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How to design your bedroom for more restful sleep

Improve the quality of your zzz’s with these sleep-smart bedroom choices

Ginger woman in bed
Light affects your quality of sleep so it’s important to make conscious choices when selecting curtains and lighting. Image credit│IKEA

In his book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, scientist, Matthew Walker says, “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.” It’s no secret that making healthier sleep choices is conducive to your overall health and well-being.

While our busy lifestyles don’t always lend themselves to getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night, our bedrooms can be a good place to start. “The more calming the room environment is, the more likely you will be relaxed and able to get a good night rest,” says Clinical Psychologist at The Lighthouse Arabia, Dr. Salilha Afridi, PsyD. Here are five ways to bring a sense of serenity to your boudoir according to science.

Soothe the senses

IKEA floral bedsheets on white bed
Pick a calming colour palette when designing a your bedroom. Image credit│IKEA

“You wouldn’t see a spa overcrowded with décor,” says Dr Salilha, “from the mood lighting, to minimal accessories and soothing scents, they’re relaxing because they know how create a calm ambience.” Emanate this in your bedroom by cutting back on the clutter, incorporating relaxing scents – try some lavender oil from Pure Essential in a diffuser – and by adding various low light options.

Avoid bright lights

IKEA dimmer light
The TÄRNABY table lamp allows you to set the perfect brightness for evening relaxation. Image credit│IKEA

Whether scrolling on your phone screen or sitting under harsh bulbs, lighting plays a crucial role in getting a good night’s sleep. “Aim to avoid bright lights at least two hours before bedtime,” advises Dr Salilha. “The blue light prevents melatonin from being secreted by the brain, which in turn prevents you from slipping into a deep sleep. If scrolling is totally unavoidable, “you could try wearing some blue-light blocking glasses, or place a blue-light screen protector on all your devices.” It’s also worth upgrading to a bedside light that has a dimmer switch, so you have control over the brightness levels. 

Keep it cool

Having a temperate room is an important factor when it comes to getting a restful nights sleep. Image credit│IKEA

“In order for you to get into that deep, restorative sleep your core temperate has to drop,” says Dr Salilha. “It is suggested that the room is kept between 16 and 19 degrees.” But if you’ve got a partner who likes to keep charge of the thermostat, try a chiliPAD that keeps one-side of the bed at the optimal temperature for sleep.

Comfortable bed and pillow

IKEA mattress with red pillows
Selecting your perfect mattress is important for good sleep. Image credit│IKEA

“Obviously if you are trying to get a restful night sleep you do not want to contend with an uncomfortable mattress or pillow,” states Dr Salilha. “Invest in a high-quality mattress that will afford you a good night sleep.” If finding your perfect fit is proving a challenge, IKEA have a huge selection of mattresses, from hard to soft, you’re sure to find one that gets it ‘just right’. And if you don’t, they offer you a comfortable 90-days cushion in which to return it.

Black out curtains

Pink blackout curtains
Black out the sunlight with good quality block-out curtains. Image credit│IKEA

For the best chance at slipping into a deep sleep, “your room should be as dark as possible,” says Dr Salilha. If you live somewhere with a lot of light pollution, it’s a good idea to purchase some block-out curtains. “The darker the room, the easier it is for the brain to know it’s night time and the more melatonin released – which helps you to get that deep, restorative sleep that we’re all after.”

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