How To Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary

How To Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary

Having trouble getting the best sleep? A good night’s sleep can improve your physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, daily productivity, and much more. And while many things can affect your sleep quality, your sleeping environment plays a big role.

Transforming your bedroom into a tranquil space where you can unwind and get to sleep easier can take as little as adding a plant and a candle or as much as choosing a new bed frame and mattress. In this article, I’ll give you simple bedroom design tips for creating a relaxing ambiance to melt away your daily stress. This guide covers all the elements of the perfect bedroom, from choosing the right color scheme and optimizing your furniture layout to adding the right textures and decor. 

Whether you’re starting from scratch in a new home, looking to completely overhaul your bedroom, or just want to make a few impactful changes, you’re in the right place. Let’s start creating a serene and inviting sleep sanctuary.

Choosing a Color Scheme

Creating a sleep sanctuary starts with choosing the right bedroom color scheme. The colors you select for your bedroom can make a huge difference in your daily mood and sleep quality, so go with colors that promote relaxation and tranquility. 

Soothing colors like soft blues, purples, and greens can help ease your mind and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep. Neutral colors such as beige, soft grays, and whites are perfect for creating a calming backdrop that works with any decor style. Here’s how.

Color Symbolism and Psychology

Your bedroom’s color scheme can affect your emotions and physiological responses. So, what colors will help you sleep? Try starting with one of these as a foundation for updating your bedroom’s look in a way that can enhance your sleep quality:

  • Blue: Known for its calming effects, blue can lower your heart rate and body temperature, making it ideal for a bedroom sanctuary. Navy blue is a classic, elegant option that adds depth.
  • Purple: From soft lilac to deep eggplant, purple is tranquilizing and hypnotic, promoting relaxation and even helping you access higher states of consciousness. It’s a great option for the bedroom, especially if it doubles as your meditation space.
  • Green: Being around greenery (in plant form or just the color) can lower stress and even blood pressure. It could also promote healing — that’s why you see it in many health care facilities!
  • Brown and beige: These grounding, earthy tones create an atmosphere of security. They are also super versatile and can be paired with many other colors to match your decor.
  • Black: This other neutral color adds maximum depth for a dramatic yet calming effect. Use it as an accent color to make other hues pop, or paint the whole room with it for extra drama.

If you’re not up for painting, try incorporating pops of these colors with pillows, throws, and wall art to make your bedroom feel more harmonious and inviting at bedtime.

Color Palettes

Do you prefer timeless, classic color schemes or more trendy, contemporary combinations for a fresh, modern vibe? Work your favorite color from the last section into a soothing palette to inspire your bedroom transformation. Here are some ideas:

Soft blue and white: For a crisp, clean, cloudlike look, combine soft blue walls with white bedding and furniture.

Lavender and gray: Pair lavender walls with light gray accents to create an elegant, dreamy space.

Beige and navy blue: Use navy blue as the primary color and add beige accents for a cozy, sophisticated bedroom.

Green and brown: Mix earthy green walls with brown furniture and decor for a calm, nature-inspired atmosphere.

Let these color ideas be a starting point for creating a bedroom sanctuary that reflects your personal style.

The Best Bedroom Layout

The right bedroom arrangement maximizes your space for a functional and calming room that meets your needs. These furniture placement and organization tips will make your bedroom a serene backdrop where you’ll easily drift off into dreamland. 

Arranging Furniture

Start with your bed, ideally placing it against a solid wall and away from doors and windows to create a focal point. Grounding the head of your bed against a wall like this also provides a sense of security. 

When arranging other furniture like nightstands, dressers, and chairs, keep pathways clear and as open as possible. This keeps the room from looking cluttered and allows you and your room’s energy to move freely — a Feng Shui principle that promotes harmony and balance in any living space.

Here are a few more Feng Shui tips to keep your bedroom feeling calm and balanced:

  • Position your bed so you can see the door while lying in it, but avoid having your feet directly in line with the door, as this position is believed to create negative energy that can disrupt sleep.
  • Arrange other furniture symmetrically to promote balance. For example, place matching nightstands on either side of the bed.
  • Plants and nature-inspired decor symbolize growth and vitality, which can enhance positive energy flow (chi) into your bedroom. 

Decluttering & Minimalism

Does your bedroom feel like a safe, calming space, or more of a catch-all for hiding things when you tidy up your home for visitors? If it tends to fall into the latter category more often than not, it can affect your sleep. 

