Ten Things to Make Your Bedroom More Peaceful
How can I make my bedroom a calming, restful, peaceful place?
Your bedroom. It’s supposed to be your retreat from the world -- the place where you hide away at the end of the day to rest, relax, and drink in a few moments of peace before drifting off into blissful sleep. Unfortunately, in this hectic, hurried world, peace is often difficult to come by, perhaps even in your own bedroom.
If your goal is to create a peaceful, serene bedroom, it’s important to realize that peacefulness means more than simply the absence of sound. Peacefulness is the absence of noise, and noise comes in many forms. Unwelcome and unwanted sounds are certainly noise, but noise is more than simply something you hear. There are many sources of noise that you might not be considering, such as clutter, unwanted light or a too-bright color scheme. Eliminate noise from your room, replace it with all things soothing and calm, and you’ve just created a peaceful bedroom retreat.
1. Soft Lighting
Bright, jarring light contributes to the visual noise in a room, and can even set your body clock to keep you awake long after you have turned the light off. Rather than using one large, central ceiling light in your bedroom, place several smaller lamps around the room at varying heights, such as on your tall dresser, low dresser and nightstand. Turn on only those that you need at any given time. Three-way light bulbs are especially handy at allowing you to adjust the light level to just the right degree to set a peaceful mood. Lamp shades can make a difference, too. Look for lampshades that are lined on the inside with metallic gold paper; they cast an especially lovely, soft glow.
2. Soft Color Scheme
As much as you may love peacock blue, tangerine or apple green, these bright, upbeat colors may do more good in your kitchen or office, where they’ll help you stay motivated, positive and cheerful. At the end of a long day, overly bright colors or color combinations with a great deal of contrast may simply serve to make you tired, distracted or cranky.
To create a more peaceful, restful atmosphere, fill your room with soft, soothing, quiet colors, such as dove gray, light coral, pale gold, pastel pink, spa blue or pale celery green. If you are a lover of color, fear not. You’ll be surprised at how much color you can add into a room yet still keep it calm, soft, soothing and peaceful. Wall paint, upholstery, bed linens and window treatments all provide plenty of opportunities to fill your room with color.
3. A Better Bed
Create the ultimate cocoon for sleeping. Of course, different people have different ideas as to what constitutes the perfect bed. You bad back might demand a firm mattress, while perhaps someone else dreams of sinking into something soft. Additionally, make sure you have plenty of room. While a short, slim woman might sleep wonderfully on a twin bed, a taller, larger man most likely will be miserable on a single mattress. Take spouses, children and pets into account also, making sure there is enough room for everyone who shares the bed. If you need to, kick the kids and pets out of your bed. While that may sound callous, think how restful and peaceful your bedroom will be once you have reclaimed it.
Whatever your mattress preference, dress it crisp, smooth all-cotton sheets in the highest thread-count you can afford. Wash them weekly in hot water and a great-smelling detergent. The finishing touches are a few fluffy pillows in a variety of thicknesses and densities. A couple of soft blankets are essential also; choose one in a light weight for warmer weather and one heavier for colder weather. A down comforter will keep you luxuriously snuggled in warmth on the coldest nights.
4. A Reading Nook
Reading is a quiet, peaceful activity that helps you relax and unwind. Reading can even mentally transport you from a noisy environment to a peaceful one. In one corner of your bedroom, set up a reclining chair or a chair and ottoman. Make sure the chair fits you well and is a pleasing, peaceful print or solid color. Bring in a small table and a reading lamp, and your reading nook is complete.
Once your reading nook is set up, use it. Don’t simply drape the day’s clothes over the chair. Make a point of sitting down in your chair and reading for at least ten minutes each night before bed.
5. White Noise
Even though it is called “noise,” white noise is actually very effective at helping create a peaceful environment. White noise is a low, continuous sound that your brain doesn’t really notice and your ears don’t really hear. The low hum of a fan or air conditioner can be considered white noise, as can the soft bubbling sound from aquarium’s air pump. There are even white noise machines that play soothing sounds, such as crickets chirping, ocean waves gently crashing or water trickling through a creek.
White noise is very effective at masking sounds that disturb your sleep, such as dogs barking outside or people in another room talking, playing music or watching TV. Many people find the quiet, soothing sounds of white noise machines actually help lull them to sleep in addition to masking sounds of the outside world.
Calming, pleasing scents help set the mood for a peaceful environment. Scientific studies have proven some scents, such as lavender and jasmine, have a calming, relaxing effect. However, choose any scent that you love and that has you looking forward to spending time in your bedroom. Light a scented candle while you read, lightly spritz a bit of home fragrance onto your pillowcase, or keep luxuriously scented hand cream in your nightstand and slather some on before bed.
Do keep in mind that candles can be dangerous in a bedroom. If you happen to drift off to sleep before putting the candle out, that leaves the flame burning unattended. For this reason I recommend electric oil warmers. Reed diffusers are a safe choice as well but are messy if spilled.
7. Black-Out Curtains
Of all the items on this list, blackout curtains just might be the one I can’t live without. There’s nothing like a dark room for optimal sleeping. Blackout curtains not only block morning sunlight so you can sleep as late as you like, they also block unwanted light at night, such as car headlights, street lamps and the neighbors’ security lighting. They’re also wonderful for napping during the day. Night or day, blackout curtains create a dark, quiet, cave-like atmosphere and shut the busy world out of your bedroom.
Blackout curtains come ready-made, or you can purchase black-out liners for bedroom curtains you already own.
8. Soft Music
Music does wonders to set the mood. In the case of your bedroom, your objective is to create a peaceful, relaxing mood, so choose your music accordingly. Whether you prefer soft jazz, classical, new age or adult contemporary, keep the beat and the sound soft and calm. Even the softest music can become annoying if played too loudly, so keep the volume low. Set the music to shut off automatically after a certain amount of time, because even though the soft sounds lull you to sleep, they are likely to wake you during the night.
9. Make Your Room a Sleep-Only Zone
Make your bedroom a sleep-only zone. Studies have shown that if you engage in a number of activities in your bedroom, you will come to think of your room as a place of activity and stress rather than one of relaxation and peacefulness. So, out go the exercise equipment, office set-up, computer, textbooks, television, snacks and that mound of clothes you’ve been meaning to iron. Of course, there are exceptions to the sleeping-only rule. These are reading, dressing, relaxing to music and of course, intimacy with your significant other.
10. Make Your Room A Clutter-Free Zone
Getting rid of clutter – permanently – goes a long way toward creating an atmosphere of quiet relaxation. Clutter can be considered “visual” noise. It is distracting, frustrating and stressful. Keep your closets clean and organized so that you can easily put away all your bedroom-related belongings, and so there is no need to store items out in plain sight in your bedroom. Remove any unneeded furniture, excessive nick-knacks, cast-offs and those boxes from your last move that you never got around to unpacking.