Interior design sets the tone, mood, and ambiance of a room. And, there’s no room where that’s more important than one with such a specific purpose as the bedroom. The quality and length of your sleep cycle can be heavily influenced by everything from the light location and levels to the wall color and artwork. Sleep success has psychological roots that interior design can either help or hinder. Making that connection between design and purpose can help you get the full seven to nine hours of sleep you need every night. And we’ve got some tips to help.
The barrier between the natural world and living spaces continues to thin. Time spent in nature reduces stress and anxiety, which nature-inspired design can also do. There are obvious choices like artwork that directly depicts nature in the form of landscapes, photographs, and sculptures. But, nature can enter the room through more creative and subtle means as well.
Lamps, rugs, pillows with floral motifs, or organic design elements with shapes and colors of nature can relax the mind and body too. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen with their soft textures and earthy vibe simulate the calm of a nature walk.
Natural elements don’t have to be soft or visually soothing to benefit sleep. Brick, stone, sand, and houseplants can be beneficial too. They also open the door for self-expression and a unique take on what it means to blend the indoors with the out.
Control Natural Light
Nature in the bedroom is a good thing. However, there are certain aspects that need to be carefully monitored and controlled because of the way they affect the sleep cycle. Natural light, for example, can suppress sleep hormones. Whether it’s sunlight from an early summer morning or moonlight in the winter, natural light is absorbed by the eyes and sent directly to the circadian region of the brain where it triggers the “awake” signal. Bedrooms with a wall of windows need sufficient window coverings to block out all light at night.
Artificial light needs just as much consideration. Any task lighting should point away from or be diffused as it nears the bed. Dimmer switches are a simple way to provide ambient light control as bedtime grows near.
Sleep-Enhancing Color Palette
Cool neutrals—the grays, whites, and pastel blues and greens—don’t overstimulate the eyes and calm the mind and body. They’re a favorite in the bedroom because of their psychological impact.
However, when choosing a color palette, you also have to take into account your personal, ethnic, and cultural experiences and preferences. Any color with which you have a negative connotation could potentially affect your ability to fall asleep. A color, with which you associate peace and calm even if it’s bright red, could benefit you. The key is to create a palette that reduces stress and calms your mind and body.
Focus on the Bed
As the largest piece of furniture in the bedroom, the bed is often, though not always, the focal point. It should also be the most inviting space. Soft textures, luxurious pillows in all sizes, and throws that add dimension create a bed that’s hard to exist. The design should also have the practical in mind. Yes, extra pillows make you want to jump on the bed, but make sure there are enough functional pillows that you can keep your spine aligned while you sleep.
Good bedroom design balances beauty with practicality. Walking into your bedroom should feel like a release from stress and pressure. Design that makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the world into your personal retreat is one that will support your sleep for years to come.
Author Bio: Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.