5 tips to help create a calming bedroom

Tips for a calmer bedroom from Helen Sanderson

Make your bedroom your sacred space. A space where you can dwell. A space that you can be. Make your use and experience of this space different to the way you live, interact and move around the rest of your home.

Declutter

Stuff creates noise! Whether it is just visual noise, clothes not put away or too many books in your bedrooms, all that visual noise doesn’t support rest.
As I see clutter as the physical manifestation a lot of decisions that haven’t been made, spending time in a room that is full of mess will just remind you of things you have to do. And you will end up avoiding being there, until you just fall into the bed.

  1. Remove bookshelves from your room and keep only your bedtime reading or any spiritual nourishment you need before you go to sleep. Books contain a lot of knowledge and energy for the head, so they can be bad for sleep as they stimulate the mind. Sleep is when the mind needs to rest. Think about it, you wouldn’t sleep in a library would you? It’s a place you go to work, think and concentrate, all the opposite of sleep.
  2. Remove stuff you don’t need from the bedroom and put things away.
  3. Respect this space, this is the space that supports your body to rejuvenate.

“Japanese architecture has always learned from nature so it has empty spaces. If the space is empty, has zero in it, even if it has nothing at all, it still creates a universe, we’ve learnt that from nature.”
Todao Ando

Add restful smells

Your bedroom should be a place that engages and inspires your senses, a place where you leave the worries of the day and drop into your physical body. A place to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate. Having scents in your bedroom will relax you and send a message to your brain to relax and stimulate your senses. Make your bedroom a sensual space, luxuriate in it.
Using essential oils, fresh cut flowers, scented candles will make a room feel calming and help you drop into your senses and out of your head. This will help you get to sleep. The more you release the mind and enter your physical space, the better you will sleep.

Use Colour

The best colours you might use will depend on which direction your room is facing. A north facing room will be dark, so you would want to use lighter colours, or go for warmer darker colours to make it cosy, but not in between. I would never recommend using very strong colours. To create a calm space the best colours to use will be tertiary colours or more muted and ‘quiet’ colours. Grey is very popular now, but colour is reflective of your personality so I would always recommend a colour chart that is reflective or your personality and where you sit on the introvert and extrovert scale.

Introduce Sound

Using relaxing music or audio books is a good way to spend time in your bedroom. I never recommend taking social media, computers or TV’s into your bedroom. It is a time to relax and be in your body and there are plenty of ways of finding entertainment by listening rather than by consuming more visual media. Ideally, avoid any screen time for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. The cooler, blue end of the light spectrum which devices are high in stimulates centres in the brain to keep us awake. Some devices now have a function to shift to warmer tones, which you can schedule. Our eyes are ‘on demand’ all day, through everything from work to cooking, driving to study. Bedtime is a time to let them rest and to feed your mind with relaxing audio material. Gongs may not be your scene, but a guided meditation or your favourite band playing chilled music (at low volume) are a great way to relax in your bedroom space. You can also get recordings of restful sounds such as rainfall, waves or even distant traffic noise; experiment and find ones that help you doze off. If you can afford it, installing an integrated sound system will mean less clutter.

Review Layout

Layout relates to the spatial aspect of how we are in a space, the objects we put in it, the sensuality of those objects. I often work with Feng Shui consultants to discuss the layout of your sleeping space, which can vary according to when you and your home were born and which direction your house faces. However, if you don’t want to go down that route, there are some key principles that I work to.
Try to create symmetry and balance in your bedroom, it is harmonious for the brain and creates balance. This would include, for example, having two bedside tables instead of just one. Never put the head of your bed under a window or jam the bed up against the wall so only the entrance to the bed in only on one side. This is unbalanced and won’t support a good night sleep.

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