The Bedroom Edit
I am a huge geek when it comes to psychology. The whole concept of understanding why people act or behave in certain ways fascinates me. I forever find myself analysing the things people do. Our subconscious minds are often overlooked however it is said that 90% of our day is taken up by this part of the brain. How many times do we drive somewhere and don’t even remember the journey? Our minds are incredible and often run on autopilot, doing things out of routine and memory when we are not even aware of it. Making a conscious effect to create HEALTHY routines and habits will change your life. But it takes will power and determination. It is said that it can take an average of 66 days to create a new habit (two months). But the positive effects of this will be profound.
There are so many elements to consider when it comes to designing your bedroom however it should all come back to one main point. Sleep. Particularly the quality of it. There are many topics to discuss as part of this edit but one that requires no money and no redesigning is working out a good bedtime routine. Our bedrooms should be a sacred space, one for only sleep and sex. Lets run though some really simple steps that you can start to incorporate to ensure proper restful sleep is achieved.
We have a full article on lighting so I will keep this short and sweet. Keep bedroom lighting low. Try to gradually dim lights every hour before going to bed to help your mind and body wind down and prepare for sleep. Candles are great for the bedroom; they create ambience and are softer than conventional lighting.
If you are super sensitive to light or have children, black out blinds or curtains will help you sleep better. You don’t always have to buy new; a good seamstress can add blackout fabric to any existing curtains or roman blinds. Don’t want to go through the expense of changing things? Eye masks will do the same trick.
We are all guilty of using electronic devices before sleeping however research has found that using devices before bedtime can cause sleep disturbances. The lights from the devices affect the melatonin production in your brain giving the body the impression you are not ready for sleep. In addition to this the light emitted from the devices suggest to your brain that it is still daytime which again can contribute to a disturbed sleep pattern, sleep deprivation and insomnia.
Many of you may be thinking a complete and utter technology ban before bedtime is unachievable. So set yourself goals and do it gradually. Try first with no technology 15 minute before bed and increase until you can get a minimum of 1 hour. Something that worked for me was using the bedtime schedule on your iPhone, I set mine to 8.30pm and it automatically puts your phone on do not disturb until your alarm goes off in the morning. Stopping any temptations to pick up your phone as you won’t be hearing it go off.
We all live busy, at time’s stressful lives and it is important to make time for ourselves and the ones we love. The world can wait in an evening, it should be all about you. Really try to dedicate the last few hours of your day to yourself.
I know this is going to be a controversial one but TV’s in the bedroom are also a no no. Never underestimate our subconscious minds, think of it as a child you are training. Getting into bed should mean it is time to sleep. Watching TV is going to disturb the pattern you are trying to create. The light emitted as mentioned before will stop your brain from thinking it is time to sleep. Also watching certain programmes like thrillers before bed can make the body release stress hormones which will make it more difficult to sleep.
Music and Meditation
Playing some relaxing music before bed can again really help us relax and prepare for sleep. White noise is also another great option for helping you to drift off to sleep and babies love it too. There are hours of it to download so give it a try and see if it works for you. Music is a huge part of my life, I could not live without Spotify and I spend the most part of my day listening to some form of music. I have shared one of my wind down playlists which should take you through initial unwinding from the day to sinking into a hot bath and then climbing under the sheets. Wind down playlist
Meditation, Meditation, Meditation. This is something that should be top of the list, it effectively reduces stress and relaxes your body. During meditation, you focus your attention to eliminate overwhelming thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process can result in enhanced emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual well-being. You can download 5-10 minute guided meditations and just pop your earphones in and instantly relax before bed.
Now meditation can be difficult to start but you need to think of it as you would if you’d just started the gym. At first you may struggle however after consistently training you become stronger and more able. This is exactly the same with Mediation. Youtube is full of guided meditations you can start with.
