The question of how to decorate a bedroom for the best night’s sleep is an enduring one – and for a good reason. Since the start of time, humans have desired peaceful slumber.
Nowadays, we have the benefit of experts who can tell us which bedroom design features and routines can aid sleep – and which can compromise it.
If you're wondering how to sleep better, you should begin with the most important factors, such as finding the best mattress for your needs or investing in therapeutic scents. However, there are many ways to make your bedroom better for sleep that are less known but entirely science-approved, and we’ve got the lowdown.
From flooring types to houseplants, these are the key bedroom ideas that sleep experts want you to know about.
Recent years have seen a huge rise in the numbers of us working from home – and (as much as we hate to admit it), working from bed. However, Dr Jamie Keaton Jones LICSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist from The Psychotherapy Studio (opens in new tab) in Washington DC, warns against this practice.
‘You want to keep this space associated with sleep only so that when you climb into bed at night, your body is cued for sleep (not work),' Jamie says. 'If you are working remotely and have to use your bedroom as an office, try not to work from your bed but a chair or desk elsewhere in the room.'
The doctor urges you to find a way to transition the space from workday to bedtime 'to give your body spatial cues for when it's time to work versus sleep'. However, this process doesn't need to be complex. 'It can be as simple as making your bed and opening your curtains to cue daytime,' she says.
When finding the best bed sheets for sleep, you may be tempted to start with the color or texture of the design. However, if you share your bedroom with a partner who often tosses and turns in the night, Dr Jamie recommends considering a larger bed or separate sets of top sheets to help you sleep through the night.
'If your partner tends to pull at the bed sheets or blankets, you can try using separate sets of top sheets and blankets to reduce these types of wakings,' she suggests.
Deciding on the best bedroom curtain ideas is one of the most impactful things you can do in your space, so what does the expert suggest?
'I recommend blackout curtains,' Dr. Jamie says. 'They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing depending on your decor, but good curtains can block out that light that may wake you up too early or throughout the night.'
However, if the light levels remain a problem in your bedroom, or you decide against blackout curtains, there are other options. 'If the light still seems to seep in, try a comfortable face mask,' the expert says.
It is perhaps no surprise that electronic devices have a negative impact on sleep, so take steps to stop them compromising your shut-eye.
Alongside eliminating a TV from your bedroom, Dr Jamie recommends moving your laptops into another room and turning off your internet modem (if it lives in your bedroom) to avoid any unnecessary light. She also recommends turning your phone to silent and moving it into another room (if you can) to prevent light distractions.
'Less is more. Your bedroom should be a place of peace. Clutter creates chaos. ‘The state of your bedroom reflects the condition of your mind, and you can control this,' says behavioral expert Wendy L Patrick, (opens in new tab) JD, MDiv, Ph.D. The expert urges you to prioritize your bedroom storage ideas to ensure your paperwork, tangled cords, and electronic equipment are all hidden away before sleeping.
'They counteract the ability to sleep soundly because they remind us of how hectic our lives have become,' Wendy says. 'Move those reminders out of the place you go to unwind.'
Global sport psychologist Dan Abrahams (opens in new tab) says you should aim to keep your bedroom at 64ºF (18ºC) when sleeping. Therefore, it may be worth investing in one of the best fans on the market if you don't already have air conditioning in your home.
'Aim for this temperature by leaving a crack in your window or using thin sheets during the summer,' Dan also recommends.
'Noise can often be the easiest way to disturb us during sleep,' Dan says. But how can you ensure your room is as quiet as possible? The experts suggest starting with your bedroom flooring ideas.
'Consider using carpet instead of hard floors to help with sound reduction,' Dan advises. 'And if you are in a boisterous area or surroundings, purchase some earbuds, which (although they feel unnatural to start with) will become normal quickly.'
If you're well-read on bedroom feng shui, you will already know about the benefits of houseplants. They bring beauty to any room, but their power extends beyond their aesthetic qualities.
'Making your environment comfortable and homely is so important for your mind and therefore your sleep,' Dan explains. He suggests buying several houseplants and keeping photos of loved ones close by the ensure your bedroom is a calming space, even before you try to sleep.
Few factors impact sleep as much as your bedroom color ideas. Your choice of paint and bed linen is known to influence feelings in the bedroom around the clock – so it's vital to get the tone right.
Logan Foley, sleep Science coach and managing editor of Sleep Foundation (opens in new tab), suggests using 'warm, appealing colors on your walls or furniture' to ensure you feel 'at ease' before going to sleep.
Meanwhile, red and gray are amongst the primary colors not to paint your bedroom, according to color psychologists.