Have you ever returned home from a very stressful day and all you wanted to do is climb back to bed to allow your body and mind to recover? I’m sure we have all been there. This is because our bedrooms are our safety nets, this is where we go to rest, to recover from illness or stresses and to recharge. We are mentally programmed to go there every night to shut down and to wake up the next morning with our ‘brain juices’ fully charged and ready to face life and all its challenges. But what if we don’t sleep well?
I recently really felt the effects of not having this calm oasis at our home. As we are so close on finishing our home renovation, I spent last week trying to get rid of the dust and put our house back in order, the upstairs at least. Our bedroom for the last two months was functioning as a storage/kitchen/dining room, far away from being a calm sanctuary and it wasn’t easy. This was a real struggle for my slightly OCD self, cleanliness is my thing and I love my house to be clean and tidy.
This past couple of months I had real trouble sleeping and although I’m going through some big changes in my life I knew that the state of our bedroom wasn’t help me relax. My safety net was filled with boxes, dust and stuff that weren’t belong there.
Yesterday I manage to put it back in order and I slept like a baby! Hoorey!
Our bedroom should be a calm restful place. But what if it’s not. Here is a quick checklist for you to transform your bedroom into this calm zone that we all need so much.
- Remove all the clutter
Your bedroom should only have the absolute essentials for a restful sleep.
- Invest on a good mattress
We often get hung up on how the bedroom looks and we forget about the most important thing which is a good mattress. They say you have to replace your mattress every 8 years but what if you are already sleeping on an unsuitable mattress? I found this really interesting article How to choose your right mattress with lots of great information.
- Invest on some good quality bed linen
Synthetic fabrics tend to make us too hot, so my advice is to invest in some good quality bed linen. Egyptian cotton, for example, is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I know they can be quite expensive so maybe try and update your bed linen gradually.
- Make sure you have the right temperature in your room
Keep the temperature nice and cool and if possible ventilate the room by leaving the window slightly open (obviously if you are in Scandinavia in the middle of the winter, better not do that). Temperature is also a personal preference so whatever feels comfortable for you.
- Change your bed-sheets once a week
There is an instant calming effect when you dive into freshly crisp clean bed-sheets so change them frequently. At least once every two weeks but if you live in a hot country once a week is even better. Beds can become reservoirs of human skin cells, bacteria and bodily excretions. Humans shed half an ounce of skin each week – and a lot of that will be in your bed… change those bed sheets!
- Keep a notebook by your bed
If you are a worrier (like me) make sure you keep a notebook by your bedside table, when something pops in your mind, write it down so you can deal with it another time.
- Keep a lavender plant by your bedside table
This herb is magical! It is used as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. Another idea is a couple of lavender oil drops on your pillow to help you sleep.
- Go screen free in your bedroom
I said it before technology especially at night can affect your quality of sleep, so whilst you are sitting there scrolling away as your ‘me time’ in the evening, you are actually over-stimulating your nervous system and this will negatively affect your sleep quality and energy. Leaving you more tired and more anxious without even realising it. Try and stay away of your phone/screens an hour before you go to bed. Replace your screens with a good, easy-to-read book.
- Keep it dark
Sleeping in a dark room can greatly improve your quality of sleep. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask when you go to sleep, your room needs to be completely dark. Darkness causes the brain to produce the hormone melatonin, which gives us that sleepy feeling. Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep aid, which is only produced once all artificial and natural light is gone and the room is as dark as possible.
- Ventilate your bedroom regularly
Every morning since I can remember, when I wake up the first thing I do is draw our curtains and open the windows for at least 5-10 minutes. Even in the middle of the winter, allowing fresh air to circulate. Closed windows provides warmth and saves energy, but it also traps in pollutants. Indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air with condensation and mould damaging the walls and fabrics of our houses. The simple act of opening a window — even in cold weather — can drastically reduce this pollution. Poor ventilation can have serious consequences. It can make our homes “sick”, but, more importantly, it can make us sick.
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