If your home is your castle, the bedroom is your throne room. Studies keep showing that high-quality sleep is the cornerstone of good health. That starts with turning the bedroom into a peaceful retreat where you can’t wait to crawl in between your bed sheets. If you don’t feel a sense of calm wash over you the minute you walk into your bedroom, follow this simple checklist below, and it will become your favorite destination in the house (or maybe even on earth).
Step one in ensuring you always get a restful night’s sleep: keep your bedroom free of clutter. Go through your closet every season and get rid of any non-occasion clothing you didn’t put on all season. Minimize items on dressing tables, nightstands, and dressers. Devote 20 minutes every day to putting things away so at night, every surface is clear and calmly.
2. Make it Dark
Light in all forms is stimulating. When light pollution seeps into your bedroom windows, it messes with your circadian rhythms. Better sleep starts with a perfectly dark room, so invest in blackout shades or reinforced drapes with a light-blocking liner.
A simple coat of paint may be all you need to makeover your bedroom. Choose a soothing tone like gray, blue, or light green. Coordinate with new bedroom accessories like throw pillows or a quilt in a complementary shade.
4. Get New Bed Sheets
You don’t need a large selection of bed sheets, but you do want a set that helps regulate your body temperature (which microfiber does pretty well) so you don’t overheat. Microfiber is also as soft as Egyptian cotton without the high price tag and wears much better over time.
5. Make Your Bed
Seeing a made bed waiting for you every night prepares you for a dreamy rest. The ritual of drawing back the sheets signals your brain that it’s time to get cozy. Also, it takes maybe two seconds to do it every morning.
8. Get a New Bed
When it comes to sleep, comfort is high on the list. Is your mattress lumpy and uncomfortable? You’re overdue for a bed upgrade if you’ve had that mattress for over 10 years. At very least, a 2 or 3-inch memory foam topper is in order. A good mattress is a necessity, not a luxury.
7. Lighting Matters
Turning on lights zaps an instant message to the central nervous system that it’s time to wake up. Plug in one or two night lights in a red or blue tone, so you don’t have to flip a switch when you get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
8. Keep Water on the Nightstand
That part about getting up in the middle of the night and how it wakes you up? Yes, that. Keep water on your night table to have ready for those inevitable “I woke up thirsty” moments.
9. Keep the Thermostat Low
Your body lowers its temperature when you snooze. For better sleep, facilitate this as process much as you can by keeping your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees.
10. White Noise
If you have a hard time drifting off, white noise may distract your thought-addled mind. Also, a white noise machine or a Zen fountain blocks out disruptive outside noise to help you snooze the night away.
11. Spray your Bed Sheets with Essential Oils
Create an essential oil mixture of one part water, two parts alcohol, and 20-30 drops of a comforting oil like lavender or sage. Spray it about 6-10 inches away from the sheets right before you get into bed. The subtle scent will further add to the relaxing nature of your space.
12. Fresh Flowers Weekly
As part of your makeover, pick out a vase and place it in the room, so you’ll see it from bed. Refill with fresh flowers every week. Smile!
13. Ban Electronics
It’s hard to shut off your smartphones and laptops, but make sure you do before you get into bed. In fact, make a rule that those items aren’t even allowed in your Zen space.
14. Buh-Bye Desk
Is there a desk in your bedroom? There isn’t anymore. Haul anything, including a desk, that reminds you of work, paying bills, checking accounts, and taxes into another room in the house.
15. Clean it First
Put the bedroom first on the list of household chores. Even if it’s the only room that you clean once a week, so be it. The bedroom is where you relax and recharge. The more you cherish it, the more you’re comforting yourself.
See if you can incorporate at least 10 of these organizational tips for your bedroom in the next week. You’ll start getting 8-9 hours of a restful night’s sleep before you know what hit you.