Your bedroom should be your SANCTUARY. Your safe space from the outside world. A place where you go to sleep and snuggle and do a whole bunch of fun activities 😉 But what if you’re struggling to get some shut eye lately? With the GO GO GO pace of society today and the abundance of blue light we are exposed to, it’s no wonder that people are suffering with fatigue and circadian rhythms that are all out of whack.
Your environment plays a key role in your mental wellness, and you may not know this but the environment you sleep in DEFINITELY DOES affect your quality of sleep. When you optimize your bedroom and specifically design it to enhance your sleep, you can fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. And that means you get to live your best life when you’re well rested and ready to take on the next day!
So let’s dive in to 10 ways to optimize your bedroom so you can improve your sleep! Stat!
Here are 10 ways to optimize your bedroom for better sleep
Some of these may be new to you, but some of them you’ve probably known before. Don’t discount the simple things! I put this list together based off of my own experience (and as a little bonus, most of these works to create a kid friendly bedroom too so the little ones will finally stay in their room.)
The real magic comes when you start to apply these elements together to create a true sanctuary for yourself and your best sleep.
So let’s dive in!
1. Your room is now a NO TECH zone.
I know, I know. I’m starting off with the big guns and you don’t like it. Who doesn’t love scrolling thru Instagram and netflixing in bed? For me, this was a daily routine, and I would regularly stay up wayyy past my bedtime getting dopamine hits from Instagram and viral posts about dogs. So take it out. All of it- no electronics in the bedroom! That includes the TV, the iPad, and the cell phone. Get them out of your bedroom and move on to number 2.
2. Take it down a notch.
An hour or so before your bedtime (ps. Do you have an actual bedtime?) take everything down a notch. What does this have to do with your environment? Dim the lights. Turn down the music. Drastically reduce the TV volume. Stop the kids from frantically running around all over the house. You need to create a calming environment around you and this includes catering to ALL your senses. Reduce the stimulation of the noise around you and the visions you take in before bed. That horror movie kick you’re on? The 10pm news? Probably not a great idea to engage in these activities before bed because of how stimulated your nervous system becomes. Think of reducing the chaos around you, and you’ll be able to fall asleep faster.
3. Look around and create a super cozy sanctuary.
Does your bed make you happy? Is it warm and cozy and have pillows that you like, and blankets that feel good on your skin? If not, you may need a bit of a bed refresh. How about the temperature- do you sleep HOT or COLD? It took me a full YEAR to discover that the horrible sleep I was having was partly because my blanket wasn’t keeping me warm enough at night. Try out a few different options for blankets, more or less, and figuring out what suits you best to create that inviting, soft space to crawl into.
A clean space is so much more inviting, and there is a lot to be said for making your space clean and clutter free. Minimalism has proven over and over again the positive affects that when people clear their spaces they also clear out their heads. Reduce the number of THINGS in your bedroom. Can’t find a way to reduce what you have? TRY HARDER. Still can’t pare down anymore? At least get your stuff out of your line of sight. You can do this by getting a pretty cabinet or storage organizer and putting your stuff inside it instead of on top of your dressers. Or on your chair. Or scattered across your desk. (Yes mom, everything now has a home thank-you-very-much.) You’ll know you’re clutter free when you can wipe down all the surfaces in your room without having to move anything or pick it up while you’re cleaning.
5. Keep a journal by your bed.
There’s a reason you aren’t getting proper sleep- you have too much going on in your mind, most likely! For some of us, it takes a while to wind down from the billion things on our to do lists, so I have a pro-tip for you. BRAIN DUMP. Keep a notebook or journal by your bed where you can make a to-do list if your thoughts are keeping you awake at night. You can write anything you want in your journal- things that you need to do this week, or even the random thoughts that pop up into your head while you’re laying down. Just clear it out of your head and get it out on paper where your brain knows it won’t be forgotten.
