It’s easy to neglect our bedroom environment, especially if we strive to be as quick and as productive in the morning as possible. While it’s perfectly understandable why you’d choose practicality over the atmosphere, considering how busy and hectic our schedules can be, optimizing your bedroom for sleeping can have a great impact on your sleep quality. If you want to know how to create the perfect bedroom environment, we’ll share some of our best tips that will help put you in a relaxing mood and get you to sleep in no time.
Apart from tips on creating the perfect bedroom environment, you will also find an FAQ section where we go over some common questions.
With that said, let’s get to the gist of our article and find out what steps you can take to improve your sleeping environment.
The Ideal Temperature for Sleeping
You might think that the temperature in your bedroom depends entirely on your personal preferences. However, research shows us that there is an objective temperature setting that’s ideal for all humans. Before we reveal what the findings tell us, let’s examine how temperature affects sleep.
As most of us know, our sleeping patterns follow a certain circadian rhythm. The function of the circadian rhythm is to guide the body through various processes pertaining to the environmental effects on our body, such as the time of day at which we get tired and start getting ready for sleep. At night, as our body prepares to go to bed, our core temperature drops by a couple of degrees. Simultaneously, our melatonin levels start to increase. As we sleep, our core temperature continues to drop until we wake up. In the morning, as our body wakes up, our core temperature slowly starts to rise again.
Naturally, we want to follow this progression of temperature in our sleeping environment. Some people find it difficult to fall asleep in rooms that are too cold. And you might’ve noticed this in your own sleeping patterns – well-heated rooms have a much higher chance of making us sleepy and drowsy.
While it might be more comfortable to fall asleep in a warmer room, research shows that higher temperatures aren’t optimal for healthy, good-quality sleep. Sleeping in rooms that have a high temperature has been associated with spending less time in REM sleep, which is the deep, restorative stage in our sleeping patterns. Not only that, but sleeping in hot rooms also makes us more prone to disruptive sleep, or waking up at multiple points throughout the night. Sleeping in hot environments affects our sleep for the night, but also our mood and energy levels the next day. If this becomes a pattern, we’ll be left with chronic low-quality sleep and our health might be impaired.
So, What is the Optimal Sleeping Temperature?
Ideally, you’ll want your sleeping temperature to be in the range of 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. This temperature hits the sweet spot between being too hot for you to get a good, uninterrupted rest, and being so cold that you’re left with discomfort regardless of how many blankets you have by your side. Needless to say, we all have different preferences, so the number might vary from person to person, but, on average, 19 degrees Celsius should work perfectly for most people.
There are several different ways to keep your temperature lower if you don’t have control over the exact temperature in your room. For instance, closing down the blinds during the day if you live in a warmer, sunny climate could do wonders. Before you go to bed, consider opening your windows to allow for a little ventilation. If it’s necessary, you can always invest in a fan and leave it on overnight.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Just like temperature, lighting plays a big part in our circadian rhythm, and, consequently, in the quality of our sleep, so it’s imperative that our lighting remains optimal during our bedtime routine and while we sleep.
As soon as you start your nighttime routine and begin doing your bedtime activities, keep the lighting as dim as possible. Obviously, some activities require more lighting than others, like reading, but if you’re doing something that requires little lighting, like stretching, make sure your lights are dim.
When it comes to sleeping, the general recommendation is that you sleep in complete darkness. Make your bedroom as dark as possible before you go to bed and make sure that you wake up in the dark as well. This includes investing in blackout curtains or wearing a sleeping mask.
What About Using Electronics?
While we’re on the topic of lighting, it’s also important to mention that use of electronics before bed can be incredibly disruptive to your sleeping patterns. As we mentioned earlier, melatonin production increases as the evening progresses, but the blue light that emits from our electronic devices can harm the production of melatonin and confuse our brain into thinking that it’s daytime. For that reason, it’s important that you keep the brightness of your electronic devices as low as possible if you intend to use them during your bedtime routine. If you’re in the habit of watching your favourite TV show before you go to bed or scrolling through Instagram, then maybe you can substitute those habits with something that doesn’t require you to actively stare at a screen, such as listening to a podcast.
