If you’re desperate to sleep better, you’re not alone. Nearly half of the world’s population suffers from sleep problems, according to research. In fact, it’s now considered an epidemic (just to add to our global health problems!).
Just like food and drink, sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing. We all know how awful we feel when we haven’t slept well, but the impact of a restless night has consequences that go much deeper than a fuzzy head or short fuse. Over time, a lack of sleep leaves us vulnerable to illness and serious disease, and affects our mental health leaving us struggling to concentrate or feel joy in everyday life.
Good sleep can be a difficult one to master though, especially if you’re suffering from stress or anxiety. However, there are some instant changes you can make to your physical space that could make a big difference to your night-time snoozing.
Interior lighting and your internal sleep clock
The topic on everyone’s lips right now, both in the wellness circles and amongst conscious interior designers, is all about circadian health. What we’re talking about here is your internal clock and how light (both natural and artificial) is messing sleep right up.
This internal clock of ours regulates sleep, hormones, immune health, metabolism and even weight. When it’s working in tune with your body, you digest food more efficiently, sleep more soundly, feel more alert and happier, and enjoy better energy and health.
Sounds amazing! Where do we sign up?
Healthy interior design can help you sleep better
Well, our circadian rhythms have been in a confused state of flux for many years because of the always-on world we now live in. The blue light emitted from our TVs, phones and devices is major culprit – but so is the lighting in your bedroom and outside your home. You can make some immediate changes to your light, but it will take a little while for your internal clock to reset for better sleep.
So, what better time to start than today – or tonight?
5 ways to light your bedroom and dress your window for better sleep
Here are a 5 top tips on how to create a sleepy sanctuary, from the professional wellness interior designers at Conscious Cribs:
- Turn down lighting to mimic sunset. Turn off your bright overhead light and illuminate the lower levels or corners of your bedroom with soft bedside lamps. Dimmable light is preferable.
- Channel your inner caveman and emulate the glow of a campfire with candles and soft light. This will help to make you drowsy. Just make sure you use natural, unscented beeswax candles. Other candles (especially artificially perfumed candles) contain a host of polluting toxins (VOCs, formaldehyde and petroleum to name a few) that can cause headaches, dizziness, asthmatic problems and other more serious diseases over time.
- Dress your window with drapes and blinds to make it easy to adapt your room to a change in light. A black-out blind or curtains should be used if your bedroom faces the sun in the evening. They also help to keep the glow from streetlights and traffic hidden from view as these can interrupt sleep. Similarly, your aim should be to wake with the sun (this depends on where you live and the time of year). Light voiles or sheers allow the soft light from sunrise to enter and wake you naturally, which will help to reset your circadian clock.
- Make sure you opt for natural fabrics in neutral colours when choosing curtains and blinds. This same approach should apply to every item in your room too, from the flooring to the wall treatments and bedding. You need to create a cocoon-like space that feels enveloping, cosy and comfortable. There shouldn’t be any jarring or stimulating colours, patterns or textures. Think warm, soft, skin colours and natural tones.
- Finally, keep your phone out of your bedroom at night-time. Don’t be tempted to have a television or computer in your room either. Step away from the screen, people – ideally, 2-3 hours before you plan to go to sleep. The blue light from these devices suppresses the hormone that makes us sleepy (melatonin). It’s great for waking up but terrible for your brain at bedtime. Be strong – we promise you’ll sleep better as a result.
The light in your room only begins to scratch the surface of what you can do with interior design to sleep better. Sound absorption, toxin-free paint, chemical free mattresses and organic bedding are just a few ways you can help your mind and body to relax for a deeper slumber.
Interested in learning more? Sign up to the SLEEP course from Conscious Cribs which will take you through every step you need to transform your bedroom and sleep better for wellness.
If you liked this article, we think you’ll find this one interesting too: The 4 important aspects of silent noise