Fragrances and Products
As I’m sure you are well aware of by now, we at Modish absolutely love and swear by our essential oils and fragrances for the home. Particularly those ones which help to aid our sleep. We have a full post on the best fragrances for the bedroom, from using pre blended oils to creating your own. Using the correct fragrances will help you drift off to sleep and adding them into your bedtime routine is a sure fire way to help you relax and for you to get a restful night’s sleep.
There are so many products to choose from, from room sprays and scented candles, to diffusers and essential oil roller balls, to apply directly to your skin. There is nothing more comforting at bedtime than these subtle scents to help you drift off to sleep.
Stretches and Senses
We often tense parts of our body without even realising and at the end of a long day it’s important to help to relieve that tension and those aches and pains to help aid our sleep. Completing some small stretches to your neck and back for example is often helpful to relieve that tension built up throughout the day. If you suffer with restless legs when trying to get to sleep simple calf stretches or foot rotation can help to relieve the discomfort. It can also be beneficial to massage certain parts of your body before bed to help you relax and using the essential oils will help your senses further. Performing a pressure point massage on your head or face is another great way to relieve tension, particularly if you suffer from blocked sinuses. You can practice this on yourself or get your partner to help.
Incorporating one or all of these suggestions into your night time routine could have such a positive impact on your sleeping pattern, it’s all about finding what works best for you and how you prefer to wind down after a long day and ensure you get that all important restful sleep.
Baths and Books
Taking 30 minutes before you go to sleep for a warm bath or to read a chapter of your latest book is a great way to again prepare your mind and body for sleep, allowing time for yourself at the end of the day is vital for you to be able to switch off and relax. A hot steamy bathroom is also a great way to combat stress and of course the warmth of a bath will help with any aches or pains. This will also give you the opportunity to apply any products to your skin and hair before bed to help you sleep, so get your oils and bubbles at the ready and dive in. Reading before bed is another a great way to relax without the use of devices and screen time. It’s not always as easy as simply getting into bed and falling instantly asleep so a short time spent reading is a great way to replace those device withdrawals.
Anyone who knows me knows I spend what feels like half of my life taking baths. There is something about being immersed in red hot bath water that instantly dissolves any stress or worries I have. It is my time to completely switch off and not be disturbed (apart from when my sister is staying and is wrestling with my 3 year old nephew as he proceeds to undress and throws countless toys at me as he is desperately trying to jump in the bath with me. So to all the mums out there I feel your pain and you have my deepest sympathies when it comes to difficulties of taking ‘me time’).
With our minds going at 100 miles per hour it is often hard to jump off the merry go round that is life and switch off. In many cases the second we get into bed and close our eyes our minds can have a habit of continuing to wonder and worry. In this case it can be useful to have a pen and note pad next to your bed so you can write down a list of anything you need to do the following day or a list of things you need to take with you in the morning.
Journaling our thoughts and emotions from the day can be a form of therapy. The New York Times have a great article on the power of journaling. NYtimes Article
And last but at no means least, Love. Sleeping next to the person we love can increase levels of Oxytocin (aka the cuddle chemical or the love hormone) which is a chemical compound produced in the brain that prompts feelings of empathy, trust, relaxation and reduced anxiety. Allowing the stress hormone cortisol to decrease when cuddling up to the one we love. So when you hop into bed and spoon with your honey or take it to the next level of intimacy, you will be creating more of the feel good hormones and banishing the stress ones. In turn, feeling safe and secure helping you to fall asleep more easily which gives you more time to cycle through the stages of deep, restorative sleep.
We all know that age old saying ‘it’s the small things in life’. We can all be guilty of hurrying to get to that next phase of our lives, often forgetting that we are living now. Right now, in this very moment. What I want a lot of our posts to do is help us all live healthier, calmer, happier lives. I have seen first hand that having a fancy home interior or a big house, does not and will not equate to happiness and fulfilment. Living with a purpose, creating healthy routines, being present and surrounded by the ones we love is what will achieve true contentment. No one will ever care for you as much as you will care for yourself, so make time and practice self care as much as you possibly can and prioritise your health and happiness over everything.
I hope the above gives some inspiration in how to achieve this. Laura x