If you absolutely must use electronic devices at night, or if you want to slowly remove them from your routine, investing in blue light glasses is always an option. Blue light glasses work by reducing your exposure to blue light, thus preventing it from having any negative impact on your melatonin production. Saying goodbye to a well-established habit is never easy, but a tool like this could easily help you transition.
Invest in a Quality Mattress and Bedding
Another incredibly important part of your bedroom environment is the mattress and bedding you use. If you want to get the best sleep possible, your mattress should be completely tailored to your preferences and your favourite sleeping position. If you’re a back sleeper, opt for a mattress that’s on the firmer side, side sleepers should invest in a medium-firm mattress, while front sleepers do well with soft to medium-firm mattresses.
Additionally, keep in mind whether you have any trouble areas or problems you’d like to fix, such as having a painful back or waking up in pain in your pressure points. If that’s the case, look for a mattress that targets those problems.
In terms of bedding, opt for quality bedding that feels soft to touch. If possible, choose materials that are gentle on the skin and hypoallergenic, such as linen, cotton, and bamboo. Once you invest in your bedding, take proper care of it by following the cleaning instructions and regularly washing it.
Many people swear by using essential oils in their nighttime routine to help them relax and unwind. One easy way you could improve your bedroom environment is by purchasing a couple of essential oils that have a relaxing effect, such as lavender, and adding them to a diffuser in your bedroom. While this isn’t a guarantee that you will have a great night’s sleep or that you will be completely relaxed, it’s a simple step you can use to pamper yourself and add something extra to your bedroom environment.
Choose Your PJs Carefully
A part of our nighttime routine some of us neglect is what kind of attire we wear to bed. Dressing in comfortable pyjamas is just as important as the bedding you use, so carefully consider your choice.
How do you know you’ve selected a good pair of PJs? Firstly, they should feel extremely comfortable. They should be gentle on your skin and not cause any irritation. Lastly, they should be breathable to keep you dry all night regardless of the weather and humidity levels.
There’s also a case to be made about sleeping naked. It’s said to come with many benefits, so it’s definitely an option worth considering.
Say No to Clutter
There’s a reason why so many people include cleaning in their nighttime routines. It’s an incredibly relaxing activity that helps you stay on top of clutter. There are many different ways you can utilize the space in your bedroom to avoid clutter, such as investing in an ottoman bed. Ottoman beds have additional space on the bottom of the bed, which is perfect for storing any clothes that are out of season or any accessories you might have lying around, so if space is an issue for you, definitely consider this investment.
Maintain a Quiet Space
There’s nothing like loud noise to ruin the relaxing vibe in your bedroom. Whether it’s coming from the outside or inside your house, loud noise interrupts your sleep and can lead to additional stress.
Whenever possible, minimize the background noise by closing the windows if you live near a busy road or turning off the TV. If your partner is the main source of noise, consider investing in a white noise machine. For many people, white noise is an indispensable part of their night routine. Whether you use a sound machine or a YouTube video is of no importance – what matters is that you pick a sound you find relaxing and use it as a background noise while you’re preparing for bed.
Pay Attention to Your Bedside Table
Some of us have a tendency to dump every single item we use during the day on our bedside table. This is a bad idea for many reasons; mainly, it gives off a cluttered vibe that’s incompatible with having a relaxing bedroom environment. If your bedside table is looking like a mess, give it a nice declutter and only keep things you really need, such as the book you’re currently reading, a box of tissues, or your charger.
Consider Adding Some Flowers
Flowers need no introduction – they can improve every space and look outstanding wherever you put them. It might be a luxurious addition to your bedroom, but if you have the space and means to afford it, try adding a vase full of fresh flowers in your bedroom every once in a while. You’ll notice a difference in your mood immediately.