6. Track your dreams.
Having a tough time in life, at the moment? One time, I had nightmares every single night for 3 MONTHS. It was horrible. My sleep was totally disrupted, but even worse was what I was going thru during my waking time too! Keeping track of your dreams can help you realize what may be out of control in your life. Why? Well, your brain is trying to process what’s happening in your life, and when you’re sleeping you can’t fight it! If your sleep is terrible, it could be because of something going on in your life, and you might not even really know it. The good news is, your dreams may be giving you clues to the best way to solve this problem. Track your dreams and look for themes and similarities in the scenarios your brain is presenting you to see if you need to make changes in your daily life.
Relaxation without candles? OF COURSE candles made this list! What a simple and effective way to create a relaxing atmosphere with very little change. Add some candles to your space and light them a little while before you go to bed. You will help your mind get triggered that it’s almost bedtime.
8. Diffuse calming essential oils.
A diffuser is a device that helps disperse essential oils into the air. Why does that matter? Because many essential oils are incredibly relaxing and calming, and having them in the air is one of the easiest ways to get them into your system! It’s like magic! (Ok it’s not really magic, but in the middle of a stressful situation, breathing these babies in sure does feel like magic sometimes!) My favorites to calm me before bed are lavender, peppermint, vetiver (bonus for nighttime diffusing because this one is also an aphrodisiac bow-chicka-wow-wow!!!) and rosemary.
9. Create a spiritual space in your room.
This could be an altar, a special chair with your favorite blanket and devotional, or even a little space on your wall with some inspirational quotes and favorite photos. Spend some time in this space or in front of this wall before bedtime. It’s as simple as carving out 5-10 minutes to spend in this little “happy place” of yours, where you can breathe deeply, go inward, and close your eyes for a bit. Be intentional about making time for this in your nightly routine and using that time just for you to reconnect with your heart center. Have a dedicated space for doing this.
10. Create some ambiance with lighting.
This is one of my all time favorite ways to create a sanctuary in my bedroom. It’s amazing what lighting can do, and how nice of an environment it can create for you. Invest in some lights so you can turn off your overhead room light and instead bask in the soft + warm lighting you create around your bed to take the cozy up a notch. My favorite to create this “warming” effect has been string lights, and 2 years ago I went a step further and got a (heads up, affiliate link!) wall of lights HERE that I enjoy on a nightly basis. On the same note, take notice of your windows- how much light do they let in? Sleep has always improved for me when I make sure my curtains darken the room significantly. Every single night, I close the curtains and every single morning I open them up so my circadian rhythm gets used to telling me I should be awake in the morning and sleepy at night!
Alright, so I’ve fully prepared to do a little handholding regarding number one up there… the No Tech zone. I know that giving up your phone while you’re in your room can be tough, but with all the blue light filtering to your eyes, you may need to. And honestly, if you’re having any problems sleeping, this should be the first thing to go. Let’s dive in with a few options for you because I can already hear the cries: “I need my alarm to wake me up!” “BUT WHAT IF SOMEONE NEEDS TO REACH ME AT 3AM!” or “I’m just addicted to FB & IG!”
So how about you give this a shot:
- Put your phone NEAR your room, and turn the volume up on your phone’s alarm so you can still hear it in the morning. This is what I personally do- I stick my phone either in my bathroom or in my kitchen right off of my master bedroom.
- Replace your phone alarm with a real alarm. Need some jams to wake up in the morning? Buy a radio alarm clock or you can even get a CD player alarm clock if you want to wake up to a specific song.
- Put your phone on airplane mode at a certain time, like 8pm. This only works if you’re okay with not being reached in the night, so it may not be a good option for everyone. Also, see #4.
- Turn off your phone and invest in a landline- if anyone important needs to get a hold of you, they can call your landline just like in old times 😊
- Download an app to lock you out of your phone on a schedule.
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get ready for bed- set your phone in it’s “spot” and begin your nightly routine like diving in to number 9 and turning on your diffuser like in number 8!
Alright, there you have it.
10 ways to optimize your bedroom so you can improve your sleep. I hope you enjoyed this article! If you have, feel free to share it on Facebook or Instagram, and make sure you leave me a comment with any tips and tricks you have might about how you improve your sleep too! Did you learn any new tips here? Do you already have a sanctuary? Let me know!