Bedroom Environment: What Elements Are Important? | Sleep Foundation (2023)

A relaxing environment is essential for a good night’s rest. Studies have shown people simply sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for light and noise levels, temperature, and comfort. And since sleep quality and duration are directly tied to other aspects of human health, a bedroom environment that promotes sleep can also improve how you feel while you’re awake.

Best of all, creating the ideal bedroom doesn’t need to break the bank. There are several cost-effective ways to make your sleep space more soothing and suited for rest.

Important Elements of a Relaxing Bedroom

In order to design a relaxing bedroom, you should take the following factors into account:

Temperature

Some people run hot in bed while others sleep somewhat cool. However, any healthy adult will experience a drop in body temperature while they sleep. This naturally occurs during the initial stages of your sleep cycle because a lower core temperature makes you feel sleepy, whereas a higher temperature helps you stay alert during the day.

Whether you only use a top sheet or sleep beneath a thick comforter, many experts agree the ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This might sound a bit chilly for some, but a cooler thermostat setting helps you maintain a lower core temperature while you sleep.

That said, 65 degrees may not be the best temperature for everyone. A range of 60 to 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 22.0 degrees Celsius) should be suitable for most sleepers. If you still find these settings too cold, try adding a layer or two to your bedding. If you’re too warm or the weather is particularly hot or humid, consider removing a layer or wearing lighter bedclothes in order to stay cool in bed.

Noise

It should come as no surprise that a quieter bedroom is better for sleep than a louder one. Loud noise disturbances can cause severe sleep fragmentation and disruption, which in turn can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health. Research even suggests that noise at low levels can cause you to shift to a lighter sleep stage or wake up momentarily.

You should strive to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible by blocking outside noises. The whir of a fan or a soothing white noise machine can effectively mask other sounds and help you fall asleep. Some people also enjoy listening to music when they go to bed. Ambient sounds or soothing music, which may also alleviate anxiety and ease physical pain. Noise-blocking curtains are also widely available.

Light

The circadian rhythms that guide your sleep-wake cycle are heavily influenced by natural light and darkness. During the day, your eyes perceive sunlight and signal the brain to produce cortisol, a hormone that helps you stay alert and energized. At night when darkness falls, your brain then produces another hormone, melatonin, to induce feelings of sleepiness and relaxation.

Exposure to artificial light in the evening can delay circadian rhythms and prolong sleep onset, or the time it takes you to fall asleep. Light intensity is measured in units known as lux. Studies have found that exposure to light sources with a lux of 10 or higher later in the day can lead to more nocturnal awakenings and less slow-wave sleep, a portion of your sleep cycle that is vital to cell repair and bodily restoration. Smartphones, televisions, and other devices with screens also produce artificial blue light that can be detrimental to sleep, even if you use dimmer “nighttime” screen settings.

Keep your bedroom light levels as low as possible if you like to read in bed before sleep. Dimmer lights will help you fall asleep more easily. Another good rule-of-thumb is to avoid using screen devices – including televisions – in your bedroom.

Mattress and Bedding

Depending on your sleep preferences, you may enjoy the close body contour of memory foam, the gentle support of latex, or the springy feel of a mattress with coils. Some studies have found that a newer mattress will promote better sleep quality and alleviate more back pain than an older model. However, the best mattress for you likely depends on individual factors like body weight, normal sleep position, and whether you prefer lying on a soft or firm surface.

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You should also choose your bedding items based on personal criteria. Important considerations for selecting the best pillow include firmness, loft (thickness), and durability. For sheets, the best option for you may come down to whether you prefer a crisp or silky hand-feel and how hot you sleep at night.

A sanitary bedroom is also important for promoting healthy sleep. Vacuuming your carpet and regularly washing your bedding can reduce the presence of dust mites, small arthropods that trigger allergies. Just be sure to follow washing and drying instructions on your bedding’s care tags to avoid damage or excessive shrinkage.

Additional Tips for Improving Your Bedroom Environment

To ensure your bedroom is a relaxing environment that promotes healthy sleep, you should take the following measures:

  • Keep your sheets and pillowcases fresh: Many experts agree you should wash your sheets at least once every two weeks. If you sweat excessively in your sleep or share your bed with a pet, you may want to consider weekly cleanings. Routine washings not only prevent dust mites and body oils from building up but can also promote better sleep. The National Sleep Foundation 2012 Bedroom Poll found that the vast majority of sleepers are more excited to go to bed when they have freshly scented sheets.
  • Make the bed before sleep: The Bedroom Poll also found that most people turn down their beds several times a week, if not daily. These respondents were more likely to sleep better at night. A made bed also allows you to crawl into bed and fall asleep more quickly.
  • Fill the bedroom with soothing fragrances: Certain scents can help you feel more relaxed. For example, some studies have found lavender essential oil can improve sleep quality and allow you to wake up feeling more refreshed. Other fragrances, such as peppermint and heliotropin, may also be effective. If you share your bed with a partner, their unique scent may also help you sleep better.

