Design + DIY

5 Bedroom Decor Changes That Improved My Relationship With Sleep

We whole-heartedly believe that your bedroom should be a sanctuary, and that there is almost nothing more important for your Z’s than good sleep hygiene and a relaxing environment. We checked in with writer and content creator, Olivia Muenter, on her journey to better sleep.
By Printfresh Staff
March 2022
5 Bedroom Decor Changes That Improved My Relationship With Sleep
5 Bedroom Decor Changes That Improved My Relationship With Sleep

Small Bedroom Decor Changes that Led to Improved Sleep
By Olivia Muenter

For years, I didn’t think much of my bedtime routine. There were things that I did every night (watching a show with my husband, doing my nightly skin care routine, etc.) but there wasn’t much intention behind it. I went to sleep and woke up at different times each day. And almost nightly, I curled up in bed with every intention of reading my book before promptly scrolling on my phone instead. My sleep wasn’t bad, necessarily, but I had a hunch that it could be better. More than anything, I hated the compulsion of reaching for my phone at night whenever my mind was racing or I was anxious, and feeling like I couldn’t stop scrolling when I knew I should sleep. So, I decided to change things. 

For the first time in my life, I decided to be intentional about my nightly routine, and that included changing how I organized and decorated my bedroom. The first step was to stop using my phone in bed (which was, admittedly, a little difficult at first.) Eventually, though, I recognized just how much this one change improved my sleep quality, and it inspired me to make other changes, too. Now, I am fanatical about my sleep quality, and I notice immediately when various factors affect it. Eliminating my phone in bed was just the start - here are five other changes that helped, too.

I Removed Bedside Chargers 

I had to physically move it to the other side of the room in order to commit myself to not reaching for it out of habit. At first, this gave me a bit of anxiety. Our phones and social media are one of the easiest ways to numb ourselves to any kind of negative feeling, and knowing I didn’t have that immediate outlet made me anxious. 

Eventually, it got easier. Keeping it out of reach and turning on airplane mode was an incredible way to signal to my brain that I was done with social media for the day and it was time to relax. Now, if I charge my phone next to my bed while traveling, I notice the difference in my sleep immediately. An added bonus: I read more than ever before now and always make sure I have my Kindle and physical books in my bedside table.

I Added Automatically Dimming Bedside Lights

I was skeptical of the automatically dimming bedside lights that I had seen on Instagram and beyond, but now I can’t imagine my bedroom without them. Aesthetically, they’re not totally in line with my style, but the benefits are just too good to get rid of them. My husband and I have our Casper Glow Lamps set to a 1-hour dimming schedule. I turn them on when I start to get ready for the evening, and by the time they’ve dimmed to darkness, my eyes are already closing. It has been such an effective way to gradually relax and queue my body for deep, restful sleep. 

I Bought New Side Tables 

For a long time, I had bedside tables that featured a shelf instead of a drawer. I saw every hand lotion, book, journal and crossword puzzle each time I glanced over, making the space feel cluttered and disorganized. Investing in bedside tables with actual drawers has improved my general sense of calm and peace when entering my bedroom each night. I’ll never go back to another type of bedside table, that’s for sure. 

I Finally Had My Favorite Photos Framed 

Though my bedroom decor is far from perfect (for example: years after moving into our home, we still don’t have a headboard for our bed) one thing that I made a point to invest in this year was professionally framed photos. Now, each time I walk into my bedroom, I am instantly reminded of some of the most joyful moments of my life — vacations with my husband, our wedding day, dancing with friends and family. When I brush my teeth each night, I make a point to walk around our bedroom and reflect on these memories. Taking a moment to practice gratitude puts my mind at ease after even the most stressful, emotional days.

I Stopped Over-Stuffing My Dresser Drawers

Tell me if this sounds familiar: After a long, hard work day, you can’t wait to change into your favorite pajamas and get in bed. You walk toward your dresser and immediately, you’re stressed. One drawer is wedged shut because it’s too full. Another is so unorganized that you don’t even want to attempt to find the item you’re looking for. This scenario has happened to me more times than I’d like to mention. And every time, it affects my general level of anxiety and stress. Not only would I feel annoyed that I’d have to struggle to get to the item I wanted, but I’d also feel guilty that I hadn’t kept the drawers organized and had accumulated so much clothing. 

After years of this, I finally make it a point to go through my dresser and closet and donate or sell items that I’m not wearing or don’t like every month. This means that my drawers are rarely ever disorganized or overstuffed. And if they ever are, I immediately know it’s time to do another closet clean-out. 

I’m probably not the only person who spent much of my life convinced that the secret to a perfect, restful night of sleep was having enough money to design the perfect bedroom. But what’s often most impactful is simply creating daily, attainable habits that make you feel your best. Like many things in life, sometimes the smallest changes yield the biggest results. 

Follow Olivia on Instagram @oliviamuenter or check out her blog at https://oliviamuenter.com/

Want More Like This? Read On:
1. Starting a Nightly Gratitude Practice
2. 10 Ways to Create a Calming and Stress-Free Space
3. Establishing a Morning Routine
4. Eco-Friendly in the Bedroom
5. Yoga Moves to Combat Anxiety

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