Alternatively, you can also try keeping some plants in your bedroom. You don’t have to invest in anything fancy – if you’re not good at keeping plants alive, try some which are quite low maintenance, like aloe vera and succulents. They will help cleanse the air in your bedroom and they’re amazing to look at.
Have a Dedicated Work Space in Your Home
This won’t be a possibility for everyone depending on how much space you have to work with overall in your house, but, if it’s possible, try to keep work outside of the bedroom. Having a dedicated space in your house that you only use for work will help you focus easier, get you in the flow when you need to, and, most importantly, it will keep all the other areas of your house relaxing.
If you’re short on space and you have to use your bedroom for work, there are still ways you can keep it separate from the space you relax. Have a dedicated table or desk where you work and try not to bring your work with you in the bed. You can also invest in a floating desk that will help keep you active while you work. Whatever you decide to do, do your best to keep your bed intact and use it only for relaxing and sleeping.
Make Your Bed When You Wake Up
Creating the perfect bedroom environment also entails waking up in a relaxing space that lets you start your day on a great note. For that reason, making your bed as soon as you wake up is a great idea. You’ll start your day by accomplishing a simple but productive task that’ll set up your day for success. You will feel accomplished and it will be easy to carry that energy with you throughout the day. Coming home to a clean bedroom will put you in the mood to unwind and begin your bedtime routine all over again.
Try to Keep Your Bedroom Furniture Symmetrical
Many people swear by having symmetrical bedroom designs. Regardless of whether you believe in the art of feng shui, there is something to be said about keeping the furniture of your room symmetrical. It’s said to provide balance and it’s especially useful if you share a bedroom with your partner. So, how do you achieve symmetry in the bedroom?
You can start small by adding two nightstands next to each side of the bed. Adding a small piece of décor on each side, such as a succulent, will also help add to the symmetry. If you feel like stepping up your game, feel free to research more about the art of feng shui and incorporate some ideas in your bedroom.
Consider the Colour of the Walls
The colour of your walls also plays a role in how calming you find your bedroom environment to be. The best colours to use that have been proven to have a relaxing effect on us include blue and green. If you’re reluctant to opt for those colours, or if they don’t match your furniture, you could always include a piece of furniture with those colours or a painting that has a similar colour palette.
How Do I Optimize My Bedroom Environment?
There are several ways you could optimize your bedroom environment. Firstly, start by controlling the temperature and lighting in your room – keep your room around 19 degrees Celsius, dim the lights as you’re getting ready for bed, and make sure you sleep in the dark. Ensure that your mattress and bedding are comfortable and that you sleep in light and comfortable PJs. Declutter your bedroom and create a relaxing atmosphere by lighting a candle or using aromatherapy.
What Are the Best Conditions for Sleeping?
Some of the most important conditions for sleeping you should keep in mind include the temperature of your bedroom, any light sources you might have, and the presence of electronic devices.
That concludes our guide on how to create the perfect bedroom environment! We hope our article gave you some ideas about ways in which you can improve the atmosphere of your bedroom at night and get into a more relaxed headspace before you go to bed.
Some of the most important things you should pay attention to are the temperature and lighting of your room. The ideal sleeping temperature is around 19 degrees Celsius – anything that goes significantly over or below that number has the risk of impacting your sleeping quality and bringing discomfort. In terms of lighting, it’s best to sleep in pitch-black darkness to avoid any suppression of melatonin production. Additionally, you’ll want to use dim lights and stay away from any screens as you’re preparing for bed to ensure that your melatonin levels remain intact throughout the night.
The mattress and bedding you use also play a crucial role. Select a mattress that fits your favourite sleeping position, and similar preferences. Your bedding should remain comfy and breathable, just like your choice of PJs. To make the most of your bedroom environment, keep your work and your sleep space separate.
Okamoto-Mizuno K, Mizuno K. Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm. J Physiol Anthropol. 2012 May 31;31(1):14. doi: 10.1186/1880-6805-31-14. PMID: 22738673; PMCID: PMC3427038.