How Can I Get Better Sleep? 7 Ways Your Bedroom Impacts Your Health & Wellbeing
Your bedroom is meant to be your sanctuary. In fact, experts say your bedroom affects your health and wellbeing more than you probably think. After a long day, nothing should feel more calming and relaxing than laying on your bed and being in your own space. But if it doesn't quite feel like that, there are some things you may want to pay attention to.
"You spend approximately eight hours a day in your bedroom, and this should be the time and place to reset your batteries and recharge." Patricia Lohan, feng shui expert and life coach, tells Bustle. "It's key to dedicate this space to sleep and intimacy."
According to Lohan, you want to associate your bedroom with the words rest, romance, and relaxation. It really should be your sanctuary. "When you come in, you should feel like you can't wait to get into bed and fall sleep," she says. "If you don't, it's time to honor that space," she says.
From the way your bed is positioned to the air quality in your environment, your bedroom can affect your health and wellbeing in a number of different ways. According to experts, these are some things that are worth paying close attention to.
1. A Good Headboard Can Make You Feel Supported
A headboard may not seem like a necessity. It's either attached to your bed or it isn't. Some people get one just for decorative purposes. But according to Lohan, a good headboard is a "must" for feng shui. "This is important for quality sleep as it gives you a sense of being supported," she says. Solid wood is a good material for headboards. But upholstered headboards are also recommended since they have a good combination of soft and strong. "This blends the sense of security with the feeling of sanctuary," Lohan says.
2. Keeping Your Bed In "Command Position" Can Help You Relax More
"Command position for your bed is most important for greater health and wellbeing," Maureen K. Calamia, feng shui expert and author of Creating Luminous Spaces: Use the Five Elements for Balance and Harmony in Your Home and in Your Life, tells Bustle. When your bed is in command position, it's typically positioned diagonal from the door. This way, you'll have a full view of the open doorway while not being directly in line with it. "The idea is when you can't see the door, you're vulnerable to attack, which is registered by your subconscious mind," Calamia says. "When that happens, your body is in a subtle flight-or-fight mode of operation and not fully capable of relaxing."
3. Storing Unusual Items Under Your Bed Can Disturb Your Sleep
Anything that you put under your bed can affect the "underbelly" of your life, Lohan says. So you may want avoid storing unusual items there. "Clear out the area under your bed and leave it empty, otherwise you may find your sleep disturbed," she says. " If you do have those storage drawers, make sure you don’t store anything in them that holds emotive energy." For instance, things like broken electronics, old worn out shoes, and gifts from exes. Instead, Lohan suggests storing towels, sheets, or pajamas. Basically, anything that has "low intensity vibrational energy."
4. The Colors In Your Bedroom Can Affect Your Mood
It's no secret that certain colors can affect your moods. For instance, red can put you on alert, while blue can be very calming. So the colors you choose to use in your bedroom are super important. As Ellen Wermter, board-certified family nurse practitioner and spokesperson for the Better Sleep Council, tells Bustle, you want to choose "calming hues" for the walls. "Vibrant colors may appeal to you, but they don’t help with sleep and relaxation," she says. "Neutral (e.g., taupes, grays, beiges and whites) or muted tones and light pastels will help you wind down and make the space feel calmer." Lighter colors can also make your room appear larger, while darker colors will make it seem more intimate and warm.
5. Poor Air Quality In Your Room Can Affect Your Sleep
There are many different things that can contribute to poor air quality in your bedroom. According to Terry Cralle, RN, clinical sleep educator and Saatva sleep consultant, sources of indoor air pollution include carpets, furniture, insulation, upholstery, and your heating and cooling systems. When the air quality in your bedroom is poor, your sleep quality can be poor as well. So one thing you can do to make sure the air quality stays good, is to have plants and fresh flowers in your room. "These can be visually appealing and relaxing while also removing toxins from the air," Cralle says. "Certain plants are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air. Some plants even help reduce chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air." These plants include bamboo palm, ficus, English Ivy, and dracaena.
6. High Humidity Can Lead To An Increase In Dust Mites And Other Pollutants
Dust in your bedroom can also affect the quality of your sleep. According to the American Lung Association, dust mites can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in many people. They tend to live in bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture and carpets. They also thrive in a humid environment. "Keeping the humidity in your room between 30 and 50% can help keep dust mites and other allergens under control," Cralle says. Dehumidifiers, exhaust fans and air conditioners can help reduce moisture in the indoor air.
7. A Noisy Bedroom Can Negatively Impact Your Overall Health
Bedtime is obviously quiet time. But all the little noises inside and outside of your bedroom can all be harmful to your health. "During sleep, your brain continues to register and process sounds," Cralle says. "If the disturbances are severe and frequent enough, it can lead to significant fragmentation and sleep deprivation — seriously affecting physical and psychological health." Rugs and upholstered furniture are "sound-absorbing" and can help to reduce noise. According to Cralle, fabric wall hangings like textiles, quilts, and tapestry can absorb sound better than harder surface surfaces like mirrors or framed pictures. Earplugs and white noise apps or machines can also help.
It's important to make your bedroom a space of rest and relaxation. So if you've been having some trouble sleeping or your bedroom just doesn't feel like a sanctuary to you, these are some things to be mindful of.