The bedroom is supposed to be the coziest and sleepiest room in our space, but it's so easy to let technology, work, food, and clutter slowly creep in. We don't know about you, but we've all been guilty of treating our bed more like a dinner table or work desk at least once or twice.
So how do we break this bad habit and make our bed a truly sacred space?
Work to create an environment that activates our senses in all the right ways while limiting distractions and disturbances and avoiding overstimulation. Here are some of our best tips for inspiring relaxation, restoration, and tranquility in your bedroom:
1. Banish the TV.
Nothing is more distracting than the blue light and sound blaring from screens in the evening. Try to break the habit of watching TV in bed and reserve your television for another room (that means Netflix on your computer is banished, too). This way, you train yourself to think about your bed as a place for winding down your senses and resting your eyes and ears. If you really think you'll miss that late-night TV episode, try journaling for 20 minutes instead!
2. Invest in a high-quality mattress.
Just like you invest in your health with high-quality food, you need to invest in your sleep by getting a great mattress. Try one with pressure-relieving memory foam for incredibly comfy core support, like this one from Leesa. Or, for those interested in a hybrid spring mattress, Sapira has redesigned the traditional pocket-spring mattress with the addition of cooling and pressure-relieving foam layers. Your mattress should be more than just something you sleep on—you want your body to crave the comfort of your mattress.
The best part? A high-quality mattress doesn't have to break the bank like it used to. Sapira and Leesa both have affordable options that still feel luxurious. And if you're known for tossing and turning, the right mattress could change everything.
3. Keep the snacks where they belong.
Besides the risk of spilling and getting crumbs in your bed (eek!), eating in the bedroom tells your brain that it's an area reserved for activity, which is the opposite of what you want for a good night's rest. Remember, we want to tell our senses to wind down, not activate them with food!
So keep the food where it belongs, in the kitchen or dining room—that includes late-night snacking, Saturday takeout, or lazy Sunday brunching. Your bed should be reserved for two things and two things only: sleep and sex.
4. Take advantage of the power of scent.
Our sense of smell is deeply connected to our memories and emotions. In fact, aromatherapy is based on the idea that certain smells can directly affect our nervous system. Diffusing an essential oil or lighting a candle while you get ready for bed can send a signal to your brain that it's time to wind down. In some studies lavender, rose, and sandalwood have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression—so those are great options. You can also make a homemade lavender spray (with one part water, one part witch hazel, and 20 drops of lavender essential oil) to spritz on your pillow before you lie down.
5. Clean your linens the healthy way.
Wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week with a green laundry detergent to avoid itchy skin reactions, toxins, and chemicals that can disrupt your hormones—they have no place in your sleep sanctuary! Plus, green detergents smell amazing.
6. Embrace your inner minimalist.
Your bedroom should be a place that evokes feelings of calm, quiet peace. It's not the place for a lot of stacked books, loud colors, or that chair that functions as your second closet. Keep clutter to a minimum (or at least out of sight) as it can disrupt the energy and cause your thoughts to race.
7. Keep the lights down low.
When the lights inside your room are still blaring long after it's dark outside, it sends a strong message to your body that it's still the middle of the day. This is because our circadian rhythms and melatonin production are supposed to correspond with the natural light-dark cycle of the day. A recent study even showed that a single weekend of camping helped people sleep longer and moved their melatonin production up by over an hour—promoting an earlier bedtime. So do your best to connect with nature and stick to lamps, candles, or soft light in the evenings, which will allow your eyes to rest after a long day.
8. Dial down the thermostat.
According to some, temperature might be an even more important factor than time and light when it comes to a great night's sleep. Experts recommend a room between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to help you fall asleep.
By following some (or all) of these suggestions, you'll filter out all the energy from your chaotic day and invite only tranquil, quiet vibes into your bed with you. Remember, you're the guardian of your sleep environment and it's OK to be protective, hence the name: sleep sanctuary!