As we prepare to set our clocks back an hour this Daylight Savings on November 7th, we gain the opportunity to reimagine our bedtime routines and our bedrooms.
Did you know with earlier evenings our bodies also begin earlier production of the sleep hormone melatonin? Studies show that light operates as a natural cue for our bodies’ internal clock, with sunlight keeping us awake and sunset indicating time for sleep.
To help you ease into the time change and reset your circadian rhythm, Interior Design Director Jessica Shaw of the award-winning Turett Collaborative shares her top 5 science-backed tips on how to transform your bedroom into a cozy haven for restorative sleep.
(interiors by The Turett Collaborative, photography by Costas Picadas)
1. Invest in High Insulation Bedding
Restful, comfortable sleep starts with good bedding. As the seasons change, it is important to up the insulation in your duvet, blankets, and sheets. A new season is always a good time to reconsider switching out your bedding, flipping your mattress, and in the colder seasons, layering up. Studies have shown that temperature regulation is one of the most important factors in determining quality sleep, with cold exposure (poorly insulated sleeping environment) leading to less restful sleep. It is important to invest in seasonal bedding options with higher insulating properties, especially if your home or bedroom is not well insulated. If you live in a region with cold winters, aim for heavier bedding such as down or down-alternative comforters and duvets, or flannel sheets. For those who live in locations with milder winters or simply enjoy sleeping in cooler temperatures, aim for sheets with a bit less insulation, like linen or bamboo. Our choice of mattress cover can also help to deepen sleep; some options are more lightweight, while others have additional padding and insulation properties.
2. Layer in the Cozy
Extra blankets and pillows always add a layer of coziness to the bedroom. If you’re looking to layer in some new additions, source from hypoallergenic or organic materials like hemp, linen, or cotton. Additionally, look for non-toxic dyes or plant-based dyes if you are in the market for some colorful bed decor. A great choice is a classic cashmere throw blanket.
3. Add Essential Oils to Your Bedtime Routine
Essential oils have been proven to aid in sleep and relaxation. Eucalyptus and lavender are my favorites due to their calming properties. A neuroscience study revealed that the main chemicals found in lavender oil produce a calming effect on our nervous systems. In addition, this calming herb has been shown to greatly improve the quality of sleep, preventing wakefulness in slow-wave cycles of deep sleep. There are many ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your bedtime routine. You can use a diffuser or opt for a pillow spray. All of these options will do the trick to create a zen-like atmosphere and are proven to induce sleep.
Room & Board’s Bath Collection offers a variety of aromatherapy products, ranging from room sprays (left) to aesthetically pleasing diffusers (right). Shown with master bedroom from our Upper West Side apartment project. (interiors by The Turett Collaborative, photography by Costas Picadas)
4. Feng Shui
The principles of Feng Shui revolve around consciously arranging furniture and home elements to bring harmony and alignment with the natural world. Many believe that placing the bed in accordance with feng shui can help with a good night’s sleep. Here are some overarching guidelines to consider:
Bed should always allow for a view of the door
Headboard/back of bed should always rest against a solid wall
Allocate space on both sides of the bed to establish yin yang balance
The principles of feng shui help to create a visually pleasing space. We want the bedroom to be void of too much stimulation and distraction, so having a sense of harmony with visual elements can be beneficial to winding down.
This Hamptons master bedroom perfectly incorporates elements of feng shui in its design. (interiors by The Turett Collaborative, photo by Costas Picadas)
5. Mind the Humidity Levels
The harsh winter season can wreak havoc on both our homes and skin. Cold temperatures and high winds can easily dry out our skin and damage wood-based furniture. Dry indoor climates make us more susceptible to catching the common cold and congestion. To combat this issue, I recommend everyone, especially those who live in extreme winter regions, invest in a humidifier for the bedroom. Humidifiers help to restore moisture levels and protect both your skin and nasal passages, ensuring you get a good night’s rest without getting sick. Regulating humidity also helps to protect furniture from damage.
Another great, natural alternative to freshening up your space is through plants. While many studies reveal that the air-purifying properties of a singular succulent or bamboo plant may be minimal, it is important to acknowledge that plants act as natural humidifiers through transpiration. With so much time spent indoors and in our bedrooms in the winter, we should all look into having indoor plants to keep a healthy level of moisture in the air. Aside from practicality, indoor plants and flowers also add an element of biophilia and connection to the outdoors without having to be outside, especially during the frigid winter months.