12 Relaxing Bedroom Ideas to Help You Sleep
If there’s one thing a bedroom should be, it’s relaxing. A sanctuary away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, your bedroom is where you go to rest, decompress, and – most importantly – sleep.
In order to unwind, relax and sleep the very best you can, you may need to integrate a few calming bedroom ideas. There are various ways you can decorate and style your room to maximise its relaxing nature. Before you get the paint rollers and brushes out though, why not try some of the following more useful and practicable ideas…
These are our top tips for how to make your bedroom more relaxing so you can rest well.
Declutter your bedroom
Our first relaxing bedroom idea comes with the caveat of sounding like an annoyed parent, let’s begin with a very simple, but very effective, concept: ‘tidy your room’.
Phrases like ‘a tidy space is a tidy mind’ can sound a little clichéd, but they come from a place of wisdom. Of course, there are obvious practical advantages to a clutter-free space. Not least, there’s much more room to move about in. Neatness goes beyond that, though.
Research has found that people with – or at risk of – a hoarding disorder typically sleep worse than the average person1. Of course, a few boxes of clothes, some shoes and a stack of books is not too much to worry about. But there is a connection between decluttering and improved sleep quality2.
So gather the items up in your bedroom that don’t need to be there. Redistribute them to other rooms or storage areas. Throw out what you can. Take back control of your sleep space.
Make sure your keep your bedroom clean
Tidy is good, clean is even better, when thinking about how to make the bedroom more relaxing. Not only is there a calming effect to knowing your environment is spotless, there are quite a few practical reasons why maintaining an immaculately clean bedroom is a sensible idea.
Allergens can make their way into your room and make a cosy little home for themselves, including in your bed linen. Breathe in these allergens on a nightly basis and it could be affecting your night’s rest. Allergic rhinitis is a major factor in many poor sleep sufferer’s nocturnal issues3.
Fail to keep clean sheets and you encourage bedbugs, which are also known to negatively impact our sleep4.
Experience the therapy that aroma can provide
Whether you prefer to use candles, diffusers or sprays, we all know how much more inviting and relaxing a room that smells pleasant is. It’s not just ‘nice’, though. There’s real science behind the idea that aromatherapy is relaxing and boosts sleep quality5.
Essential oils are a good way of allowing aroma to work its magic. These are ones to look out for, all of which have been shown to aid sleep and help create a more relaxing bedroom6:
- Ylang Ylang
Try to block out as much light as you can
This relaxing bedroom idea may seem like a no-brainer, but blackout curtains work well for ensuring that any external brightness stays outside your sleeping domain. These are especially useful if your bedroom window faces street lights or a road.
If you need a short term solution, just hang some sheets, blankets or a table cloth over your existing curtains.
Don’t feel silly, you’re not being fussy. Too much light at night can affect our circadian rhythm, the internal system that regulates sleep. At night, our body produces melatonin, a hormone which promotes sleep. Light interrupts the production of melatonin. Block the light and you give yourself a better chance of sleeping well7.
Use low lighting at night
If you enjoy reading before nodding off, consider investing in a table lamp that offers various light levels. The lower and warmer the light as you wind down, the more relaxed your bedroom!
Keep devices away from reach
A truly modern relaxing bedroom idea is to keep all your devices out of the bedroom entirely. The ‘blue light’ from your tablet or smartphone can serve to disrupt the body’s natural sleeping pattern8, so it pays to make your bedroom a device-free zone.
If you keep items charging in another room or on a dresser – not your bedside table – you’ll also cut out the temptation to check your phone for messages and stop yourself from fully winding down and easing into a restful sleep.
Ensure the bedroom is strictly a work-free zone
Bedrooms work best for rest and relaxation when they’re sleep-only places and free from the stress of work. If you work from home in any capacity, try to keep your work out of the bedroom.
That might not be easy if you’re restricted on space. In that case, try to clear away any papers or laptops or work-related items at the end of each day. Reminders of work aren’t helpful when you’re trying to relax into sleep, and filing away any reminders is a useful calming bedroom idea to integrate into your sleep routine.
