dresser. Keep a small box for things like jewelry, pocket change, and receipts. Toss things like books, magazines, belts, and socks in a bin if you don’t have time to put them away.
Take advantage of unused space. Store bulky things like quilts, blankets, extra pillows, and bedsheets under the bed. Guest towels and out of season clothes and shoes can go in a suitcase. Roll this suitcase away in a closet or under the bed.
These simple bedroom organization hacks allow you to quickly hide clutter in a pinch so you can mentally breathe. By eliminating clutter, you are creating an intentional space. Don’t worry. Chores can wait while you catch some zzz’s. Just enjoy the calm of a minimalist bedroom.
Avoid blue light
Try not to have a TV or computer in the bedroom. Blue light disrupts your circadian rhythm which is your natural sleep-wake cycle. If you live in a small studio apartment or dorm room, the sleep area might be the only place where you can keep a TV or laptop. But this doesn’t mean you can’t hide electronics in the bedroom. For example, tuck away your laptop in a drawer or discreetly store it flat on a bookcase. Consider DIY curtains or wooden panels as a budget-friendly solution to hide the TV. If you prefer something more elegant, invest in a smart TV console to hide a flat screen TV with the push of a button.
Detox from noise pollution
A quiet space is very important for quality sleep. According to psychiatrist and scientist Mathias Basner, poor sleep and cardiovascular diseases are directly linked to noise exposure. When noise becomes stress, your body releases stress hormones. This causes changes in blood composition and blood vessel structure. Only one night of noise exposure can cause stiff blood vessels. This forces the heart to work harder to pump blood into arteries. As a result, the heart cannot deliver the right amount of oxygen and nutrients to the body as it normally would.
Stress is often the culprit of sleep disorders and health issues. The health risks of long-term exposure to noise pollution may not be alarming until we look at statistics. Every year, 16,600 premature deaths and over 72,000 hospitalizations in Europe are linked to noise pollution.
Physical and emotional stress can cause insomnia, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, respiratory conditions, and heart attacks. Meanwhile, psychological and mental stress can lead to memory issues such as inability to focus, anxiety, and dementia. Managing stress is an important factor in maintaining health and sleep quality.
Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleepMesut Barazany
Sleep not only restores energy, it also helps the body function normally. When we sleep, the brain washes away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells. It does this by increasing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Brain activity remains highly actively during different sleep stages while you are catching Zzz’s. In fact, the brain is most active during the REM stage or deep sleep stage. This is why quality sleep is so important for brain plasticity and mental health. Sleep also stabilizes mood, balances hormones, regulates metabolism, repairs DNA damage, and regenerates cells in the body.
Unwind with warm light
You might think blue light is more relaxing than red light since blue hues tend to be soothing and calming while red tones tend to make us feel energized. But when it comes to light and colors, the effects are almost completely opposite. A study showed that blue light affects mood the most compared to white light and red light with red light showing the least signs of mood changes and depression symptoms. Perhaps this explains why daylight is blue and white and sunsets are red. Coincidentally, sunrise and sunsets correlate to our circadian rhythms. Sunrise helps us wake up naturally while sunsets tell the brain that it is time to unwind and prepare for rest.
Sleep is the best meditation.Dalai Lama
There’s something cozy about a fireplace, a hearth, and candle light. Warm light (or incandescent light that emits a warm orange color) is natural for your eyes to relax. For example, candle light is soothing because it has similar effects as incandescent lights. On the other spectrum are blue light and white light such as daylight, LED, and fluorescent light. Blue light and white light help us to wake up and be more alert and focused. Task lamps and fluorescent lights are excellent functional lights during wake hours. However, they are not great lights before bed.
The most ideal sleeping environment is no light at all. So turn off all the lights and install blackout curtains. Block outside lights such as street lamps and traffic lights. If you prefer to sleep with a night light, choose a dim incandescent light that is easy on the eyes. This will help you relax before bedtime.
Set the right temperature
Your body temperature cools down in the evening to prepare for rest. Not surprisingly, your body temperature rises when you wake up to start the day. This slight change in body temperature is your body’s natural way of adjusting to your “internal clock” to promote better quality sleep.
