“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
— Irish proverb
Early to bed, early to rise isn’t necessarily a good thing. It could mean that you had a sleepless, fitful night of tossing and turning and couldn’t stay in the bed one more minute.
An important goal for us as interior designers is to understand how the built environment affects how we live. Famous architect Charles Eames said “Recognizing the need is the primary reason for design.” The physical spaces we live in should be designed with health and wellness as part of the solution.
If considering a redesign of your master bedroom, a quick browse of how-to Internet sites proves instantly that you cannot believe everything you find on Google. Free online decorating tips suggest vibrant colors and kitschy accessories. This couldn’t be more wrong or harmful to the benefits of refreshing sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause irritability, depression and reduced job performance. Light affects your body clock and can be a reason for sleep disorders.
Sleeping with the light on or with daylight creeping in through the window affects the production of melatonin, which is the chemical in our brain linked directly to the sleep/wake clock of the mind. Light has the biggest influence on our sleep.
Exposure to daylight triggers the body to turn out hormones that will cause a person to feel sleepy or to wake up. The eyes are highly sensitive to any amount of light particularly in the morning after a night of sleep.
Consider room-darkening window coverings in your bedroom. Our highest recommendation is the Hunter Douglas Duette darkening shade, as the fabric is solid and doesn’t have the perforated holes necessary in horizontal blinds. That said, you will still have a light leak around the edges of the shade. A dark colored drapery panel will fix that issue and it is a fashionable solution. For this, we recommend Bonella Interiors for high-quality custom drapery. Design Directions can help you find the perfect fabric through our thousands of textile selections.
Use dark colors for the walls, ceiling, window shade, and drape — and get ready for some of the best sleeping you’ve ever had! I painted the walls of our new master bedroom Sherwin Williams Smokehouse and used Hunter Douglas Duette shades with opaque fabric and our sleep patterns have changed dramatically. Gone are the days of rising with the chickens. Waking up completely refreshed, we must admit our own astonished experience at how color and light control has changed life for the better.
In a dark room with no daylight penetration, you might not even wake up on your own. In that case, a sun alarm is a better alternative to the traditional loud alarm clocks that buzz incessantly. The noise generated by the alarm clock simply adds to the stress that an individual faces daily. Sleep well, and as always, let us know if we can help.
& Pamela Blythe