Is your bedroom more of a hot mess than a healing oasis? You’re not alone—Only a quarter of women say they view their bedroom as a relaxing retreat, compared with about a third of men, according to a new survey by Leggett & Platt, a furniture and bedding manufacturer. Sure, it’s easy to let this room turn into everything from your sleep center to your home office—and everything in between. But at the end of the day, your bedroom is where you’ll go to recharge—so it’s crucial to keep it as stress-free as possible.
Here, seven ways to boost your room’s relaxation factor for a blissful, spa-like space.
1. Kick the clutter
Those piles of papers are doing more than just collecting dust—they’re actually stressing you out, says Sally Augustin, PhD, an environmental psychologist and founder of DesignWithScience.com. So it’s no surprise that 49 percent of the women surveyed said their bedrooms needed better organization to become a real oasis. Even if you don’t have time for a total overhaul, you can start by picking up a few neat storage boxes (like these from The Container Store). Since even a stack of boxes gives your space some order, it’s more visually relaxing than seeing things strewn around haphazardly, says Augustin.
2. Do a little rearranging
You want to make sure your bed is positioned so that you have a clear view of your bedroom door when you’re in it, says Augustin. Why is this specific arrangement so relaxing? It has to do with how we’ve evolved: Being able to see who may be coming in and out is a basic safety thing, so it helps to ward off anxiety, says Augustin. If your room is pulling double duty as a home office, minimize stress by positioning your desk so that it’s not in the direct view of your bed, says Augustin.
3. Pick the right bulbs
Super-bright lights may help you get up in the morning, but they’re the worst when you’re trying to chill. “Bluer light is great for cognitive work, and golden incandescent light calms you down,” says Augustin. Swap out your bedroom bulbs with ones labeled incandescent, warm white, or soft white rather than daylight or bright white, which can be a lot harsher. If you simply can’t live without strong overhead lights, make sure you have a bedside lamp with softer bulbs to switch on when you’re ready to relax.
4. Dabble in aromatherapy
Score the same zen feeling you get from spas by bringing their go-to scent into your bedroom. Lavender essential oil has been shown to increase deep sleep and make you more refreshed the next morning, according to a study at Wesleyan University. And previous research has found that the scent can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and nervous system arousal—all of which are crucial to winding down. To reap lavender’s benefits, keep a bottle of essential oil on your nightstand or place a few drops on your pillow.
5. Bring in only what you need
Forty-two percent of women said the bedroom is their go-to spot for hiding clutter. But even though it might seem convenient to keep everything from your tax forms to your yoga mat in your room, experts say it’s a bad idea. You don’t want to bring in a lot of things that are going to increase your stimulation, says psychology expert Alice Boyes, PhD. So keep out anything that might get your mind racing, like an unfinished work project or even your workout clothes if they’re stressing you out.
6. Adopt a calming color scheme
Certain hues can impact your mood, so it’s important to pick the right one when painting or decorating your space. “You want to use colors that aren’t very saturated but are relatively bright, like classic pastels,” says Augustin. A sage green is a great pick since the color has been associated with both relaxation and creativity. Plus, the light hue can make the room appear a little larger. And you might want to stay away from red comforters—the color is known to energize, rather than calm you, says Augustin.
7. Make it sleep-friendly
The best way to turn your room into a serene space is to view it as just that—and not your office, yoga studio, kitchen, or storage unit. To do that, set it up in a way that promotes good sleep hygiene, says Boyes. That includes using light-blocking curtains, keeping the space at a comfortable temperature, and anything else that makes your space more snooze-friendly.
Source: Women’s Health