Let’s imagine something for a moment. Close your eyes and picture the perfect bedroom. A cool, calming and darkroom where you will be able to fall asleep and stay sleeping without any issues. The next morning, you wake up well-rested and energetic after your amazing night of comfort in your perfect bed & ready to take on the new day ahead.
Would you like to learn how to create a sleep inducing bedroom? You’re in the right place.
If this sounds like a scenario you could only dream of, then you are not alone. Over half of Americans wake up feeling well-rested. Across the pond, the numbers are even worse with 77% of Brits failing to wake up each morning feeling refreshed and well-rested.
The most common factors keeping people awake were the need to use the bathroom, an uncomfortable bed and a snoring partner (separate bedrooms).
In this chapter, we’re going to talk about setting up the most ideal sleeping setting. Many things contribute to sleeping well. The good news is that you can control A LOT of them.
Let’s dive in, we’ve made a list of the basics.
A key element to quality sleeping. Body and bedroom temperature have a large effect on the quality of your sleep.
You have probably experienced this if you have gone on a holiday to a hotter climate and the hotel doesn’t have air conditioning. You end up sleeping on wet towels to try to cool yourself down enough to fall asleep. And when you do eventually fall asleep, you’re very easily woken.
Around 70°F (20°C) seems to be an ideal temperature for the majority of people. Although each to their own. I enjoy a slightly cooler bedroom at around 18°C.
Your bed, mattress, pillows and bedsheets are critical. Choose them wisely. Spend a little more than you would normally. You’re going to spend ⅓ of your life sleeping, you want the best bang for your buck.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel and just had the most relaxing & amazing sleep ever? Good hotels focus on providing high-quality beds with a relaxing ambience just for that reason. The point is if they can do it, so can you!
One study has shown that sleeping on a new mattress for 28 days reduced back pains by 57%, shoulder pain by 60% and back stiffness by 59%. Sleep quality also went up by 60%!
When it comes to beds, size matters. Everybody wants the biggest bed they can have, so I don’t need to talk about size. Bigger is always better in this case but don’t go overboard and leave yourself no room to move in your bedroom. We’ll talk about this soon.
It’s recommended that you upgrade your mattress at least every 5-8 years.
A good mattress can be rather expensive, but you don’t have to spend thousands for a good one. And it comes down to personal preference too which can vary the price range. You can choose from Innerspring, Memory Foam, Hybrid, Water, Pillowtop, Adjustable and Organic mattresses. We have fallen in love with our Memory Foam mattress since we upgraded it a few years ago.
Pillows are just as important as the mattress itself. So make sure you have a comfortable mattress that suits your preferences with a similar style pillow. Next, your bedsheets.
For front sleepers, the best type of pillows for you would be the softer type. Such as feather pillows or pillows rating from soft to soft-medium. It’s also recommended that front sleepers use a low pillow to prevent arching the spine backwards.
If you are a side sleeper, then you should buy either memory foam or an orthopaedic pillow. These pillows can help prevent damaging the natural alignment of your spine. These types of pillows are designed to cushion vulnerable pressure points on the head. Which prevents you from sleeping with your head being too high or too low, which causes damage to the spine’s alignment.
Back sleepers should adopt sleeping with medium comfort pillows which will allow adequate support for your head and neck without pushing on them too much. Hollow fibre and wool pillows are a good choice for back sleepers.
There are many other types of pillows for all different types of sleepers. I’ve only skimmed the surface here.
Bedsheets are the finishing touches to your comfort in bed. Do you like Egyptian cotton or finely woven silk sheets? Treat yourself to a nice set of bed sheets that make you feel like royalty when you get into bed after a long day.
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External Light & Noise
Ever been rudely woken up by a loud car exhaust? Or has an early sunrise ruined your Sunday long lie?
Blocking out those external factors the best you can will help keep you sleeping for longer & deeper.
For light, there are plenty of options such as blackout blinds, curtains/drapes, or a combination of both. Eye masks work well if you don’t mind sleeping with them on, and you can get ones with built-in Bluetooth to listen to relaxing ambient music or an audiobook to help aid you to sleep. Check them out on Amazon, they’re very reasonably priced.
Sound can be a little harder to block out, especially if you like sleeping with a window open. But there are some ways around it. You could use earplugs, buy a noise machine to try to nullify the noise outside or close your window & buy an A/C unit to keep you cool instead. And if that still doesn’t help, you might need to hire a professional to look at soundproofing your home.
