Create a Comfortable Bedroom Space
Most health professionals concur that seven to eight hours of sleep per night is beneficial. Four experts in the Lancaster-Berks area shared tips for creating a bedroom environment that is a retreat from daily physical and mental stressors and conducive to quality sleep.
Clearing away clutter is key for a calm, restful sleep area, says Mara Clements of MoreSPACE Professional Organizing. When a bedroom is in disarray and full of things like knick-knacks collecting dust, dirty clothes strewn about or even clean clothes piled in laundry baskets, it can create stress, which hinders sleep. “When I leave stuff out in my room, I feel heavier, like I have stuff to do that’s weighing on me,” says Clements.
“To transform the bedroom, first envision your ideal space, then vocalize your vision and know you deserve it,” Clements recommends. “This process can help you not just start the project but also finish it. Set a goal and begin by getting rid of everything that doesn’t bring joy or doesn’t serve you anymore.”
Determine exactly what’s needed and remove everything else—kid’s toys, mail, electronics and even a television, which can broadcast disturbing news or violent programming in a place of refuge. Clements also recommends decorating with relaxing colors and fabrics to bring peace, and letting natural light shine through by not blocking windows. Adding a plant for oxygen or an essential oil diffuser may also add a calming effect.
Gabriele Amersbach of Lucky Path Feng Shui says the bedroom is often one of the first places people ask her to analyze during a home Feng Shui consult. “It is where we relax, rejuvenate and take a break from the constant stressors and demands of work and family life,” she explains. “It is also the center of relationship energy. I find that using the principles of Feng Shui is an excellent way to create a space that promotes a peaceful state of mind, calm and romance, if that’s a priority.”
Like Clements, Amersbach agrees that clutter can cause stress by serving as a reminder of life’s obligations. “Once you’ve removed the clutter, consider your décor. The spot where you look when you first open your eyes, or close them at night, is considered an ‘anchor’ space in Feng Shui,” she says. “Be sure it is something happy and inspiring.”
She recommends adding splashes of color, but nothing too stimulating. Soft, clean pastels are good choices to create a calm, soothing ambiance. Keep bathroom and closet doors closed and minimize the number of mirrors. For a more romantic vibe, remove photos of children and family members; the bedroom should focus on photos of the couple or paintings that enhance a sense of romance. For a fresh and inviting space, replace faded bedspreads, sagging mattresses, worn carpet and fraying drapes. Finally, Amersbach says, we may shape our environments, but it’s important to remember that our physical environment can shape our thoughts, emotions and ultimately our behavior.
Finding a mattress for individual sleep needs is important, says Ben McClure of Gardner’s Mattress & More, but for a truly good night’s sleep, be aware of any chemical sensitivities and allergies, and consider replacing traditional mattresses and pillows with natural or organic solutions.
“There are people with chemical sensitivities and dust mite allergies, and their quality of sleep is affected when their mattress contributes to those issues,” says McClure. “Somebody might not be able to sleep on a mattress of polyurethane foam because they have a sensitivity to that foam. An older mattress that’s been unprotected and has collected years worth of ‘stuff’—body oil, sweat and dead skin cells––can be a haven for dust mites that live off organic body matter.”
McClure recommends keeping beds clean with organic sheets, mattress pads and mattress protectors, and don’t forget about pillows. “Your pillow is right up against your face, ears, nose and mouth, and you’re breathing in all that potential ‘stuff’, providing a great reason to replace your pillow with one filled with natural materials like latex rubber, cotton, wool or kapok,” he suggests.
Mattress quality can determine replacement frequency. Many natural and organic mattresses are made with higher quality materials like foam rubber latex, which keeps its shape over a longer period of time. Traditional coil mattresses with pillow tops are often made with materials that will break down over time, and McClure notes those mattresses tend to wear in seven to 10 years. It also depends on the sleeper; a larger individual might wear out a mattress sooner than a lighter individual. “You might invest more in an organic mattress, but you’ll certainly get more out of it and have the piece of mind that it’s a healthy, naturally certified organic product,” he explains.
Salt lamps can be a soothing, healthful accent to a bedroom. Rachel Eskin of The Salt Lounge says true Himalayan salt lamps are created from hand-carved blocks of salt, mined from the Himalayan Mountains. “Salt lamps illuminate your bedroom in a beautiful glow of colors ranging from pink to orange, creating an atmosphere that is both calming and uplifting,” she says.
“If you’re looking for something different that’s beneficial for your body as well as your home, then a Himalayan salt lamp is the way to go,” suggests Eskin. As a natural negative ion generator, the salt lamp decreases the amount of airborne toxins and allergens, which can improve sleep, increase alertness and a feeling of revitalization in the morning. The minerals in a salt lamp can be a natural way to treat respiratory problems and skin issues like eczema or psoriasis.
Himalayan salt lamps are available in many stores and online, but Eskin advises purchasing a salt lamp from a reputable store with a physical location so customers can see the lamp and know exactly what they’re getting. “That way, you’re more likely to get a real salt lamp because there are many imitations,” she says. “Also, make sure the lamp sits on a high-quality base so it lasts.”
Professional Organizing: For more information, call 717-925-0930, email Info@MoreSpaceOrganizing.com or visit MoreSpaceOrganizing.com.
Lucky Path Feng : For more information, call 919-434-6098, email FairGo4@gmail.com or visit LuckyPath-FengShui.com.
Gardner’s Mattress & More, premium showroom is located at 830 Plaza Blvd., in Lancaster; factory-direct mattresses and sofas are located at 2495 Lincoln Hwy E., in Lancaster. For more information, call 717-299-6228 or visit GardnersMattressAndMore.com.
The Salt Lounge, located at 4 Wellington Blvd., Wyomissing, offers salt therapy sessions, as well as salt lamps, for purchase. For more information, call 610-743-4613 or visit TheSaltLounge.net.