Harvard Health recently reported that one in five Americans are sleeping less than six hours per night, and that a large majority of us report having sleep difficulties at least a few nights a week. I was somewhat startled (and saddened) by these statistics, because I know for myself that deep and restorative sleep is one of the top five “most important ingredients” for overall happiness. Obviously insomnia is a complicated issue, but here are some of my own tried-and-true design techniques for sleeping deeply and peacefully (almost) every night…
Ensure that the room is very dark. The best window coverings for bedrooms
are roman shades or curtains lined with blackout fabric. Despite its name, blackout fabric is usually white or ivory, perfectly unobtrusive from the street side, and useful for lining fabrics of any color. Layer your lined window coverings with sheers if you want the option of a sheer look during the daytime. Honeycomb shades and roller shades can also be manufactured with high levels of opacity.
I suggest using softer and more yielding shapes in the bedroom. Remove heavy, dark or ominous objects from above the bed and from underneath the bed. Avoid using furniture that is very tall or has sharp angles. Make sure the artwork directly opposite the bed is simple and restful (natural images are often ideal). Keep electronics to a minimum.
Look beyond what you can see and consider the aspects you don’t see, the emotional and energetic elements of the space. Where did each piece of furniture come from and what does it represent to you? How about your mattress and bedding? Being surrounded by things that are either neutral or have positive associations for you is more supportive to a good night’s sleep.
Keep the bedroom tidy and organized. If you like to read before bed, be sure the area near your bed does not become cluttered with too much stuff.
Some people find that a bit of white noise lulls them to sleep. If that is the case for you, consider getting an air purifier and running it in the evening. Two benefits at once!
Before turning in for the night, diffuse a calming essential oil in the bedroom (such as Lavender or Rose); or better yet, take a bath in these oils to relax your body, mind and spirit.