We get a lot of mail; most of it regarding a specific design and tips about a specific space. Every once in a while, we get an email that makes us pause for a second and re-think some of the topics we’re writing about.
One of those emails brought our attention to the fact that our bedroom design section is packed with ideas that primarily address style and appearance, not so much the practical side of things – sleep.
So, we compiled this guide on bedroom ideas that combine style and the primary purpose of the room – getting some quality shut-eye. We took the time to make sure that what we write about stands out from the “crowd” and choose our tips so that they are actionable and based on science.
If we do our job well here, by the time you’re done a reading, you should have a clear picture on how to transform your bedroom from a showpiece into a tranquil getaway.
Know your light
With all the stylish bedroom lighting solutions out there, it’s easy to get caught up in appearances and not think about what the light means for your sleep.
If you just imagine a Himalayan salt or lava lamp in the corner of the bedroom, it seems to make all the sense in the world. Most of us think that a subtle source of light can even help us sleep.
The science is not so simple.
Even though light can help us relax and wind down from a stressful day, it interferes with the sleep cycles if left on through the night.
In spite of the fact that we are asleep, our brain processes every piece of outside stimuli, light included.
The solution – a lamp to help you fall asleep, a lamp to help you wake up
If you are already used to having a dim light in your bedroom, replace the classic lamps with one that has a timer. You can still get the benefits of relaxation without interfering with your sleep cycles – the lamp will turn down on its own after, say, 30 minutes.
It takes about 15 minutes for an average person to fall asleep, so 30 minutes sounds about right.
Wake up lights
We already mentioned that any stimuli can interfere with their sleep cycles. If you live in an urban area, eliminating all the light means that your window blinds should be rolled down all the way.
The problem here might be that you won’t get any morning sunlight. It’s those first rays of sun that initiate the processes in our brain that say,”It’s time to wake up.”
So how do you reconcile the two – sleeping in complete darkness and having the light wake you up?
There is a pretty simple and elegant solution and it comes in the form of a wake-up light. Plainly speaking, these lights are designed to my mimic dawn – they gently turn on according to your settings and the spectrum is similar to that of sunlight.
On top of that, these are some of the most stylish pieces you can add your bedroom – you can read more about the benefits here.
Calm your racing mind
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 40 million people (per year) suffer from some type of anxiety-related disorders in the USA alone – you can see the full stats here.
Most of us can relate to the feeling of a racing mind mulling over the things that happened the previous day and the plans for the following.
This kind of restlessness can have us reaching for sleep aids that the only a short-term solution and, more importantly, can cause an addiction.
The solution in your bedding – a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets have been around for decades. Initially, they were designed to address sleep restlessness and anxiety related to autism in children.
As the science progressed, the body of evidence that they can help with sleep insomnia in adults grew. Still, most people were not aware of the potential benefits. We became aware of the concept only when the Gravity blanket campaign on Kickstarter gained some serious media attention.
How weighted blanket can help an adult with an anxiety problems.
To be fair, the jury is still out about the percentage of people who can find a solution to their sleep problems in a weighted blanket.
We did the biggest bit of research on the topic and studies available are still limited, but promising.
On the design side of things, the good news is that a weighted blanket has evolved from a therapeutic product that would be hard to fit in a stylish bedroom to blankets that can be a good fit with pretty much every bedroom style – from classic to modern.
From our point of view, choosing a good one has three aspects – how well it works for anxiety-related sleep problems, the appearance and size. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty; it goes beyond the scope of our analysis here. If you want to do some more reading, our source of information for this section was a guide on adult weighted blanket on The Sleep Studies website – you can see it here.
Paint the room in noise
If your apartment is in an urban area, you have probably grown accustomed to the random city noises. It can go so far that you might find it difficult to fall asleep in absolute silence.
That’s where machines that produce sleep-inducing sounds come in.
It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t find it easier to fall asleep to the sounds of rain or crashing waves.
You are probably familiar with white noise.
White noise is known for its “ability” to mask and cancel out other sounds. Scientifically speaking, white noise is simply a name used to describe a sound with all frequencies from the spectrum mixed randomly.
It’s similar to that of TV or radio static.
When we talked about light, we mentioned that stimuli can interfere with sleep without the sleeper being aware of it. That’s why sleep machines come with a timer. You can fall asleep to the sound of heavy rain (pink noise) but still sleep in silence.
Finally and inevitably, we have to mention the design aspect of things. When researching the topic, we found some older models that would stick out like an ulcer most bedrooms. Luckily, we also found some sleek stylish pieces that can be a great addition, even to minimal room designs.
Don’t guess, measure
We feel like this guide would be incomplete if we didn’t mention this last bit of device.
You should have problems sleeping and try to address them by redecorating your bedroom, make sure to measure the results.
It can be as simple as getting a sleep tracker and experimenting with different combos of light, weighted bedding and noise.
Sleep is an intricate thing and the approach to improving your habits should be carefully crafted and planned.
The 80:20 rule
When planning this guide, we talked about whether to go broad with tips like the color of your bedroom or furniture placement.
There is no shortage of tips like that all around the web. Instead, we opted in to be very specific and look at the most important aspects.
We all know the good old saying that 80% of the results come from 20% of our actions. We believe that the three tips above are in that 20%.
Talk to us
If you found this guide useful and made some changes based on it or if you already have experiences to share, feel free to do it.
We love hearing from our readers.