I haven’t always loved to sleep.
Until a few years ago, I was like 5 year old, who resists bedtime like nobody’s business.
It isn’t that I don’t like to sleep, or that I have nightmares in the land of nod.
I just prefer to be taking in all the beauty and sensory stimulation that the world dishes out.
I like to get lost in the stories inside a new book.
Soak in the bath with palo santo burning while listening to soothing meditations.
Or watch my favorite movie unfold under the stars.
Indulging my senses is my ultimate pleasure.
Also, I grew up in an Asian American household in a town in the Midwest that prioritized work over play (or sleep) a lot of the time.
In college, during finals, it was a badge of honor to go without sleep.
“You can sleep when you’re dead” was a phrase I heard uttered quite often.
A few years ago, I began feeling more fatigued and not quite my normal self. I slowly realized that without the right amount of sleep, my senses are dull, they’re not able to take in the fullness of my life experiences. And then I’m not only tired, but I’m uninspired and sad. Yuck!
So I began to prioritize sleep more. I started by creating a bedroom sanctuary that allowed me to indulge the pleasure of my senses before + during + after sleep. And low + behold, I began to sleep easier + more soundly than I ever had before. Bonus: my bedroom feels like a super relaxing hotel spa (score)!
Here are my tips on how to create a bedroom sanctuary that you’ll never want to leave:
The first step to a peaceful room for slumber is getting rid of the clutter. The idea here isn’t to go on a cleansing rampage and throw away all the things that hold meaning to you. It’s to create white space. Just like your brain needs white space in order to be more productive + creative, so too does your inner state of being. If you want to reach the deepest states of REM (not the band), you need to keep the clutter out of your space.
A few of my favorite de-cluttering tools?
Rustic boxes + a beautiful, yet functional nightstand + a magazine holder + a gilded hamper
- GO ANALOG
The next step to creating your bedroom sanctuary is removing any and all digital devices from the room. I know this is a tough one. And if you’ve got electronics for medical reasons, then obviously, this doesn’t apply. However, most of us sleep with our smartphones, Kindles, iPads, laptops, TV’s, even digital alarm clocks in the room. Giving off a steady stream of sleep disrupting lights + EMF’s.
A few of my favorite analog gadgets?
An old school alarm clock + a quality journal + pen + a good book
- THINK DARK
Making sure that your space is completely dark at night is another way to ensure a restful sleep. If there are streetlamps shining into your window or lights from your watch, phone, alarm, or other device — make sure the light is good and gone when it’s time for bed. It’s been proven that even the littlest of light (especially blue light) can keep you awake at night.
A few of my favorite ways to darken a room?
Room darkening roller shades + luxe curtains + a face mask + a salt lamp
- KEEP IT COOL
The optimal nighttime temperature is different for everyone, but studies show that a cooler climate (around 65 degrees) gives way to a more sound sleep. Play with the temperature in your room if you can. Install a ceiling fan or air-conditioner if needed. Open the windows to let air flow. And wear cotton PJ’s which won’t trap heat at night like other materials do. Also be aware of the type of sheets you use and the quality of your mattress, which can contribute to heat build-up at night.
A few of my favorite products to keep cool?
100% cotton sheets + duvet + mattress pad + a retro fan
- PLAY TO YOUR SENSES
Your senses can help guide you into a deeper and more satisfying sleep. Use yours to heighten what is otherwise, an everyday activity. Take going to bed, to a whole new level!
choose pleasing colors + make your bed daily + clean weekly + use candlelight + hang soothing art + place pictures of loved ones around the room + choose beautiful linens and pillows
invest in high quality essential oils and a diffuser + use naturally scented room sprays + burn incense + wash your sheets regularly + open the windows everyday to let fresh air flow
use a noise machine or air purifier for white noise + play a sound bowl + talk to your love about what you’re grateful for + listen to a visualization or meditation + or bathe in silence
100% organic cotton linens + a luxurious cashmere throw + a perfect pillow + comfy cozy slippers + the softest cotton pj’s + give yourself a well deserved body massage with rose oil
keep a cute water glass handy + try eating a small piece of fruit right before bed to ward off hunger + enjoy big meals at least 3 hours before you hit the sack + feel so fresh and so clean, brush those teeth!
surround yourself with beauty + place healing crystals on your nightstand + create an altar to sit and meditate at before bed + keep a journal and pen nearby + close your eyes and say what you’re grateful for as you drift off to sleep
How do you create a feeling of sanctuary in your bedroom? What are two things you can tackle this coming weekend, to make your bedroom feel more serene? Do you have any helpful tips for a restful slumber? Tell us below!