Ask a Pro: How Do I Design My Bedroom for a Better Night's Sleep?
World Sleep Day is a reminder how important sleep is to our health and quality of life. More than a third of us are not getting the recommended sleep we need. Call it stress. Call it COVID-19. Whatever it is, it's important to find ways to get more zzzs, whether that's using sleep aids like melatonin and CBD or revamping your bedroom for better sleep. We asked 7 designers to give us their best tips for creating a bedroom sanctuary that by design lulls you to sleep. Good night!
Set the Mood
"Paint the walls (and ceiling) a deep moody hue. It creates this monolithic, cavernous feel that is sure to cuddle you to sleep," says Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors. "Good light calls for goodnights. Lighting plays an integral role in winding down for the evening. Use low watt, warm bulbs. Try switching your white lampshades to dark ones. They'll cast an ambient glow rather than illuminate the room."
Create a Bedside Landing Pad
"My secret (accessory) weapon is a nightstand tray and/or a basket," says Thomas. "It provides a resting place for all of my personal effects. Most importantly my phone, which I avoid touching again until the alarm goes off. I sleep better knowing that everything is in its place."
Add Blackout Shades
"If you are worried the blackout shades will hurt your design, roman shades are made just for you. They are one of our favorite shades because they are very design-focused," says Tamara Brown, a designer for Stoneside in San Diego. "Layering multiple window treatments is also a good way to block the light. You can add a blackout drapery, which will provide a more dramatic look to your room. Make sure the drapery goes all the way down to the floor to let no space for the light to filter in."
Choose a Soothing Color
"I'm loving doing clients' bedrooms in basically one color with varying tones," says Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design. "It creates a very soothing atmosphere, which helps for a calm night's sleep. If you have overhead lighting in your bedroom it should be a chandelier on a dimmer. Other than that, lamps with 40-watt bulbs – it's a soft, calming light."
Reduce Sleep Clutter
"Add storage furniture or baskets to your room so that you can tuck away miscellaneous items and keep them tidy, since a cluttered room can cause anxiety and mess with your sleep. I recommend a storage bench for the end of your bed or a storage-friendly bedside table – decorative, yet functional!," Sara Barney of BANDD DESIGN.
Invest in the Right Bedding
"Are you a hot or cold sleeper? I'm a hot sleeper and I swear by breathable, performance sheets and linen bedding. But if you're a cold sleeper, go for something warmer such as cotton," says Barney. "Don't go too crazy with the color scheme. Go for a palette that feels soothing and tranquil, such as blues, deep greens, and blush."
Add Ambient Lighting
"Adding a sparkly flush mount to reflect light, and replacing table lamps with bedside wall sconces to add space, is the best way to go," says Lance Thomas, an interior designer in Louisiana. "However, wiring for wall sconces and flush mounts may not be an option. Our remedy? Crystal or glass bedside lamps will get you in the clear. Literally speaking, the translucent nature of a crystal lamp base provides the visual illusion of a larger space while adding that needed bit of sparkle, sophistication, and ambient light."
Upgrade Your Mattress
"The furnishings are all important, of course, but the mattress may be the most important element," says Mel Bean, an interior designer based in Tulsa. Many of our clients now choose chemical-free, organic mattresses, and comfort is essential. In our busy modern lives, quality sleep is more important than ever."
Bring in Nature
"A significant green element in a bedroom is not only easy on the eyes, it reminds us of the simplicity and the splendor of nature and the fact that there is always beauty to be found, all around us," says Sarah Stern, director of accessories at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. "We also find introducing nature-inspired artwork and decor enhances a sense of calm."
Create a Wellness Area
"It doesn't have to be a huge space if your bedroom is rather small, it is ok!," says James Brewer, a designer for Stoneside in Seattle, WA. "But dedicate a corner or an area of your room where you can really center yourself. You can retreat there to meditate, read, journal, practice yoga…Add a chair or a few pillows and some objects that are close to your heart. This is also a great place to have candles that will be very soothing or an essential oil diffuser. Having a dedicated space for yourself will help you to start and end the day feeling grounded. Decide to spend just 5 minutes there every morning and night and see the effect it will have on you."
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.