Bedrooms are meant to be a place of rest and relaxation, but for many of us, our bedrooms do double duty as sitting areas, nurseries, living rooms, storage, etc. No matter your situation, finding little ways to help yourself relax and get enough sleep could be as easy as getting rid of some things and keeping others. Of course, you know yourself best, so not everything on this list may apply to you. However, it couldn't hurt to try, and maybe you'll find a new way to relax into a good night's sleep!
Here's a common list of the items you should keep in your bedroom and items you should forgo.
What Should Stay
Essential Oils & Plugins – Relaxing fragrances can help you feel more relaxed before bed and contribute to your sleep habits. Whether that means burning candles, diffusing essential oils or keeping a plug-in fragrance in your bedroom, these are all great ways to remind your body to settle down before bed.
Fans – During warmer months, fans may be necessary to cool you down. Find a ceiling fan or standing fan that suits your preferred noise level and fits with your space. Sometimes, you have to do whatever it takes to feel cool and comfortable at night, even if that means bulky fans that don't fit your decor. On the other hand, avoid using space heaters during the cold months as they can be unsafe when left unattended while you sleep.
Curtains – Some people prefer very dark rooms when they sleep, and others enjoy waking up to light. Whatever your preference, keeping curtains in your bedroom that either filter the light or hide it completely is a must. Even if you enjoy the sunlight, you'll want light curtains to diffuse the light coming in.
Chairs – If possible, consider adding a set of chairs in your bedroom so that you have a place to sit besides the bed itself. This can provide a space to sit and read a book or simply to put on your shoes in the morning. Even if you're short on space, something like a small bench or ottoman can provide a quick seating area you'll appreciate having.
Would Should Go
Television – Whether or not to have a TV in the bedroom is a hotly debated topic, and everyone probably has their own opinion on this. However, here's my two cents – some scientific studies have shown that televisions in the bedroom could have negative impacts on some marriages and relationships because it causes couples to speak to each other less. Regardless of your relationship status though, having a TV in your bedroom probably just means you'll watch more of it, which means you'll spend less time sleeping. When it comes down to it, getting rid of the TV means one less distraction from a good night's sleep.
Cell Phones – I'm guilty of using my phone as my alarm and reading my emails up until the time I go to sleep, but it's not the best thing for you before bed. Whenever possible, put your phone away and out of reach at least 30 minutes before bed. Set a traditional alarm clock to prevent you from spending so much time on your phone right before bed as the lighting (much like TVs and tablets) can cause you to feel more alert, which is not ideal right before bedtime.
Pets – I know, I know, we love our pets! Depending on your situation, pets may be well-behaved during the night, but it can help you settle in for bed when you're not sharing it with your cats and dogs. Personally, I love spending my waking moments with my cats, but they're nocturnal and can't be expected to sleep throughout the night, so I let them have the living room all to themselves instead.
Exercise Equipment – When you're short on space in your home, it may be tempting to move exercise equipment to a spare corner of your bedroom, but try to refrain. Having this equipment in your bedroom can actually cause you more stress, and when your bedroom is meant to be a room of relaxation, you don't need a glaring reminder to exercise the moment you wake up. The same principals apply to any equipment or furniture that doesn't contribute to sleep, such as kids toys or a desk, but this is understandably not always avoidable.
These are just a few of the ways to help you get a better night's sleep and create a more relaxing bedroom. What else would you add to this list?