When your bedroom is more of a retreat for clutter than for you, it can make you subconsciously associate the space with stress. This makes it hard to relax and unwind, which can disrupt your sleep patterns. A cluttered environment can also increase your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which can interfere with quality sleep as well.

Embrace minimalism — the “less is more” principle — and a serene bedroom environment will come naturally. Minimalism is characterized by simplicity: no clutter, and keeping only essential items in your bedroom. Store the rest out of view to help reduce stress, which leads to more restful sleep.

Consider storage solutions like under-bed bins, shelves, and textured baskets to keep nonessential items out of sight. 

The Bed: Your Room’s Focal Point

Your bed is the centerpiece of your bedroom sanctuary, setting the tone for the entire space. A comfortable and supportive bed and mattress can make a big difference in your overall sleep quality and well-being. They should support your body in all the right places while enhancing your bedroom’s aesthetics. Make it a stylish, inviting centerpiece that reflects your personal taste so you look forward to diving into it each night. 

Here’s a little guide to help you check all the boxes when choosing the perfect mattress and bed frame for good sleep.

The Right Mattress 

We all have different mattress needs. See which of these checks all your boxes:

  • Memory foam: Known for its ability to conform to your body, this type gives you excellent support and pressure relief. It offers even weight distribution, which can alleviate pressure points and joint pain. 
  • Innerspring: These traditional mattresses with coils offer strong support and a firm feel. Go with this if you like a more bouncy, resilient surface.
  • Latex: Made from natural or synthetic rubber, latex mattresses provide a firm yet comfortable feel with good breathability and durability.
  • Hybrid: This combines the best features of memory foam and innerspring mattresses, offering both support and comfort with multiple layers.

The Best Bed Frame

These bed frames have unique looks and features to suit your style and needs:

Platform bed: The low-profile frame with a solid or slatted base provides excellent support for all mattress types, eliminating the need for a box spring. 

Storage bed: Choose a bed frame with built-in storage drawers to maximize space (they’re great for smaller bedrooms.) Just make sure your cats cant open the drawers like ours do — they love to nestle into our spare blankets and sheets we keep under there. We chose this bed, and now we have to lie in it!

Adjustable bed: An adjustable bed frame lets you modify your mattress position for comfort, which is great if you have a medical condition or like to read in bed.

Canopy bed: The most elegant and luxurious option, this comes with a structure that supports fabric drapes for added privacy and style. You'll feel like royalty, or as if you're stepping into a fairytale when you go to bed.

Bedding Essentials

Your bedding is one of the most noticeable things about your bedroom, so it’s an important choice. It needs to be lovely to look at and also comfortable to sleep in. Here’s what to look for in the following bedding pieces: 

  • Bed linens: High-quality sheets and pillowcases made from natural fibers like cotton or linen are breathable and soft, helping you sleep comfortably.
  • Pillows: Choose pillows that support your sleeping position. Memory foam, down, or latex pillows can align your neck and spine for a good night’s sleep.
  • Comforter/duvet: Look for options that offer warmth but won’t cause overheating while you sleep. Materials like down or hypoallergenic down alternatives offer maximum coziness. Duvet covers give you the option to switch out the inner layer as the seasons change.

It can be handy to have other types of blankets in the bedroom for decoration and extra comfort. A throw blanket with matching throw pillows can add a pop of color. If you struggle with anxiety, try a weighted blanket — its gentle pressure promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety for deeper, more restful sleep. Tying these items in with your chosen color scheme can create a cohesive, visually pleasing bedroom sanctuary.

Lighting Tips for Relaxation

Nothing sets the mood like just the right amount of soft lighting. Use these lighting tips to create a cozy atmosphere that promotes relaxation and restful sleep.

Too much light in the bedroom can make it hard to get to sleep, even after you turn the lights off. A combination of these soft lighting sources will give your bedroom just enough light where you need it so it doesn’t overstimulate you:

  • Adjustable bedside lamps: Some lamps have dimmers to adjust the brightness according to your needs, or can be repositioned for targeted lighting (a must-have if you read in bed!) Consider wall sconces as a space-saving table lamp alternative.
  • String lights: Add a whimsical and soft glow to your bedroom with this festive option. It looks especially beautiful at the head of the room’s focal point: the bed.
  • Candles: Incorporate candles into your lighting scheme to add warmth and an air of intimacy. Their flickering glow is the most romantic way to illuminate the bedroom, and they add a relaxing ambiance for meditation.

Avoid harsh overhead lighting and bright desk lamps. While practical for tasks, these tend to be too stimulating for bedtime. 

What Color Light is Best for the Bedroom?

