We spend on average 33% of our lives asleep, meaning that the bedroom is the room you will most likely spend the most time in, when you're home (even if for much of that you’re not conscious!). It therefore goes without saying that this should be a room in which you feel completely comfortable in, and is also reflective of your own tastes.
What good then if a bedroom you find it difficult to unwind and relax in? Infact if you struggle to snooze it could be that your actual bedroom is to blame! Lots of visual clutter, bright lights and a plethora of other factors are all things that can make a bedroom feel unwelcoming and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Luckily however, there are a few simple sure-fire measures to add a calming atmosphere to a bedroom. So, here is our list of tips on turning your bedroom into your own personal haven.
Lower the lights
The type of lighting used in a room can have a dramatic effect on how alert you feel. While a bright white light might be great for those early mornings to get you up and out of bed, if you’re using the same lighting in your room before you go to bed, you will probably find it difficult to fall asleep for awhile once you’ve turned the lights off.
Consider having dimmer switches installed for the overhead lights in your bedroom, with lights that can be dimmed on command you get the best of both worlds. Not only will you be able to have a bright waking light for the mornings, but in the evenings you can hone how luminous the room is to help you relax and prepare for bed.
Bedside tables with matching desk lamps are staples of bedroom design, popular because they add symmetry to a room, however, if they are too bright you'll have the same problem. Consider using a lower watt bulb in them that gives off a warming yellow hued light, if you read in bed just make sure the lighting is not so dim that you strain your eyes.
Consider colour schemes
When trying to induce a soothing atmosphere to a room stay away from stark whites or bright hues as these can be harsh on the eyes and make it hard to relax.
Don’t be afraid of the dark-side — soft greys, deep navies, even darker greens look great in both contemporary and traditional bedrooms. Painting the walls (or a single feature wall) a velvety black can look stunning if done well, but is perhaps only for the brave.
If you’re not a fan of dark colours then remember that you can still have light colours which are not bright! So, think about using weaker shades of white or pale pastels.
If you're a lover of bright colours and busy patterns, then consider a compromise for your bedroom. For example; using bright colours for a carpet or rug but then using a more hushed colour palate for other features and furnishings in the room.
Window treatments tend to work best when they contrast with the colour scheme of their surroundings. So, if your bedroom is painted a light shade consider using dark blinds or curtains (or vice versa) for a super chic look.
No matter if you’re an owl or a lark there’s probably some point in the day when you’d like to block out some light, so investing in good quality window treatments with a high opacity is a good idea, this goes without saying if your window looks out onto nearby street lighting. It's a good idea to get a professional to install your window treatments to make sure their are no gaps for light to leak through when they are drawn
On the subject of windows many experts recommend leaving a bedroom window slightly open at night to let in fresh air, and lower the temperature of the room — both of which are inductive of sleep. But if the outside noise, weather or any other factor forbids you from doing so see if adding a houseplant to your bedroom, and turning the heating down an hour or two before going to bed improves the quality of your sleep.
Find the right mattress
There are many options when it comes to mattresses; open-sprung, pocket-sprung, memory-foam to name a few, then there's the question of how firm should it be. Generally speaking there’s no mattress that is perfect for all. But if your mattress is a little worse for wear, lumpy or has started giving you backache, it’s probably time to get a new one. The best way to find the right mattress is to visit the shop and lie on the display models to test each one out, a good mattress will last 10 years (that’s over three years you’ll spend asleep on it!) so it’s worth making sure you find the right one.
If you share your bed, then it’s important that both you and your other half agree on a mattress, otherwise even if it’s the right mattress for you, you may still find yourself kept up all night, only this time it will be by your partner wriggling around as they struggle to make themselves comfortable.
Having a decluttered space can do wonders to aid sleep. This does not mean you have to go for a minimalist look however! In fact if you like a room to feel cosily cluttered then you may find an overly Spartan bedroom uncomfortable, so don’t worry about moving any beloved ornaments or pictures. But, a few little changes like using furniture to conceal any chargers for electronics that normally trail across the floor as well as hiding the cords of TVs and lamps can remove much of the visual distractions from a room and will help you to relax.
If you’re room is on the smaller side and leaves you feeling claustrophobic, then think about how the space could be better utilised, for example replacing a clunky chest of drawers for modern under bed storage to save space could make a world of difference, even if it only adds a small amount of floor space.
Throw down a rug
A rug can transform a room creating a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere. An eternal favourite among decorators and designers that will never be considered out of style is framing a bed with a rug. Having a warm and cosy rug to step out onto, when you emerge from your hibernation can also make getting out of bed on a cold winter’s morn slightly easier, especially if your bedroom has hardwood floors.