About Our Editorial Team

Bedroom Environment: What Elements Are Important? | Sleep Foundation (1)
Danielle Pacheco

Staff Writer

Danielle writes in-depth articles about sleep solutions and holds a psychology degree from the University of British Columbia.

Bedroom Environment: What Elements Are Important? | Sleep Foundation (2)
Dr. Anis Rehman

Endocrinologist

MD

Dr. Rehman, M.D., is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.

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FAQs

What should the bedroom environment be like for good sleep? ›

Your body heat peaks late afternoon and then starts to drop in the evening to prepare your body for sleep, kickstarting melatonin production. An ideal bedroom temperature is around 16-18°C (60-65°F). Hot, cold or draughty rooms can seriously impact on your sleep, in particular REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Why is sleep important for the environment? ›

Studies have shown people simply sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for light and noise levels, temperature, and comfort. And since sleep quality and duration are directly tied to other aspects of human health, a bedroom environment that promotes sleep can also improve how you feel while you're awake.

Why is it important to have a bedroom? ›

A sanctuary, a soothing respite from the noise and activity of modern life. A place to escape, relax and, most importantly, rest.

What are the best conditions in your bedroom to increase the chances of a good night's sleep? ›

As a rule of thumb, sleep psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD, says to keep your bedroom at 60 to 67° F (15 to 19° C) and to think of your bedroom as your 'cave. ' “It should be cool, dark and quiet to enhance your sleep.”

How can I make my bedroom better? ›

15 Ways You Can Make Your Bedroom More Relaxing Right Now
  1. Tidy Up. First and foremost, you should make sure your bedroom is clean. ...
  2. Freshen Up the Walls. ...
  3. Keep Pillow Cases Fresh. ...
  4. Prep Your Bedside Table. ...
  5. Get Rid of Clutter. ...
  6. Keep Florals Close. ...
  7. Wrap Yourself In Something Soft. ...
  8. Go Shopping In Your Living Room.
31 Mar 2020

Should you only sleep in your bedroom? ›

Make sure your bedroom is exclusive to sleep (and sex).

Your bedroom is a sacred space that should be used only for sleeping and sex. This helps you condition your brain to know that being in the bedroom means it's time to get ready to fall asleep.

What is good sleep quality? ›

Generally, good sleep quality is defined by the following characteristics: You fall asleep soon after getting into bed, within 30 minutes or less. You typically sleep straight through the night, waking up no more than once per night. You're able to sleep the recommended amount of hours for your age group.

What is sleep quality definition? ›

Results: Sleep quality is defined as an individual's self-satisfaction with all aspects of the sleep experience. Sleep quality has four attributes: sleep efficiency, sleep latency, sleep duration, and wake after sleep onset.

What is the most important room in the home? ›

Kitchens are for living

Not only does it contain everything that is needed to prepare meals, it's also a hub of storage and seating. It's also the centre of communications. The kitchen is the most important room in the home because it gives the household a focus and a direction.

How would you describe a bedroom? ›

A bedroom is a room in a house for the bed, so it's mainly used for sleeping. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, it has exactly one room for the bed. To sound old fashioned, call it your bedchamber.

What is a perfect bedroom? ›

While you want your bedroom dark for sleeping, you also want a space that is bright and cheerful the rest of the day. Windows of opportunity. Choose room-darkening blinds, shades or drapes that allow you to plunge the room into peaceful darkness for sleep but let the sunshine in the rest of the time.

How do you sleep? ›

Advertisement
  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. ...
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. ...
  3. Create a restful environment. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet. ...
  4. Limit daytime naps. ...
  5. Include physical activity in your daily routine. ...
  6. Manage worries.

Where should you put your bed to sleep? ›

Position your bed centrally.

The best place to position your bed is diagonally from the door, so it is in your sight, but you do not look directly out of it.

How can I make my own bedroom? ›

From a simple change like your bed sheets to creating an entirely custom room made from scratch, there's something here for every person.
  1. Create a space as unique as you. ...
  2. Create a cozy space. ...
  3. Minimal trends. ...
  4. Mixing styles to create your sanctuary. ...
  5. Decorate with all the pretty things. ...
  6. Bold and beautiful. ...
  7. Keep it open.
18 Nov 2016

Is it good to work in your bedroom? ›

According to productivity experts, one of the simplest—and most important—ways you can do that is to avoid your bedroom during working hours. Why? Your room is a place for rest. If you bring your work into that space, your brain and body might associate it with productivity, which could make it harder to sleep.

