We all know that sleep and our health are intimately related. For most of us, we also know that we can benefit from improving the quality of our sleep. We may follow the advice in articles about sleep that suggest reducing screen time and eating before bed. Some of us may even use one of the popular relaxation apps on the market to help us sleep. I would like to suggest that there is another culprit that can rob us of our Zzzz’s. Watch out for this bedroom clutter that can really kill the calm in your bedroom.
Never, ever bring the mail or bills to bed. I understand on occasion the laptop might be handy if you are sick but keep paper as far away as possible from your bedroom!
Toys belong in one place (okay maybe two), the playroom/basement or your child’s room. Parents’ bedrooms are to be their domain and quiet place. Boundaries are key, especially when it comes to toys.
One or two books or magazines on the bedside table if you like to read before turning out the light for bed, is understandable. Bookshelf after bookshelf of volumes however can darken the room and make it feel like a library or cave. Books also harbor a lot of dust. No one wants a dusty bed.
Yes, even furniture can be clutter. It can make you feel crowded. Assess the number of pieces of furniture you have versus the amount of free wall space/window space. Try to eliminate excess furniture like a random chair, trunk, side table, etc. My rule of thumb is, if you have a closet in your bedroom than two dressers for clothes are plenty and a nightstand for a book and phone.
Too often I see children’s clothes and possessions strewn about their parents’ bedrooms. Again, parents’ bedrooms should be their private space, where they can relax and unwind. Start training your kids early. Change them in their own room and use their own hamper.
Under the Bed
Dust accumulates under the bed; therefore, clean storage underneath is next to impossible. Try to avoid under the bed storage. It is also not easy to retrieve things from under the bed without getting on your hand and knees, so I would use it as a last resort.
When creating your bedroom sanctuary choose items that inspire sleep, comfort, and relaxation:
Consider how soft your bed linens are. We all love high end hotels because the bedding is so soft and comfortable. Recreate that in your bedroom.
When choosing your window treatments remember that even though natural light helps us wake up in the morning, light from outside or other parts of the home can interrupt sleep. Even the bright red digital display on an alarm clock can affect the quality of sleep. Room darkening or black out shades are my favorite option. A comfortable sleep mask can also do the trick.
It may surprise you to know that research into sleep and sleep habits has shown that our sense of smell and the scents we experience in the bedroom can affect the restfulness of our sleep. Some fragrances may promote better sleep and help you wake up in the morning. Consider a diffuser with essential oils. To add a bit of luxury, enjoy a scented candle, essential oils, or a delicate body lotion. Look for lavender, rose, chamomile and jasmine fragrances as they have shown to have calming properties.
This might be the most obvious culprit of disturbed sleep. Between the snoring spouse, inconsiderate neighbors and traffic noises that invade our space, noise cannot only interrupt sleep, but it can prevent us from falling asleep in the first place. If you have tried and failed using ear plugs to drown out the noise, consider the merits of a sound machine that provides calming “white noise”.