Some time ago I published a guest post on the use of colours in your bedroom for healthier environment. Today, a guest post on how to improve the quality of your sleep with natural design elements. The text was written by Amy Highland, an expert at SleepHelp.org. Enjoy!
How Incorporating Natural Design Elements Can Help You Sleep
Sleeping outdoors isn’t necessarily conducive to sleep, but bringing elements of the outdoors can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed so you have an easier time getting to sleep. And some natural elements, such as air cleaning plants, can make your sleep environment a more healthy place to spend your night.
Why Nature is Good for Sleep
Nature can be calming and offer relaxation and focus for sleep. Natural colors, cleaner air, and natural materials may make your bedroom more healthy and conducive to sleep.
Air quality in particular can make a difference in how well you sleep at night. Research has found that fresher bedroom air tends to offer better sleep quality. In a recent study, participants who had fresher bedroom air were less sleepy, felt better the next day, and were more able to concentrate and perform well in a test of logical thinking.
If you’re struggling with health issues, nature may be especially helpful for sleep. A recent study found that patients with hospital rooms that included plants and flowers had more positive signs of healing. Those patients had lower heart rates and blood pressure. They reported lower pain, anxiety, and fatigue ratings as well, taking fewer painkillers after surgery.
How You Can Bring Nature Into Your Bedroom
Using natural design may help you sleep better at night, offering a more relaxing and tranquil place to spend your time resting.
Choose natural bedding materials. Natural bedding fibers, including cotton and bamboo, may offer a more comfortable night of sleep than synthetic materials. Natural fibers tend to be more breathable, while synthetic materials may feel uncomfortable or hot. Cover your bed with natural materials for a higher level of comfort.
Stick to natural colors. The colors of nature can be calming and help you sleep better. Look for muted tones found in nature, including blue, light brown, light green, and other natural tones. Typically, blue is the best color for sleep.
Take advantage of natural light. Your circadian rhythm relies on cues from nature, and light is one of the most powerful ones. When you’re exposed to bright light, your brain gets a signal that it’s daytime and therefore time to be awake. Natural light in your bedroom can help you start your day more alert, while limiting light at night can help you wind down. You can achieve bright light during the day and darkness at night with blackout curtains. Close blackout curtains at night when you need to limit light, then open them wide in the morning for a burst of light.
Eliminate electronics. It’s a good idea to go screen free in your bedroom. Just as natural light can make you feel more alert, the blue wave light from electronics can stimulate alertness, even at night when you should be sleeping. Turn off screens at least one hour before bed, including your TV and mobile device, and avoid bringing them into your bedroom with you.
Choose air cleaning houseplants. Houseplants can be effective for clearing toxins out of your bedroom air, making your sleep environment healthier with fresh air. Choose ferns, ivy, or other indoor plants known to be naturally air clearing.
Turn on a fan at night. With a fan, you can benefit from air movement at night. In addition to air clearing plants, a fan can improve your air quality and make your bedroom more breathable for better sleep. An overhead fan or even a small fan on your nightstand can be helpful for improving air quality.
With natural design, you can bring nature indoors. That means you can enjoy both the comfort of the indoors and the calming benefits of the outdoors. Use natural design to make your bedroom more relaxing and conducive to sleep.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.
Are your bedrooms electronics-free? I don’t have a TV, but, I admit, I find it difficult to sleep without my phone. How do you make your bedroom more conducive to sleep? Leave a comment below or on my social media.