Does a clean room help you sleep better? ›

Giving your bedroom a refresh may actually help you sleep better. In fact, about seven in 10 people agree that they get a more comfortable night's sleep on sheets with a fresh scent, according to survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation.

How much sleep is enough? ›

Experts recommend that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. Adults who sleep less than 7 hours a night may have more health issues than those who sleep 7 or more hours a night.

What is the importance of sleep essay? ›

Not only does it help you maintain your physical and mental health, it also helps in maintaining a decent and healthy lifestyle along with ensuring safety from a number of fatal diseases. It is usually said that the mood in which you wake up is largely dependent on the type of sleep you have been in.

What are the stages of sleep? ›

Sleep occurs in five stages: wake, N1, N2, N3, and REM. Stages N1 to N3 are considered non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, with each stage a progressively deeper sleep. Approximately 75% of sleep is spent in the NREM stages, with the majority spent in the N2 stage.

How is your sleep answer? ›

I would say “I slept very well”. It's a very casual answer and if the person asks you more details about it, you can be more specific. If you're not comfortable with your sleep pattern, try this: “Yes, I'm quite tired today, I was up all night. I've been feeling tired for a while”.

Does a clean room help you sleep better? ›

Giving your bedroom a refresh may actually help you sleep better. In fact, about seven in 10 people agree that they get a more comfortable night's sleep on sheets with a fresh scent, according to survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation.

Does environment affect sleep? ›

Environmental conditions, such as temperature, noise, light, bed comfort and electronic distractions, play a significant role in one's ability to get proper sleep—and, subsequently, in overall sleep-related wellness.

Can a messy room affect your sleep? ›

A messy, cluttered bedroom can affect you more than you might think, especially when it comes to bedtime. In fact, a study, conducted by New York's St. Lawrence University, revealed that a messy bedroom can lead to a poor night's sleep and increased anxiety.

What temperature should a bedroom be? ›

The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.

Why should I take care of my room? ›

healthy. Cleaning and organizing your room will also bring some health benefits. You will instantly feel less stressed and distracted, which in turn means that you can go into bed calmly, relaxed and get a much better sleep.

Why is it important to have a clean space? ›

You'll improve your overall health and happiness.

Having a clean-living space positively impacts your mental and physical health. Spending a few minutes tidying up each day will make future cleaning easier and less time-consuming.

How do you sleep in a dusty room? ›

5 ways to de-dust your bedroom for a good night's sleep
  1. Zip them out. Use zippered dustproof covers to keep dust from building up inside your pillows, mattress, and box spring.
  2. Zap them with heat. ...
  3. Consider a remodel. ...
  4. Mask up and wipe down. ...
  5. Keep your room cool and dry.
13 Dec 2021

What things affect your sleep? ›

What Factors Affect Sleep Quality?
  • Irregular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can improve sleep.
  • Sleeping environment. The bedroom should be quiet and dark without excessive lights. ...
  • Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. ...
  • Drugs. ...
  • Snoring. ...
  • Sleep disorders.
14 Apr 2022

How can I manage my sleep? ›

Advertisement
  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. ...
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. ...
  3. Create a restful environment. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet. ...
  4. Limit daytime naps. ...
  5. Include physical activity in your daily routine. ...
  6. Manage worries.

How often should you clean your bedroom? ›

It is advisable to declutter, dust, wipe, and vacuum your bedroom once a week as you don't want to face a serious build-up of grime, viruses, and bacteria. Also, you should change your bedding every seven days to ensure you get a good night's sleep. Certain areas you can tackle less frequently.

What does a messy bedroom mean? ›

A messy room can be a sign of depression or another mental health issue. Clutter affects your mood and can cause more anxiety or stress.

How does a messy house affect you? ›

Clutter can affect our anxiety levels, sleep, and ability to focus. It can also make us less productive, triggering coping and avoidance strategies that make us more likely to snack on junk and watch TV shows (including ones about other people decluttering their lives).

What is the best room temperature? ›

Energy.gov suggests that 68 degrees is a good room temperature while you're awake at home but recommends lowering it while you're asleep or away. Lowering your thermostat 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating expenses by as much as 10 percent.

What is healthy room temperature? ›

The most comfortable room temperature will vary based on your personal preferences, the season, and which areas of the home you are living in. Most people can agree that a healthy range will go from 20 – 24 degrees Celsius (68 – 76 degrees Fahrenheit).

Is it better to sleep hot or cold? ›

The ideal temperature for sleep is about 65°F (18.3°C), give or take a few degrees. Our body temperature naturally drops a little during sleep, and a cool — but not cold — sleeping environment is ideal to have a good night's sleep. When it's too hot, you're more likely to toss and turn, which disrupts your sleep.

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