Always keep a clean made bed
There’s an inescapably cosy and rewarding feeling to slipping under the covers and sheets of a clean, well-made bed.
While you’ll never quite match the blissful experience of settling into a freshly-washed, made and turned down hotel bed, you can certainly try to use this relaxing bedroom idea at home.
Will it definitely result in a better night’s sleep? It’s difficult to say with any real certainty, but that pleasing feeling is sure to help your relaxed state. It’s all about making your bedroom a tranquil, comfortable and satisfying environment to spend time in.
A simple and evolutionary-based relaxing bedroom idea is to keep cool! Us humans may have all evolved to the point where we sleep under duvets, in nice centrally-heated houses, but we’re still mammals. And all mammals sleep better in slightly cooler environments9. So don’t get under too warm a duvet or have that central heating turned up too high.
Of course, you don’t want to be cold, but make your bedroom too warm and your body’s thermoregulation mechanism will be challenged and that will likely interrupt your circadian rhythm and result in poor sleep10.
The perfect example of this comes when we all collectively suffer at night during a heatwave.
Introduce a few houseplants to your sleeping room
Introducing a little greenery is the perfect relaxing bedroom idea, and bringing the outside in provides a natural and organic feel to the room and has been shown to improve sleep quality11.
If you’re not greenfingered and fear you have the killer touch with plants, don’t worry. There are plenty of houseplants which are super hardy that don’t require you to become a horticultural expert. Spider plants, rubber plants and aloe veras should all survive with minimal attention.
Designate the bedroom at night as a pet-free zone
There are two main reasons why pets in the bedroom while you’re trying to sleep is not encouraged.
Firstly, the longer your four-legged friend is in the room, the more allergens they shed. This may affect your sleep quality, even if you aren’t allergic to pet dander12.
The second – and possibly more important – reason is that pets are shown to disturb our sleep through movement. Especially if they share our beds. It may not be perceptible, but studies have shown that co-sleeping with a cat or dog leads to heightened sleep disturbances. This is especially true with dogs13.
Invest in a high quality mattress
We spend a third of our lives in bed, so a key calming bedroom idea is to invest in a decent mattress. A lumpy or even sprung mattress is a barrier to this, so it’s a good idea to upgrade your mattress.
You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot, buy the best mattress you can reasonably afford. You’ll – quite literally – feel the benefit.
Follow some of this guidance and you should see a slight improvement in your sleep pattern. No advice is a cure-all, but some lifestyle alterations and tweaks can really help.
1, People at risk of hoarding disorder may have serious complaints about sleep – American Academy of Sleep Medicine
2, Decluttering the Bedroom as a Possible Sleep Hygiene Step to Improve Sleep Quality,
PV Thacher, SV Onyper, J Tuthill – Sleep journal
3, Allergic Rhinitis and Its Consequences on Quality of Sleep: An Unexplored Area, Damien Léger, Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Francois Carat, et al – JAMA Internal Medicine
4, Mental health effects from urban bed bug infestation (Cimex lectularius L.): a cross-sectional study, Stephanie Rebecca Susser, Stéphane Perron, Michel Fournier, Louis Jacques, Geoffroy Denis, François Tessier and Pasquale Roberge – BMJ Open
5, Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Pi-Chu Lin, Pi-Hsia Lee, Shu-Ju Tseng, Yen-Miao Lin, Su-Ru Chen and Wen-Hsuan Hou – Complementary Therapies in Medicine
6, A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep, Lillehei AS and Halcon LL – Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
7, Why Light at Night Can Interfere With Your Sleep – Cleveland Clinic
8, Blue light has a dark side – Harvard Medical School
9, Too hot to handle? To sleep well, stay cool... – The Science Times
10, Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm, Kazue Okamoto-Mizuno and Koh Mizuno – The Journal of Physiological Anthropology
11, Put Plants in Your Room for Better Sleep, According to Astronauts – Healthline
12, 3 reasons you shouldn’t let your pets sleep in your bed – CNET
13, Human-Animal Co-Sleeping: An Actigraphy-Based Assessment of Dogs’ Impacts on Women’s Nighttime Movements,
Christy L Hoffman, Matthew Browne, Bradley P Smith – Animals