Your Bedroom: The Key to a Restful Night’s Sleep
March 20, 2015
Whether snuggling in for the night or just trying to catch a quick few winks, your environment plays an important role in determining if you’re counting sheep or counting Zzzs. From noise reduction to lighting, get tips on turning your bedroom into a tranquil oasis.
“A third of the adult population suffers from insomnia from time to time, but only about 6% meet the criteria for an actual sleep disorder” said Dr. Christina Brown from the Florida School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Tampa. “In a good number of cases, getting to sleep and staying asleep is a matter of your surroundings.”
Kristina Held, assistant professor of Interior Design at The Art Institute of Charlotte, a campus of South University, focuses on areas of the bedroom that you may want to re-evaluate in order to create the sleep haven you’ve been craving.
“Creating a bedroom that is conducive to your most restful sleep might require a bit of homework, but I think you’ll find it won’t take you long,” Held said. “As an interior designer, I like to focus on lighting, bedding, furniture, and décor.”
Humans were created to be in-synch with the sun cycle. For this reason, Held recommends positioning your bed to the east so that you will be able to wake up seeing the sun rays peeking in around your curtains. “Try several layers of curtains to block out light at night,” Held said. “Sheers and heavy protective curtains can help soften the room visually, help with sound absorption, help insulate the window, and is a great opportunity to bring in some color and pattern.” You can leave the sheers drawn during the day to diffuse daylight while protecting against views from the outside. Both Dr. Brown and Held warn about electronics that provide artificial light in the bedroom. “Get rid of your phones, TVs and iPads while in bed. The artificial light will interrupt your sleep cycle and keep your brain activated making it harder to get to sleep and keep you off the more natural sleep patterns,” Dr. Brown said.
“A comfortable mattress enclosed in a hypoallergenic cover protects from dust mites and allergens such as animal dandruff and pollen,” recommends Held. Try to use only natural fiber content for your bedding such as cotton, organic cotton, silk, helm, or linen blend. Also try using hypoallergenic pillows to prevent allergies. Held also recommends placing a humidifier in your room during the winter months, and changing your air filters at least once in 3 months.
Furniture & Decor:
“Don’t use reds, it makes you awake and some say aggressive. Neutral colors, along with blues and greens, evoke calming feelings that we get when we are surrounded by nature,” Held said.
Place a neutral area rug for noise reduction and decor. If you live in a busy area, Dr. Brown recommends a white noise machine or ceiling fan to drown out the background noise. Don’t forget to include some inspiring artwork that is meaningful and brings you feelings of calm or brings you back to your center.
Horizontal lines inspire calmness and are well-suited for a bedroom. Natural materials bring in a relaxing factor as well. Lastly, unclutter you bedroom as much as possible – it will clear your mind. Some horizontal book shelves may just be the trick to de-cluttering and adding the horizontal line accents.
Both Held and Dr. Brown agree that keeping your home cooler during the night will help you sleep better. Keep your thermostat at the most comfortable cool setting, as changes in your body’s thermal regulation will wake you.
“In the short-term, just one sleep-deprived night can interfere with your ability to concentrate, affect your mood, and even make you drowsy during the day,” Dr. Brown said. If getting healthier is part of your new year’s resolution this year, make getting adequate sleep part of your goal.
The Art Institute of Charlotte, a campus of South University, is part of The Art Institutes ( www.artinstitutes.edu/), a system of more than 50 schools located throughout North America. The Art Institutes schools provide an important source of education for design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals. Several institutions of The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.
Argosy University (www.argosy.edu/), with 28 campus locations in 13 states and online, is a private academic institution dedicated to providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students through its seven colleges: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, The Art Institute of California and Western State College of Law. With one of the largest communities of graduate students in the nation, Argosy University offers doctoral and master’s degree programs in Psychology, Business, Counseling and Education. The institution offers bachelor’s degree programs in Psychology, Business, Liberal Arts and Criminal Justice and, through The Art Institute of California, serves as an important source of education for design, media arts, fashion and culinary students and professionals. Degree levels and programs offered vary by location. Full and part-time law programs are offered through Western State College of Law. Argosy University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, California, 94501, www.wascsenior.org/). Licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 2610. See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.