Arrange your bedroom and interior to live better … and sleep better!
Although 86% of 25-45 year olds consider sleeping to be pleasurable, 45 % say they sleep badly or not enough. One third of people regularly encounter problems sleeping, and the other two thirds occasionally do. Yet restorative sleep is a necessity for maintaining a good mental and physical balance.
Did you know that by arranging your bedroom well you can avoid making certain mistakes which can cause insomnia? Don’t forget that you spend 1/3 of your time in your bedroom!
Pointer 1: Where should your bedroom be?
One of the first questions to ask yourself is where to put your bedroom. For a home located on the North-South axis, we usually view the Eastern side as being ideal.
Indeed, with an East facing bedroom, you can enjoy the morning light and get the day off to a good start. You do however need to have good light filtration (shutters, blackout curtains…) so that you are not woken up too early by the dawn breaking.
Ideally, you would then arrange your living space in terms of daytime spaces (entrance, kitchen, living rooms…) and night time spaces (bedrooms, bathrooms…). The bedroom should be the furthest possible from the noisiest areas (doorstep, entrance, elevator, kitchen…).
Pointer 2: Where should the head end of the bed be to sleep well?
If we rely on Feng Shui precepts, the Chinese Zen art of living, we should ensure the head faces towards the North to favor a good flow of Qi waves.
Pragmatically speaking, the head end of the bed shouldn’t be underneath a window or against a noisy wall (a thin wall, pipes…). Sound proofing can be a real plus in the latter instances.
The position of the bed should be given some thought as well, so that it is not next to the heating or in the direct line of a cooling appliance.
These mistakes can really hamper your ability to get good sleep and rest.
Pointer 3: What color should your bedroom be for good sleep?
A bedroom should be an environment which is conducive to calm and plenitude, so it follows that lively and invigorating colors should be outlawed (red, orange, yellow…). It is better to favor light colors and pastel shades: blue, beige, rose, grey, brown…
Cold tones are soothing, and lighter shades can also make a room feel more spacious.
White however, is not always recommended, as it can be too cold and feel aseptic, like in a clinical or medical environment.
All of this does remain a question of taste though, because it’s important that you choose a shade among the recommended ones which you like and feel in perfect harmony with.Pointer 4: A tidy bedroom can help you get to sleep!
Whether you adopt a design inspired by Feng Shui or not, it is best to adopt a minimalistic style and to keep your bedroom tidy.
Disorder actually forces us to exert concentration, so that we don’t walk on various objects, so we can find our hidden clothes, move things about and work out how to position ourselves…
Yet getting into a sleepy state implies the opposite, letting your mind relax into a state of restfulness. A badly organized bedroom will send the opposite signals, forcing you to stay awake and alert.
There is an echo in this notion to Feng Shui where space is imposed so that energy can circulate: the size of the room matters less; it shouldn’t be cluttered with objects that are useless or untidy.
Similarly, you must also get rid of any sources of electromagnetic radiation if you want to have a tranquil mind. In fact, such sources can cause insomnia or headaches in people who are sensitive to them. So it’s good to keep a closed drawer for your switched off phone during the night!
Pointer 5: How should you arrange your furniture to sleep well?
When it comes to furniture, Dr Nicolas from the Lyon Sleep Lab advises “a monk-like bedroom”. You effectively need it to be a neutral zone, entirely dedicated to sleep. Ideally you would even have a separate space for storage and obviously no television, bookcase, screens or blue light.
In theory, a bed with a good mattress, two bedside tables and a dresser are enough.
Pointer 6: How should you decorate your bedroom for good sleep?
Getting to sleep is a real abandonment process of letting go into the arms of Morpheus. As symbolic as this image may be, it implies some real common sense notions: protection, gentleness, and wrapping yourself up in a soft cocoon.
This is why you should decorate your bedroom in a personalized and harmonious way, so that you feel good in it.
At the end of the day, the bedroom is a paradoxical space: we spend 1/3 of our time there, but we pay little attention to how we decorate it because we spend most of the time in the dark!
We should spend time thinking about the shades, the materials and the textures in the bedroom. Each aspect should be thought of in terms of taste and practicality, while privileging airy and natural materials.
A light veiling can be an elegant way to decorate a window, so long as your shutters don’t let any light through. Otherwise it is wiser to choose a fabric which blocks the light and is broadly fitted beyond the edges of the window panes.
Choosing noble and natural materials (wood, stone, linen, leather, cotton…) can help create a soothing and natural environment: Zen decoration for a Zen bedroom and Zen sleep!
Pointer 7: What is the ideal temperature to sleep well?
At night, our body temperature needs to drop almost two degrees Fahrenheit for restorative sleep. It shouldn’t be too hot (64.4-66.2°F) no matter whether it’s winter or summer. Excessive heat makes you wake up more during the night and decreases your amount of REM sleep and deep sleep.
Ideally, you should have good temperature control and opt for reversible air conditioning.
You should also be careful that the cooling or heating systems aren’t drying out the air, which is harmful to breathing and can make you to wake up in the middle of the night. A solution can be to keep a glass of water or a humidifier in the bedroom so that you can breathe better..
Pointer 8: Should you avoid light to avoid insomnia?
For many people, light is sleep’s enemy, and sometimes we don’t even realize our own sensitivity to it. By wearing a sleep mask for a few days you can check whether you are sensitive to it or not. Aside from being protective, blackout curtains and shutters create the kind of darkness which encourages sleep.
Unsurprisingly, soft and subdued lighting is recommended during the evenings, and indirect lighting and dimmers are appealing choices. Excess light actually inhibits the pineal gland which synthesizes the sleep hormone melatonin. This is also why you should never switch on any main lights if you have to get up during the night.
Pointer 9: Noise, sleep’s mortal enemy
Deep sleep is always incompatible with light sleep, but sometimes the slightest sounds can disturb your cycle. It’s not always easy to notice this, because micro-waking can be completely imperceptible… until you wake up in the morning and suffer the consequences of a lack of sleep.
A good way to test if this applies to you is to try sleeping with ear plugs for a few days and see if it improves your sleep.
In addition to good sound insulation, you should also favor thick materials like rugs or cushions which dampen sound waves, including those which come from outside. That way, you can avoid sound resonance.
Pointer 10: How can you properly air out your bedroom for good sleep?
Whereas energy flow is the basis of Feng Shui, air flow should be just as important.
Properly airing out your bedroom will allow you to get rid of dust and mites that can upset breathing and thus disturb your sleep.
There are no counter-indications for keeping a houseplant in the bedroom. Although it’s true that plants expel C0² in the absence of light, the amount expelled is much lower than the amount absorbed during the day.
Some depolluting plants are in fact recommended, like African violets, ivy, golden scindapus or cactuses.
Some plants even have soothing properties, like lavender, mint or jasmine: they can help you get off to sleep more quickly.
These few pointers should help you start getting restorative sleep again, so you can sleep better in a Zen bedroom without making any of the mistakes that can cause insomnia. Test a few of our methods out and tell us what you think!