A light bulb’s color temperature can significantly impact your sleep quality. Light color temperature ranges from “warm” to “cool” — warmer white bulbs emit less blue light, and cooler white bulbs emit more blue light. Exposure to blue light wavelengths suppresses your production of melatonin (a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle), making warmer light better for the bedroom.

Light color temperature is measured in kelvins (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. For example, here’s how the light in your bedroom can range from yellow to beige to bright white depending on the light temperature:

Warm white light mimics the natural light of sunset, which makes your body produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone), signaling to your brain that it’s time to wind down. Conversely, cool white light can trick your body into thinking it’s daytime, making it harder to fall asleep. 

Take this a step further by switching to red lights in the evening, minimizing light stimulation even more to support your natural sleep cycle. Research suggests that doing this even just 30 minutes before you go to sleep can result in more restful sleep and help you perform better during the day. Color-changing LED lights make it easy to adjust your bedroom’s light temperature throughout the day. They’re also more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. 

Controlling light temperature can be especially helpful if your lifestyle or work schedule has you sleeping during daylight hours and being awake at night. Try getting as much natural light and cool, bright light as you can during your waking hours, then use blackout curtains to keep sunlight out and gradually shift from warm to red light indoors before bed. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm, boosting your mood and promoting better sleep.

Finishing Touches for the Bedroom

Now that you have the basics of your bedroom sanctuary all set up, it’s time to add the final details to promote restful sleep and reflect your personal style. 

Scented Candles

Scented candles have aesthetic appeal and therapeutic benefits that make them a great addition to your bedroom. The gentle flicker of a candle’s flame combined with soothing scents can create a serene atmosphere that promotes relaxation and calm. Here are the best candle scent notes to look for, along with some great eco-friendly options to choose from:

  • Lavender: Known for its calming properties, lavender can help reduce stress and anxiety, preparing you for a restful night’s sleep. 
  • Vanilla: The sweet, comforting aroma of vanilla creates a warm and cozy atmosphere, making your bedroom feel inviting. Try The Glow Co.’s Lavender Pound Cake scented soy candle for the best of both worlds: lavender and vanilla, with some candied lemon and butter notes for extra yum.
  • Pine: Pine is a refreshing scent that brings the tranquility of the outdoors into your bedroom. If this sounds like your kind of scent, you’ll love The Glow Co.’s Redwood Forest candle.
  • Sandalwood: This warm, woody scent is known for its grounding effects, making it ideal for creating a relaxing environment. Sandalwood really sets off the smoky vanilla notes in The Glow Co.’s best-selling Ghost Story candle.

Find these eco-friendly scented soy candles and more at The Glow Co.!

Always follow candle safety tips (check the warning label!) Burn candles on a stable surface like a bedside table, away from flammable objects, and never leave them unattended. And this should go without saying, but make sure to blow candles out before going to sleep.

Textures and Decor

Incorporating a variety of textures and personal decor items adds warmth and character to your bedroom. Here are some suggestions:

  • Soft blankets: Adding plush, soft blankets makes your bedroom inviting and cozy. Try materials like fleece, cashmere, or microfiber for lush comfort.
  • Plush rugs: A soft rug underfoot can enhance the comfort of your bedroom and add a touch of luxury. Materials like wool, shag, or faux fur bring in a warm, textured look and feel.
  • Decorative pillows: Layering pillows in various sizes, shapes, and fabrics can add depth and comfort to your bed and be used as reading bolsters. Choose colors and patterns that complement your room’s decor, and experiment with combining different textures.
  • Wall art: Personalize your space with artwork that resonates with you and evokes calm. Consider nature-inspired pieces or peaceful abstract art and photos.
  • Mirrors: Strategically placed mirrors can amplify natural light in the daytime and make your bedroom feel more spacious.
  • Plants: Incorporate greenery to bring a touch of nature indoors. Succulents, ferns, and peace lilies are great bedroom plant choices with visual appeal and air-purifying benefits.

Enjoy Your Sleep Sanctuary

By incorporating calming colors, thoughtful furniture arrangement, comfortable bedding, soothing decor, and a few lighting tricks, you can turn your bedroom into a place you look forward to retreating to every night. 

Keep these interior design pointers in mind every time you shop, and before you know it, the relaxing bedroom of your dreams will become a reality in your home. Once it feels like a space where you can recharge and rejuvenate with a good night’s sleep, your mental and physical health will thank you.

Learn more self-care and eco-friendly home tips at The Glow Co. While you’re there, check out my sustainable soy candles and herbal skin care creations!

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