How to Organize Your Bedroom for Better Sleep
Imagine a clutter-free space dedicated to luxuriously restful slumber — a room where everything from the scent in the air to the sheets is carefully chosen to enhance feelings of relaxation, peace and (yawn…) sleep. You’ve got the blackout shades, now here are 10 little things, from bedtime rituals to smart storage solutions, to help turn your bedroom into the ultimate sleep cave.
What to keep on your nightstand
Keep the top of your nightstand simple and clutter-free, with just a few of these bedtime items:
- Bud vase of fresh flowers
- Current book
- Candle (unlit) with a relaxing scent (try lavender)
- Cup of herbal tea or carafe of water
Make comfort your priority.
Too many fussy details like beading and sequins, or stiff and scratchy bedding materials, make for a less than restful night’s sleep. When choosing bedding, make sure whatever you choose is delightfully touchable — think crisp cotton sheets and a cozy cashmere throw.
- Linen is cool in summer and can last forever if well cared for. It can feel nubby (even a bit rough) or smooth and quite soft, so try to feel your sheets in person before you buy.
- Cotton percale is what you want if you love the feel of “crisp” sheets. This classic fabric is smooth but firm and performs well in warm weather.
- Cotton sateen is very soft and smooth, almost silky in feel. It may not be the best choice in hot weather.
Try one of these soothing bedtime rituals:
- Brew a cup of herbal tea (try chamomile with honey)
- Read something soothing or uplifting, like a few beautiful poems or an inspirational book
- Gradually lower the lights over the last hour before bedtime, ending with just a candle, and then blow it out
- Take a bath with relaxing lavender or rose oil
- Spritz lavender-scented linen spray on your sheets and pillow
- Listen to the same relaxing playlist each night before drifting off
To carpet or not to carpet?
Carpeting feels plush underfoot, making it especially appealing to step out on first thing in the morning, and it can help muffle sounds for a more restful mood. However, if you have a dust allergy, carpeting is notoriously difficult to keep dust-free, so it’s best to skip it. If you love the feel of carpet but need to be able to thoroughly clean the floors often, compromise with a washable area rug atop hard flooring.
Rethink the TV.
Screens emit a blue light than can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Keep the TV (and other devices) out of the bedroom, and commit to reading a real book (on actual paper, not an e-reader!) before bed
Clean the air.
Allergies or no allergies, we can all benefit from sleeping in a cleaner, healthier bedroom. Here are a few ways to keep the air in your bedroom fresh and pure all year long:
- Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove dust, pollen and air pollutants
- Keep a houseplant or two in the bedroom (rubber plants are especially good at cleaning the air)
- Make the bedroom a no-shoes zone
- Vacuum and dust weekly (including under the bed), more often if you have allergies
- Open the windows to air out the space for at least 30 minutes each morning
- Choose natural fibres and materials that don’t contain harmful VOC
This is the time to save favourite images from
Houzz, blogs and magazines for bedroom inspiration. Sift through your
collection and choose two or three images that together best represent the look
and feel you want to create in your bedroom. Once you have your
inspiration images, make a list of all of the elements you like about the
photos. Try to move beyond "mood" words ("serene,"
"fresh" etc.) and nail down specific furniture styles, colours and
accessories that you want in your space. Using the room shown here as an
example, you might list:
- o Upholstered headboard
- o Nailed trim
- o Chests as nightstands
- o Marble
- o Creamy tones and black accents
- o Round mirror
- o Bench at foot of bed
2.Paints or paper the wall.
It's important not
to get too wrapped up in the inspiration phase of your project — you may
never really get started! Get a jump on things by choosing your wall treatments
early in the process. Another reason it's a good idea to paint or paper early
on is it will give you a chance to live with the colours and tweak if
necessary. Plus, going to all the trouble of painting is usually a great
motivator to get the rest of the work done.
3. Decide what to keep, what to revamp and what to buy.
Most of us cannot feasibly go out and completely redecorate a room in one go, and you may not want to anyway. Try to look at each item in your bedroom with fresh eyes (sometimes taking photos helps) and decide what you can work into the new scheme. Some pieces can be used as is; others may be moved (for example, use an old dresser as a nightstand); and some pieces you may want to alter (repaint an armoire and line the glass doors with burlap). Once you have your list of keepers, make a fresh list of what you still need, including supplies for refurbishing your old stuff. And don't forget, you can always shop other rooms in your house, too.
4. Take measurements and create a furniture plan.
Measure the length and width of your room, the distance between windows (that is, available wall space) and the windows themselves. From your measurements decide what size pieces will comfortably fit in your room. If you were thinking of getting a king-size bed, but a queen would give you more room for a dresser and sitting area, now is the time to make the call about what is most important to you.
5. Choose a bed.
If you are buying a new bed, you probably
already have a pretty good idea of the kind you want, but if not, it's time to
make a decision. Four-posters and canopies are quite tall, so be sure to
measure your ceilings before committing to one — you should have well over
a foot of clearance.
If you like to read in bed, consider an upholstered headboard or a wood headboard with an ergonomic shape. Try to see the bed you want in person before buying it. If that's not possible, at least be sure to check the return policy in advance.