The layout of your bedroom plays a big role in how you sleep. Going back to hotel rooms, you normally have the bed in the centre of a wall with room down both sides and your feet facing the entrance when you’re lying in bed. This is the optimal balance. Avoid sleeping under any windows where possible.
Your walls, floors, furniture and bedding all factor into your colour scheme. It’s important to pick warm & calming colours that you like. A study in Britain found that the colours blue, yellow and green helped sleepers get the most hours, with blue in the top spot averaging 7 hours and 52 minutes.
No matter how much square footage your bedroom is, it’s important to avoid having too much furniture causing a cramping feeling. Start by choosing a suitable sized bed, utilise vertical space and under bed storage. Small bedrooms can be tough, especially when two people have to fit all their belongings in such a small space. You just have to be a little creative! Having an aerie feel increases the relaxation & calmness of the room.
For renters or people on a budget, a full-scale repaint isn’t the answer. Instead, put colourful artwork on the walls, use rugs & carpets and anything else to decorate.
Avoid clutter, it can generate stress just by looking at it, which will affect your sleep quality. If you’re a busy person with a never-ending to-do list, having clutter in your bedroom could trigger stress & anxiety and may reinforce the feeling of having many “loose ends”.
No television in the bedroom. This is non-negotiable.
Add a homely feel to your bedroom by adding pictures of close relatives and friends. Your bedroom should be a welcoming and warm place where you can unwind after a long day.
The last part of bedroom design is to make use of an aromatherapy machine, they’re great. They can help transform the smell of your room, it is amazing just lying in bed with your eyes shut smelling like you’re in the middle of a lavender field!
Natural Sunrise Alarms
Depending on the country you live in, long dark nights and short days can play havoc with your natural sleeping patterns. Especially if you’re working inside all day and don’t even get a chance to see the sun! In Scotland, our winters can feel long and infinite.
Sunrise Alarm Clocks are a genius invention that mimics the sunrise waking you up gently & slowly. No more dreaded fog horn alarm clocks waking you up nearly giving you a heart attack & instantly putting you in a mood. When this happens it’s because a sudden, startling awakening can release cortisol and cause an imbalance in hormones.
These are serious game-changers to the way we wake up every morning! You can pick them up on Amazon, ranging from around $40-$300 (£30-£200).
No Alcohol, Nicotine or Caffeine
Caffeinated drinks are among the most popular drinks in the world; coffee, tea and sodas. I LOVE my morning cup of coffee. I gave up soda when I turned 18 and haven’t looked back since.
Avoid drinking caffeine after 2 pm to avoid the nighttime jitters.
Be mindful of alcohol, having a “nightcap” unfortunately doesn’t come with many benefits. Alcohol affects the brain in ways that negatively impact sleep quality. If you do like to have a drink from time to time, try and keep it to small amounts in the afternoon. Avoid alcohol in the lead up to bedtime for better night sleep.
I don’t have a friendly relationship with alcohol, so I don’t drink alcohol at all anymore.
If you are a smoker, don’t smoke before going to bed. Smoking has been associated with a range of sleeping problems including difficulty falling asleep and fragmented sleep. My advice is to quit forever. It’s hard but you CAN do it. You’re STRONG and smoking is robbing you of your health.
Avoid Blue Light & Electronics Before Bed
Laptops, mobile phones, tablets and TVs all produce “blue light”. What is blue light? It is part of the visible light spectrum — what the human eye can see. Vibrating within the 380 to 500-nanometer range, it has the shortest wavelength and highest energy.
You can purchase blue light glasses to help prevent blue light from getting through to your eyes but there is some doubt that they help.
Turn off all your electronics at least an hour before bed and read a book, tidy up, and have a chat with your partner/roommate. This can make a big difference to your sleep quality, especially if you read a book. 20 minutes of reading can significantly improve sleep quality and has many other benefits too which we will talk about in the next part of this book.
Food & Fluid
It’s best not to eat or drink before going to bed. We’ll talk in more detail about this in Part Two, but you should avoid eating & drinking two hours before you go down for the night. If you do get hungry, we’ve got a list of suitable snacks that shouldn’t interrupt your sleep too much.
How To Create A Sleep Inducing Bedroom
And that’s how to create a sleep inducing bedroom. Sleep is a controversial topic really because some entrepreneurs boast about running on 3-4 hours of sleep each night and others preach the importance of getting your full 8 hours.
In my opinion, everybody is different. But I do not recommend trying to function on 3-4 hours of sleep because that is just ridiculous and not sustainable.
I’ve found my sweet spot to be around 7 hours – just enough to feel well-rested and not too much feel overtired. Your body will have a natural amount that it thrives on. You just need to find it.
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