You spend about a third of your life in the bedroom, so why not make it a comfortable, soothing refuge? Here are a few tips to help you transform your bedroom's atmosphere.
1. Clear your room of clutter. Smooth, clean surfaces act as a balm on your brain, so clear away clutter, put away all the clothes strewn on your bedroom chair, and buy a bookshelf for that stack of books collecting dust.
2. Once a week, put fresh flowers in your room. A study found that female office workers felt more relaxed when they were working near a vase of flowers. Just imagine how nice it would feel to sleep near one.
3. Scent your room with essential oils. In aromatherapy, a number of scents are recognized as particularly useful for reducing stress. There are several easy ways to introduce these scents into your bedroom. One is to buy a light bulb ring (a device that you set onto a cold light bulb), add a couple of drops of essential oil, and turn on the lamp to let the oil warm and scent the air. Another is to buy or make potpourri, a collection of dried herbs treated with essential oils. Or mix in a spray bottle 50ml of water, plus a drop or two of your favorite oils, and use the scent as an air freshener. Relaxing scents include bergamot, chamomile, lavender, lemon, marjoram, neroli, orange, sandalwood, valerian and ylang-ylang.
4. When choosing bedroom hues, go for blue. Scientists say that the color blue affects the autonomic nervous system - the part that operates without your conscious control - to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, and slow the breathing. Proponents of color therapy say that blue has a calming, relaxing effect and helps lull you to sleep. If the room is due for a fresh coat of paint, go for a blue tone. If not, try adding sky-colored blankets, pillows and rugs.