Coming home should feel relaxing, especially when you’re ready to get to sleep. But there’s a lot that goes into creating a relaxing space where you can get the rest you need. Your home, and your bedroom in particular, should have the important elements that make up a healthy sleep environment. Specifically, your bedroom should be cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable so you can drift off and get the best quality sleep each night.
- Keep your bedroom cool. The ideal sleeping temperature is 67 or 68 degrees. You don’t need to keep your home at that temperature all day, but it’s a good idea to adjust your thermostat so your bedroom reaches a cooler temperature at night when it’s time for you to go to sleep. If it feels too cool, make sure you’ve got covers and blankets that can keep you at a comfortable temperature.
- Choose a cool mattress. Another consideration for temperature is the mattress you sleep on. Some mattresses sleep hot, especially ones made mostly from foam. But others can offer better temperature regulation and avoid trapping too much heat. Look for mattresses with cooling toppers or more breathable materials, such as innerspring mattresses.
- Cut back on light from the outdoors. Your circadian rhythm relies on environmental and behavioral cues, and light (both natural and artificial) signals to your brain when it’s daytime and time to be alert, and when it’s nighttime and time to rest. When you’re exposed to light at night, that’s confusing, so you should do your best to block out light from your windows and other sources. The easiest solution for this is to use blackout curtains at night, then open them up during the day.
- Reduce indoor light. Bright lights in your bedroom can be a problem, too. Generally, it’s bright overhead lights or screen time, so it’s a good idea to cut back on both. Use a dimmer switch for bright overhead lights or turn on low table lamps at night instead. And give yourself at least an hour before bedtime screen free, turning off your computer, TV, phone, and any other screens you might use at night.
- Manage noise. If you live in a noisy environment, you might be bothered by vehicles, street noise, even family members in your home. Using a fan or white noise machine can help you block out disruptive noises.
- Paint walls a relaxing color. The color of your walls can influence your mood, so it’s a good idea to choose colors that can help you feel more calm and relaxed. Bright and dark colors can be overwhelming, and so can bold prints. A soft blue is generally the best choice for relaxation and calm, but other light colors, neutrals, and earth tones can be a good choice.
- Bust clutter. Messes in your home can make your environment feel stressful, especially clutter. Cleaning up around your house can make you feel more comfortable and focused on relaxation.
A relaxing home is helpful for sleep, and there are certain steps you can take to make your home a more healthy environment for rest. Make your home and especially your bedroom a haven for calm and relaxation so it’s easier for you to get the sleep you need each night.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life — sometimes expertly, sometimes not.