Take a warm bath one or two hours before bedtime to help your body “cool down.” This will trigger the brain to produce melatonin, sending signals to your body that it’s time for bed. According to a research by the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). While this temperature varies based on personal preference, the temperature range for comfort level is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius). So turn down the thermostat in the bedroom for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Disconnect electronics. Silence the phone and turn on ”Do Not Disturb” mode. Don’t worry. You can enable emergency bypass function on your phone in case of emergency phone calls from loved ones. But if it is not an emergency, your phone should sleep too.
The simplest thing you can do to improve your quality of sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and try not to stay up too late. Irregular sleep patterns disturb the circadian rhythm and increase the risk of insomnia. Poor sleep can cause metabolism issues, brain fog, irritability, and biological dysfunctions. Long term lack of sleep can lead to sleep disorders, chronic diseases, and neurological issues.
It is important to eat healthy and exercise regularly if you want to sleep better. According to Johns Hopkins, moderate aerobic exercise promotes sleep. A balanced diet ensures your body will get the right nutrients that support sleep. Avoid high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, and heavily-processed foods which are hard to digest. Limit caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon and evening hours. Other simple sleep hygiene practices you can incorporate into your daily routine include yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises. Not only do healthy habits improve sleep quality, they also support overall health.
Sleep at a regular time
The circadian rhythm operates on a 24 hour cycle that syncs with important body functions. Your internal clock determines the most optimum times for your body to repair DNA damage at the cellular level. Sleep helps your body repair DNA, form new nerves and cells, and detox organs at specific times throughout the night.
A 2013 study discovered that light and dark cycles control one of the key cells that fights infections. When a healthy body functions properly, T helper 17 cells fight bacterial and fungal infections. However elevated Th17 can cause more harm than help. Over reactive Th17 cells attack the body while fighting infections. Elevated Th17 cells cause inflammation and can slead to auto-immune diseases.
Not only is your light/dark cycle directly linked to how well your body can fight infections, sleeping late could lead to a domino effect of unhealthy habits including poor diet choices. According to research, people who sleep late tend to eat more junk food and consume less vegetables. They were also not as physically active as people who go to bed at an earlier time.
Internal and external factors such as microbiome (gut health), nutrients, and light cues affect Th17 cells and the immune system. Mice that experienced altered light and dark cycles were at higher risk of developing inflammatory disease compared to mice that had natural light/dark cycles. So if you want your body to fight infections quickly, it is important to consistently get quality sleep, eat healthy, and stay physically active.
If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for in the morning, sleep late.Henny Youngman
Night owls with an evening-driven routine are at higher risk for heart disease and high blood sugar. Men who sleep late are at higher risk of developing diabetes than those who go to bed early. Women who sleep late are at high risk of hyperglycemia which can lead to kidney damage. Both men and women who sleep late have increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
So why do we sleep? And why should we sleep at specific times? Research shows that there are mental and physical health benefits of waking up early. Morning light resets your circadian rhythm to the natural 24-hour cycle. Circadian rhythm disorders happen when light/dark cycles are altered or absent. Start your day by getting natural sunlight exposure within the first fifteen minutes of waking up.
Disrupted sleep interferes with metabolism. Sleeping in regularly and waking up late is one of the unhealthiest ways to kick off your day. Too much sleep as well as too little sleep affect metabolism. Keep a regular sleep schedule to make sure you get the right amount of sleep your body needs.
Create a cozy and comfortable bed
Comfortable blankets and the pillows are must-haves for the perfect sleep sanctuary. From weighted blankets that hug you to soft textures that soothe, the right textiles and colors promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Create a cozy Hygge bedroom with plush throws and chunky knit blankets.
For a dreamy bedroom with zen sanctuary feel, stick with neutral colors and minimalist color palette. White bedsheets and curtains create a light and airy boho chic feel. Add a fun rug with interesting colors and patterns as a statement piece. For the ultimate cozy bedroom, complement warm tones with greenery. Incorporate natural elements such as bamboo, rattan, and wood furniture.
Hygge happens when we commit to the pleasure of the present moment in its simplicity.Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well
It’s there in the things we do that give everyday life value and meaning, that comfort us, make us feel at home, rooted and generous.
Invest in ergonomic pillows designed specifically for your sleep position. Ergonomic pillows provide neck support to reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain. Choose the right mattress based on how you sleep — whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach. A good mattress has the right amount of support without too much strain on pressure points. For example, a firm mattress provides decent lumbar support for back sleepers but may be too firm for side and stomach sleepers. A soft to medium-firm mattress is more comfortable for side sleepers while a medium to medium-firm mattress is best for stomach sleepers who need support at the hips and midsection.
