A good night’s sleep is a much-coveted dream of many, and for good reason. Research from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute shows that sleep is vital for emotional well-being, decision-making, physical health and creativity. And yet 45 percent of Americans report that poor sleep negatively affects their life at least one day a week, the National Sleep Foundation says. Luckily, there are some proven strategies to rediscover dreamland, and they all start with a zen bedroom. From design decisions to color choices, here are five easy ways to transform your bedroom into a calm, peaceful environment so you can relax and get the best possible rest.
1. Choose a Natural Color Palette
Neutrals like white, gray and warm brown provide a timeless backdrop that evokes the calmness of nature and matches any accent color for an ordered space. A dresser, bed frame and nightstands in a natural wood stain look great against misty gray walls and crisp white window trim and baseboards.
For walls, try a light and airy paint color like Sherwin-WiIliams Passive with the buttery-smooth Cashmere finish. If you want to try a more colorful accent wall, opt for a light shade of blue which is associated with relaxation and wisdom.
2. Invest in a Great Bed
A substantial and comfortable bed promotes a good night’s sleep. If space allows, opt for a king-size mattress with a dense memory foam core. This provides the maximum support on pressure points like hips and shoulders while keeping the spine aligned. The larger size will also minimize any disruptions from a partner’s movements during the night.
When arranging the furniture, position the bed against the wall farthest from the door, HGTV.com suggests. This helps achieve a sense of safety and allows for foot traffic to flow through the room. Also, consider anchoring the bed with a heavy wooden, leather or upholstered headboard, or even a dark accent wall to create a sense of being enveloped or cocooned.
3. Display Beautiful Art
Choose art that is pleasing to look at and calming in its effect. Black-and-white photographs, landscapes or abstract prints of water or foliage work well. Whatever the style or medium, think simplicity and minimalism.
When hanging artwork above the bed, ensure that it feels connected to the bed rather than floating above it. To accomplish this, measure eight to 10 inches above the headboard — that’s where the bottom of the artwork’s frame should be.
4. Pay Special Attention to Lighting
One of the most annoying ways to lose sleep is glaring sunlight flooding your space. To create a nurturing and intimate sleep space, cover windows with light-blocking roller shades framed by beautiful linen drapes.
To give the room a romantic glow at night, frame the bed on either side with table lamps or wall-mounted reading lamps. Soft indirect light, rather than the harsh brightness of overhead light, will help to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.
5. Layer on the Natural Textiles
From wool rugs to cotton bedding, go overboard on high-quality natural textiles. The softness of the material will cushion sound and make comfort and calm a priority.
For large area rugs, look for 100 percent wool since the synthetic blends don’t hold up as well to traffic and vacuuming. When shopping for bed sheets, choose 100 percent cotton with longer fibers such as Egyptian, pima and supima.
Now you’re ready to create your own zen bedroom. Go forth with calmness, serenity and balance.