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Smart Design With Suzette: A Design Trend That’s Ruining Your Sleep Quality

on February 16, 2018 - 10:28am
Surveys have found that people with blue-painted bedrooms get the most sleep. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for health. In fact, just as important as eating right and exercising.

Your bedroom should be a healthy environment for getting rest. You might think that just having comfortable bedding is enough, but there are other factors in bedroom design that influence how well you’re able to sleep at night.

One design trend that’s incredibly popular, but a big problem for sleep, is light and bright bedrooms. Airy, sun-filled bedrooms are calming and beautiful, but only during the day. At night, light is a problem that can interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Why Light is a Bad Idea for Sleep
When you’re exposed to light late at night, your circadian rhythm receives mixed signals. The rest of your environment tells you that it’s bedtime, and time to go to sleep. But light is a powerful cue, sending the signal that it’s daytime, and therefore time to be awake.

Ideally, you want to avoid exposure to bright light late at night. This can come from a streetlight outside your window, bright overhead lights or lamps, or by keeping your cell phone next to your bed.

How You Can Keep Your Bedroom Light and Sleep Well
Light isn’t necessarily a bad thing for bedrooms, just when you’re trying to sleep. In fact, bright light in the daytime - especially in the morning, is necessary to give your circadian rhythm the right cues. However, you’ll want to keep your bedroom dark at night.

The simplest way to darken your bedroom at night while keeping it light during the day is to use blackout curtains. Simply pull them closed at night to keep the light out, and then open them when you wake up in the morning for exposure to bright light.

If you like the look of airy curtains over your windows during the day, layer them hotel style, with light curtains below and dark blackout curtains above that can be pulled back.

Tips for Creating a Bedroom Made For Sleep

Banishing light from your bedroom at night is a powerful way to improve your sleep environment. But that’s not all you can do to turn your bedroom into a haven for sleep. Consider these design ideas that can support healthy sleep.

  • Don’t keep a desk in your bedroom. Bringing work into your bedroom is a bad idea, making it difficult to relax, unwind, and let go of the stress of the day.
  • Minimize design and clutter. A cluttered bedroom is stressful and can make it difficult to relax. Clear piles, pare down design accessories, and avoid bold prints.
  • Color matters. Surveys have found that people with blue-painted bedrooms get the most sleep. Surprisingly, second place goes not to another cool color, but to yellow.
  • Keep Your Room Cool. As you go to sleep your body temperature begins to drop as it prepares itself for slumber. Keeping your room a cool temperature (between 60-67 degrees) can help aid the process of cooling your body.
  • Use a fan. A fan can provide helpful white noise to block out distracting sounds, while keeping your bedroom cool and conducive to sleep.
  • A Good Mattress. A good mattress is key to a good night’s sleep. If your mattress is too lumpy, hard, or soft, it will keep you up all night trying to get comfortable.
  • Use Aromatherapy. Research has shown that using certain scents in a room can help promote sleep. What aromatherapy does is creates an atmosphere that is relaxing and calming, which can help you wind down to sleep. The best scents to use are lavender and vanilla.

Let’s face it. Sleep is never so important as when you don’t get enough. Getting at least eight hours of sleep can improve immune function and help fight the common cold. Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. So do what you can to get the best sleep possible.

I would like to thank Sarah Johnson from Tuck Sleep for her contribution to this article. Her team at Tuck Sleep have been researching the science behind sleep. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at her website and Instagram