Choosing the right bedsheets and blankets is just as important as choosing the right pillows and mattress. Opt for hypoallergenic, sweat wickering bedsheets. Different fabrics and weaves have different pros and cons. For example, wool blankets and down comforters are great in winter weather but not ideal for someone with allergies. Cashmere blankets are luxurious but expensive while cotton and bamboo fabric are affordable and suitable for all seasons. Consider topping your bed with a cool mattress pad to keep your body temperature from getting too warm which can affect the quality of your sleep.
Relieve stress with aromatherapy
Aromatherapy affects the mind, body, and mood. Essential oils have been practiced for centuries to relieve stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, alleviate headaches, reduce inflammation, and to detox and purify.
Lavender is most commonly associated with relaxation. Lavender essential oil contains anxiolytic which is widely known to reduce anxiety symptoms. Lavender essential oil can also help reduce pain and alleviate symptoms of depression. Its sedative effects are strong enough to induce sleep. Other essential oils that help promote sleep are vanilla, rose, geranium, jasmine, and sandalwood. You can start with just one essential oil that you like or treat yourself to a quality essential oil kit. Either option will be a good introduction to essential oils. Once you become more comfortable with using essential oils, you can even create your own essential oil blends.
Stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia and sleep disorders. Commit to making self-care part of your daily routine. Aromatherapy is one of the easiest ways to instantly relieve stress and improve your mood. For on-the-go, daily commutes, long trips, or at the office, try an aromatherapy roller or balm that you can carry with you to help you stay balanced and destress throughout the day. Apply a calming essential oil blend to pulse points such as the wrists, temples, and neck. For a little self-care ritual, inhale slowly through your nose for four seconds. Hold for seven slow seconds and exhale through your mouth. This deep breathing technique helps to create calm and reminds your brain and body to relax. For immediate relaxation, apply an aromatic blend liberally to your palms and inhale deeply for five seconds.
Healing begins with an aromatic bath and daily massage.Hippocrates
To incorporate aromatherapy in your home, consider using a diffuser in your home. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to a bath and soak away the stress. Mix your own DIY pillow mist or shower mist to create the perfect relaxing environment. Though the benefits of essential oils are impressive, it is important to use essential oils properly to reduce risks and side effects such as allergic reactions and complications to pregnancy.
Embrace stillness and practice gratitude
Make an effort to honor your space and nurture your mind and body so you can get the most out of your sleep sanctuary. Take time waking up. Start a gratitude journal and habit tracker if you don’t do so already. Gratitude journals are great reminders to keep a positive attitude and live a happy life while habit trackers help you track goals so you can become the best version of yourself.
It is amazing what two hours of peace and quietness can do. A quiet bedroom does more than alleviate insomnia symptoms. A quiet and relaxing space helps lower blood pressure, increases blood flow in the brain, and generates new brain cells. Benefits of a quiet sleep environment include better emotional and psychological health. Quietude sparks creativity, nurtures empathy, and improves emotional intelligence. It encourages mindfulness, inspires self-reflection and awareness. Most importantly, it reminds us to practice gratitude which has lasting effects on the brain and can improve mental health.
Create a daily routine that includes self care and making time to unwind every day. Honor your intention for the day and be grateful for what you accomplish each day. Embrace stillness and set your intention for the next day. Practice sleep affirmations before bed to remind yourself that sleep is an important part of a self love and self care. There is beauty in silence and rest is the perfect way to practice quietude.
The bottom line about sleep
Sleep affects everything from diet and metabolism to mental health, emotional health, and physical health. Unhealthy lifestyle habits can lead to unwanted weight gain, obesity, and chronic health issues such as diabetes.
Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary to restore the mind and body. Fill your bedroom with cozy textiles that not only add comfort and texture but also act as sound absorbing materials to reduce noise pollution. You can also use a sound machine such as relaxing rain or nature sounds to help you sleep. Use humidifiers and air purifiers to create a comfortable and ideal sleep environment. Maintaining the ideal moisture content in the air can help reduce allergens and pollutants and improve respiratory health.
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is the optimum time for our body and brain to restore and repair. It is important to create the best environment for sleep to maintain overall health and longevity.