How to … create a healthier bedroom

Your bedroom may have a greater impact on our mental and physical health than you realise.

How to … create a healthier bedroom

Your bedroom is your personal space to unwind and relax. The rooms you spend our time in have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. These seven simple changes can make you both happier and healthier.

Get green
Plants, along with their aesthetic qualities, filter toxins from the air in your room and release oxygen. Exposure to plant life has been shown to decrease feelings of depression. According to ambius.com, indoor plants increase wellbeing, happiness, learning capacity, health and reduce anxiety levels. Some easy care indoor plants include devil’s ivy, peace lilies and the delicious monster.

Quiet down
While there isn’t much we can do about main roads or noisy neighbours, having a quiet bedroom has been shown to increase quality of sleep. Avoid turning on the washing machine or dishwasher at night, if you can hear them from your bed, as these may spoil a night’s sleep. You can use rugs or carpets to help insulate your room against noise or you may consider buying a white noise machine to help you fall asleep faster.

Lighting
Bright, white light has been linked to melatonin suppression, throwing off your internal body clock, making it harder to fall asleep and reducing the quality of your rest. Dimming your lights before you sleep has been shown to help you maintain a regular sleep schedule and make you feel sleepier. If you struggle to fall asleep try to use warm, diffused lighting in your bedroom as it is less likely to affect your natural melatonin production.

Keep it cool
While it may be tempting to crank up the heating and snuggle down under a small mountain of blankets, you’re more likely to have a good night sleep when your body temperature is cooler rather than hotter. In fact, a study has shown that insomnia is more prevalent at higher core body temperatures.

Screen-free zone
The blue light that comes from screens can disrupt your natural sleep cycles. Keeping clear of your phone, computer and TV for an hour before you go to sleep can help your mind and body wind down, setting you up for a good night’s rest.

Clean your sheets
This may always seem like a task for another day but leaving your sheets on your bed for weeks on end makes a bed more suited to dust mites than you. Try to wash your sheets weekly with hot water. This may seem unrealistic for many people, so try to at least change your pillowcase weekly.

Sunny
A study has shown that people are likely to feel more energised and cheerful when exposed to natural sunlight. It may be easier to keep your blinds closed but try to open them each morning as soon as you make up. If your room is naturally dim, adding mirrors helps to bounce light around and make it appear and feel brighter.

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