Here at Style Curator we talk a lot about styling and how to make spaces in your home look more beautiful — but just as important is creating spaces that feel beautiful and have a positive effect on our health and happiness.
The one room in our home we spend more time than any other is our bedroom. So today we’re sharing 14 ways you can create a healthier bedroom environment to help you sleep better and feel at ease in this space.
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘A cluttered home is a cluttered mind’.
By delucttering and streamlining our physical possessions we can also ‘lift’ an emotional weight from our lives, helping to reduce stress. That’s why first up on this list is decluttering.
The best way to declutter is to have a system. We suggest starting by placing 3 large boxes outside your door for ‘keep’, ‘donate’ and ‘sell’, as well as a large bin so you can immediately throw away rubbish. Take the approach to only ‘touch something once’ and by that we mean, make an immediate decision where that item belongs and stick to it — by double or triple handling items, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed and that you aren’t getting anywhere.
Be practical and a little bit ruthless — if you haven’t used something in over a year, do you still need it?
You’ll be surprised how much better you feel about your bedroom after you take this first step. Sure, it’s a big job but it’s also free and makes a massive impact.
2. Thorough clean
Before you place all your ‘keep’ items back, take the opportunity to wipe down all surfaces and vacuum those hard to reach places.
It’s a nice idea to use natural cleaners if you can to avoid bringing toxic chemicals into your bedroom and we recently shared some of our favourite natural cleaning recipes here.
3. Quality mattress
Above all, our bedroom is a space for sleep and to achieve a good night’s sleep, you need a mattress that will support your body and can breathe. Yet buying a mattress has never been more confusing with the wide range of choices on the market so let’s break down some of the main options.
A memory foam mattress is designed to be soft yet firm. It contours to the body to offer support, while relieving pressure on the joints and allowing for better blood circulation. But, generic memory foam is not as durable as it should be, compressing over time so that it no longer springs back into shape, leaving you with a lumpy mattress that no longer does the job it should.
Similarly, a latex mattress can offer comfort and support but unlike memory foam, latex tends to feel more solid, with a somewhat rubbery feel. Some people are drawn to latex as it’s a natural product but many others avoid it as they say you ‘sleep hot’ and it can give off a ‘plasticy’ smell for some time. Again, durability can be an issue, with latex mattresses often developing sleep indentations and becoming excessively soft over time.
Another type of mattress is TEMPUR which is made from a material that NASA developed in the 1970s to cushion and support astronauts during lift-off. TEMPUR material distributes weight and pressure evenly, and moulds to your shape to provide immediate comfort and support. Another key feature of this material is its excellent durability — coming back to its original shape day after day, year after year — and TEMPUR are so confident about this promise that they offer a 10-year full replacement guarantee at no extra cost. All TEMPUR mattresses also come with a hypoallergenic, antimicrobial treated-cover offering improved freshness. TEMPUR mattresses are at a higher price point than generic mattresses though.
4. Beautiful bedding
There’s nothing worse than scratchy, pilling or static bedding!
That’s why we recommend buying the best quality bedding you can afford and always favour natural materials over polyester blends. Pure cotton, linen or bamboo feel so much nicer and are more breathable too — and the cost of these have come down significantly in recent years.
A good tip is to select neutral colours, such as oatmeal, white or grey tones, so you can easily change the look with new feature cushions and throws.
Also get into the habit of making your bed daily — it creates a positive state of mind when you enter your bedroom.
Something that isn’t considered enough in interiors is lighting.
Lighting can completely change the look and feel of a space, and has a profound effect on our mood and wellbeing.
Natural light is the best — not only do spaces lit naturally tend to feel more spacious, there are added health benefits of Vitamin D and some experts say natural light also helps to reduce depression and anxiety.
Of course, it’s also essential to add artificial lighting and the placement and type of lighting you select is important. Whenever possible, we recommend limiting the use of downlights in favour of pendant lights, track lighting, lamps and wall lights. These lighting options don’t cast the same shadows and offer greater flexibility with the amount of light and direction of light in your home. It’s also a good idea to install dimmers on switches if you can. You can find more tips on lighting your home here.
Does your bedroom have a bold red or purple feature wall? Repainting in favour of soothing colours such as greens, greys and blues, will instantly create a calmer atmosphere. Each colour stirs different emotions within us and it’s important that the colours in your bedroom are evoking the emotions you want. Find out more about colour and emotion here.
7. Supportive pillow
Another important ingredient for a good night’s sleep is a supportive pillow. In fact, many sleep experts say a quality pillow is just as important as your mattress.
From feathers to foam, bamboo, wool, TEMPUR or latex, there’s just as much choice when it comes to buying the right pillow. What’s important is to find a pillow that supports your head and neck, and feels comfortable to you. Ideally you want your pillow to have a hypoallergenic cover, such as the range available at TEMPUR.
Add a pop of colour or set the mood of your bedroom with artwork.
Artwork in the bedroom acts as more than just decoration — there are studies that prove the passive consumption of art can lift our mood and improve our health, such as reducing stress and anxiety. So why not hang a piece of art you love in your bedroom and tap into these healing qualities?
9. Avoid screens
Many of us are guilt of looking at a screen (either mobile, tablet or TV) first thing in the morning, and even last thing in the evening before bed. But the blue light that’s emitted from screens can disturb sleep by increasing our alertness or keeping us up later than our body’s internal clock, negatively affecting our sleep rhythm.
Another reason to avoid screens in your bedroom is to reduce the amount of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields. While the amount of exposure in our bedroom generally is perfectly safe, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency does warn that at high levels, it can affect the functioning of the nervous system. At the very least, it’s nice not to be disturbed by those high frequency or ringing sounds that electronic devices can give off.
10. Indoor plants
If you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you’d know we’re massive advocates of indoor plants. They add life to spaces, improve air quality and are said to have a host of other benefits too, such as helping to improve our mood and lower our heart rate. If you lack a green thumb, check out our list of the top 20 hard to kill indoor plants here.
11. Bed base
The final element to a supportive and restful sleep is the right bed base.
The wrong bed can be uncomfortable or provide insufficient support, keeping you tossing and turning at night, or may affect your sleep temperature so you’re too hot to sleep comfortably.
Everyone is different and while some people prefer firm beds, others prefer softer ones. And comfort aside, other needs to consider are whether you require in-built storage, or perhaps an adjustable bed (those where the top and bottom of the bed can move up or down like the one pictured below). Some beds are so clever, like the bed range at TEMPUR, that they even have additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, USB power ports and wireless motion-sensitive remotes. Of course, the size and style of bed is important too, so consider the look and feel of the space you want to create.
12. Music or white noise
Have you tried sleeping with white noise? White noise is any soft and repetitive background noise such as waves crashing, rain falling, or even static. Playing white noise helps to establish a bedtime ritual, buffers disturbing outside sounds, and helps to quiet a busy mind.
Natural soy candles scented with essential oils, particularly scents like lavender, vanilla and jasmine, promote tranquility and sleep. Of course, it’s important to be sensible when burning candles in the bedroom — place the candle on a trivet, keep the area around the candle clear and certainly don’t let the candle burn overnight.
Alternatively, you may prefer to use a natural room spray.
14. Open windows
One of the easiest and free ways to improve the health of our bedroom is to simply open the window for 30 minutes a day to let fresh air in — yet so many of us never open our windows!
Did you pick up some ideas of how you could make your bedroom healthier? Or do you have other tips you can share? Post them in the comments below!