One aspect of sleep hygiene that needs more attention and should be at the forefront of the pursuit for better sleep is of course the bedroom environment.
We spend a third of our lives in bed and all too often we overlook the importance of what a bedroom actually means in getting great sleep.
When decorating your bedroom choose wall colours that set the tone and mood for the entire space. You want to elicit warmth and calm but ultimately make it inviting for you.
There are some studies which have looked at colours and some people believe certain shades affect our mood. Colour has no effect on how well you sleep but it does affect how you feel about the bedroom space.
You would imagine that a more calming environment would feature more muted or pastel colours such as creams, blush pinks or duck egg blues. These colours are soft and soothing especially when you contrast them with purples and reds which are vivid and therefore tend to be more stimulating.
However, if you love the colour red and it makes you happy, then go with it – you could perhaps incorporate it into bedding or furnishings. There’s no point having a duck egg blue bedroom if you hate the colour duck egg blue!
Research has shown that using certain scents in a room can help promote sleep. Aromatherapy creates an atmosphere that’s relaxing and calming, which can help you wind down to sleep. It’s also good as part of a routine that, through continued use, your brain will pick up as a cue that it’s almost time for bed.
Something like lavender works well as it has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure. Try the scents in oils, candles or even body creams and make it part of your bedroom routine.
Make it relaxing
You want your bedroom to be a safe, calm haven devoted to sleep. Adorn it with things you love like pictures of family or your favourite artwork. Some people like fresh flowers or plants as they bring energy into the room and certain plants help to purify the air.
Think about your own bedroom – is it a sanctuary? When you enter the bedroom do you have good thoughts? Does it make you want to crawl into bed? If it doesn’t entice you in, you need to make some changes.