July 16, 2017
If you’ve been following Verlo’s blog, at some point you’ve probably come across one of our sleep tips – along with a photo of a beautiful room – suggesting that you “make your bedroom conducive to sleep.” But in real life, what does that really mean?
For most people (myself included), the bedroom is one of the last rooms we focus on. Unlike the public areas of our homes, no one but you usually sees it. So, we leave the basket of folded laundry on the floor for days, let the magazines and papers stack up, deal with bad lighting and a less than comfy mattress, choosing to spend our time, money and effort on making the other more visible rooms look presentable.
And we usually wind up with sad, uninspired master bedrooms that we don’t enjoy being in. Sleeping quarters that don’t help us to sleep, other than to house a mattress.
A year ago, I bought a king-sized mattress – my first. The difference between a queen- and a king-sized mattress is only 16 inches but those 16 inches make A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. My sleep partner and I are both tall, and I like to spread out when I sleep. The extra room of a king gives us enough room to sleep in whatever position is most comfortable.
Of course, changing the size of my mattress meant I had to get new bedding to fit the bigger mattress, which…ultimately…made me take a closer look at the entire bedroom. I decided if I was going to have a new bed and bedding, I may as well go all the way and really make my bedroom a restful and enjoyable space.
I seriously put a lot of thought into how to make my bedroom relaxing and promote better sleep. Here’s what I did:
I keep my alarm clock turned away so that I can’t see what time it is unless I sit up. I learned to do this years ago when I had what I call “my summer of insomnia.” (It was a horrible experience, and I have so much empathy for anyone who suffers from the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.) I found that watching the clock tick did nothing but create anxiety, which made it even harder for me to fall asleep. I still do this even today, although I rarely have trouble sleeping. Plus, the light from the digital numbers annoys me.
The bedroom is painted in soothing tones of taupe and dark gray. There are no loud colors, bold patterns or distracting pictures on the walls. There also aren’t any family photos in the bedroom because I don’t want to be watched by anyone when I’m in bed.
I have blinds and curtains to control the sunlight, streetlights and even the moonlight when there’s a full moon.
The ceiling fixture has a dimmer so I can avoid the bright overhead glare. In fact, unless I’m looking for something, I never turn on this light. I much prefer the ambient light from our new bedside lamps, which have 3-way bulbs. I make them bright when I’m reading a book, but use low-level lighting for relaxing before bedtime.
The ceiling fan not only keeps us cool and comfortable, it also serves as white noise.
I purposely don’t have a TV in the bedroom. While I know the blue light emitted from the screen can interfere with the production of melatonin, I’m honestly more concerned about my sleep partner wanting to watch it when I want it quiet so I can sleep. Plus, I’m afraid I’d never use my living room if I could watch TV in bed. I don’t bring my laptop into the bedroom, but I do charge my cell phone in the bedroom – out of reach – for emergency’s sake.
Doing these things has transformed our bedroom into a soothing place that promotes sleep – and even bed making. I so love returning to my comfortable sanctuary each night that I make my bed every morning now.
P.S. In case you’re wondering, I bought a pillowtop mattress from Verlo’s v9 Collection (a popular choice among my co-workers). I absolutely love this bed. It is the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on. I often drag people into my room to try it for themselves.