The pandemic has shifted the way we work. Many companies today have already started to normalize remote work. ‘Work from home’ has come to stay, and for people to remain both productive and happy, designing healthier bedrooms is key.
When we think about improving our lifestyle and making it healthier, more productive, and happier, usually the mind jumps to fitness routines or dieting. But the real steps to a healthier lifestyle starts at home, in your very own bedroom.
In my quest to learn more about productive living, I have researched and compiled a list of ideas to design my living space to reduce stress and anxiety to optimize relaxation. I’ve learned that the first step is designing healthier bedrooms. These 10 ways have helped me to optimize healthy living and my hope is that, for my readers, it will want to do the same.
Plants are natural air purifiers. NASA’s Clean Air Study found several air-purifying plants can detoxify your home from the airborne toxins, specks of dust, and germs found in various household products, materials, and furniture.
Plants can also provide a healthy splash of green to your room. Because green has strong associations with nature, it is often thought to represent tranquility, good luck, and health. This representation means adding a plant also reduces uneasiness and stress. (Which everyone could use a little more of in 2021.)
There are many steps I take to keeping my room clean. To reduce stress and promote healthier living, these two steps are essential.
First, vacuuming the floor. Going longer than a week between vacuuming can lead to health issues as dust and dirt can provoke allergies. Plus, bacteria (like Staphylococcus and Campylobacter) trailed in by shoes, from shed skin cells, and spilled foods can cause critical infections like pneumonia and dysentery.
Second, you should be washing your bed sheets and pillowcases every two weeks. The same protection against allergies and infections applies here. Plus, your mind will sleep better knowing that you are lying down each night in a fresh set of sheets.
While bringing plants into your bedroom adds tranquility and a healthy look, a splash of lighter blue is thought to be calming and shown to improve sleep. According to a Travelodge survey of 2,000 Britons, people with blue bedrooms enjoy an average of 7 hours and 52 minutes of sleep per night. The CDC found that more than a third of American adults get fewer than seven hours of sleep regularly. Adding blue to bedrooms might be the answer to improving the lives of those looking for longer and more restful sleep.
An excellent example of a way to add lighter blue colors could be acquiring soft blue bedsheets. Another idea could be including art with shades of light blue to add to your healthier bedroom experience.
A big issue many disregard is too much light in the bedroom. Studies have shown that having too much light in your room while you sleep can prevent you from reaching deeper stages of sleep, which is essential to achieving restful sleep. Blackout shades are a quick and easy fix to having too much light in your bedroom.
Blackout shades make it easier to fall asleep and also have the added benefit of helping you save on energy bills. Blackout shades preserve and keep out heat at the same time. If you live in a hot climate, you will likely leave the air conditioner on all day to stay cool. These shades help keep the heat out during hot days, which means you can save on air conditioning bills.
Light scents (like lavender and vanilla) from candles or aromatherapy can give a pleasing fragrance to the room, fostering relaxation and restful sleep.
6. Comfortable Pillows
Whenever you finish a long day of work or arrive home for the night, the first thought that comes to mind is the head falling into the pillow for a comfortable long sleep. This means acquiring comfortable soft pillows that allow you to fall into a deep sleep faster is a must. There are various pillows for the many different types of sleepers. Make sure you are sleeping on a pillow most suited to your sleeping style.
7. Fewer Screens
Studies show that not using screens an hour before sleep helps not to ruin melatonin production, needed for quality sleep. Plus, when you wake up without the urge to turn to your favorite device in the morning, waking up becomes more of a natural progression. Immediately turning to your phone in the morning means you are more likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed by all the notifications you “missed over the night” or are “already behind on.”
Try to keep your bedroom temp between 60–68 degrees for better sleep; science says 64–65 degrees is the perfect sleeping temperature. Plus, a National Sleep Foundation poll found that cool room temperatures are essential in getting a good night of restful sleep.
9. Fewer Clothes
I’ll keep this one short, get rid of the old clothes that sit at the bottom drawer or edge of your closet, never to see the light of day again. I do not suggest going completely minimalist on your closet and dresser drawers, as I have not done so myself. Still, there have been many counts of people reeling about the stress relief they felt after they adjusted their clothes count down.
10. Furniture Replacement
There are many furniture placement methods, but the most common is the Feng Shui bedroom principles. Following these principles makes incorporating furniture placement to enhance my overall health and well-being easy. I don’t definitively follow the energy thought process behind Feng Shui. Still, the principles align with many of the steps I mentioned above.
From the Feng Shui method, I specifically utilize these principles:
- Natural light (during the day), because my plants need it. Plus, this year, I have been home more often than not, and I could always use a little more vitamin D.
- My bed location, because I need to have room to move around in my room.
- I avoid unnecessary items because clutter leads to disorganization of everything. How you do one thing is how you do everything, right?
- A headboard, because it came with my bed.
Not all these steps are easy, and you may only take one or two ideas from this article to apply to your life. If this list helps even one person live a more productive life and reduce stress, then it will have done its job as it has for me.
This article has been reprinted with permission from Hayden Barnes’ Medium page.