Anyone who has had the misfortune of going through a period of insomnia knows the value of good, restful sleep. Most luxury hotels go to great lengths in order to design the perfect environment for you to relax and fall asleep effortlessly. Nothing is left to chance, the color palette, the layout of the room, the curtains, the lighting, the temperature, even the music in the elevator and the dishes recommended in the restaurant change to help make guests feel sleepy.
They’re in the “business of sleep” after all so they’ll fund research and hire sleep experts to make sure everything is just right. Especially given that reviews related to hotels often mention how well people slept and if there was anything that prevented them from getting enough shut-eye.
You can also use their strategies to make changes to your bedroom that increase the quality of your sleep, especially if you find that you don’t really look forward to going back to your bed after staying in a nice hotel. You might be surprised how much a positive impact a few very affordable tweaks can make.
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The Bed Should Be Center Stage
Hotels strive to design each room as a temple for sleep and that’s why the bed doesn’t have to be just comfortable, it has to look inviting as well. Elaborate headboards and bedding pillows are meant to do just that.
Sheets are selected according to the quality of the fabric, they’re freshly laundered and pressed and the predominantly white or light color scheme is meant to further accentuate that clean feeling. You can also mix some essential oils in a spray bottle to give them the perfect, relaxing scent.
Another trick is triple sheeting which means placing a comforter or a blanket between two sheets which will render it that much more comfortable.
If your mattress has you tossing and turning that might be why you wake up with aches and pains and why you feel more tired than when you went to bed. It’s very important that you’re able to stay in a comfortable position since the motion might be taking you out of the deep sleep phase.
The layout of the furniture should also not take away focus from the bed. You want your brain to associate this room with sleeping and to help you get into the right state. Don’t have things that remind you of work or chores lying around as this will get you ruminating at the worst possible time.
You should also avoid clutter because there’s nothing worse than having to move things away when you’re already tired or stumbling on them in the middle of the night while you’re trying to reach the bathroom.
Get Sleep Inducing Lights
The wrong lighting can mess up the whole design and that’s why you see hotels creating all these different moods by placing dimmer light fixtures above the bed and throughout the room, adjustable lamps on the nightstands and why they tend to use warmer tones.
This sort of “color temperature” is more evocative of sunset, as opposed to cooler ones which are similar to the natural lighting conditions in the early morning hours, signaling your brain that it’s time to wake up.
They also tend to give off a greyish, dreary tint that is not compatible to the welcoming feeling we’re trying to generate.
Try to make controlling the light switches as practical and hassle free as in hotel rooms. It’s a lot more comfortable to be able to turn off the light without having to get out from bed or stretching to reach it.
Of course, all these efforts are in vain if you’re going through social media on your phone or watching videos on your laptop. The blue light emitted by their screen interferes with your circadian rhythms and delays the release of melatonin.
Instead you could take a bath, read or listen to an audiobook.
Luxury hotels usually have consoles that can open and close their heavy “blackout curtains”. You don’t have to go that far but you should make sure you have curtains capable of stopping the street lights from disturbing your sleep.
They have the added advantages of reducing the noise and making the room warmer during the cold months as well.
Soothing Color Palette
Don’t pick bold colors for your bedroom. You can save that for the living room or any other place of the house where you want to feel active. Soft, neutral colors like beige, pale blue or green give a sense of calm and that’s what you want. The decorations should likewise not be too distracting.
It might not be what you normally go for, maybe you find it boring but in the context of falling asleep more easily, boring is good. You probably noticed that if you try to watch a movie with someone but you end up finding it boring, you really have to struggle to be polite and stay awake.
This applies to the colors and decorations of your bedrooms as well. You don’t want anything too exciting or stimulating.
The ideal temperature for restful, restorative sleep is 20 degrees Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit.
When it’s too hot you’ll find it harder to fall asleep, you’ll wake up more often and you’re more likely to get nightmares.
Cold has a similar effect if it’s too much but it will also cause shivering. The next day your muscles will feel sore and you’ll feel tired, maybe even have a bit of a sore throat if you’re sensitive to the cold air in the room.
During sleep your body temperature drops so even if you were comfortable before falling asleep, you’ll start to feel it later on and wake up.
The advantage with cold is that if it’s not affordable to heat the whole room to the ideal temperature you can still manage if the linen offers enough protection, plus you can put some hot water bottles at your feet or under the blankets.