The bedroom is one room that has a singular focus – sleep. However, growing technology use and increasing levels of stress and pressure lead many people to a continuing cycle sleeplessness. However, interior design can help. Natural design elements have been shown to reduce stress and tension while lowering heart rate and blood pressure, all of which lead to better (and more) sleep.
Nature Restores the Mind To get the rest you need, both mind and body have to relax. A Stanford University study found that taking a 90-minute walk in a natural setting not only reduced feelings of anxiety but decreased activity in the part of the brain responsible for feelings of depression.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology explored the relationship between a natural setting and participants’ ability to pay attention. Though the study was conducted in a work environment, researchers found that looking at a natural versus an urban setting restored the mind’s ability to concentrate and focus. While sleep doesn’t require concentration, your mind does need to be able to focus on the present moment rather than stressful events of the past or future. That restoration of balance contributes to better sleep.
Natural design elements can bring all of the benefits of nature to the bedroom, enhancing the quality and quantity of your sleep.
1. Houseplants: Clean Air, Sound Absorption, and Design Chameleon
What’s more natural than a houseplant? Houseplants can be used in a number of different ways within your interior design. The right plants, like the snake plant with its geometrically-patterned vertical leaves, placed on a window seal or near French doors naturally frame and transition the bedroom to the outdoors. The snake plant and a long list of others, including English ivy and aloe vera, remove biotoxins from the air like formaldehyde and benzene. Better air quality means better sleep. Plants also absorb high-frequency sounds, which are more irritating to the human ear than low frequencies, reduce overall noise levels in the bedroom.
2. Natural Wood and Light
Together, light and natural wood create the atmosphere of a modern forest. That doesn’t mean all the wood in the room needs to match. The same tone or scale of the grain used in different accent pieces like picture frames, a bench, or bed frame can unify the space. The right use of natural and artificial light can then bounce off the wood to give your bedroom an earthy glow that calms the mind.
3. The Fabrics of Nature
Natural, organic fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool create textures only found in purely natural fibers. While you probably don’t want wool on your bed, wool and wool blend rugs and/or curtains add an organic rusticity to the room. A mixture of high-quality all-natural, organic cotton and linen throw pillows, throws, bedspreads, and sheets provides extra comfort, breathability, and most of all the softness that only gets better with each washing.
4. Stone and Brick Accent Pieces
Stone and brick have unique textures and color combinations that originate in nature. They can be found as an option amongst bookends, nightstand inlays, and table lamps. Stone and brick can also provide a contrast to the softness and warmth of wood while grounding the space with their heft and weight.
You may only need a few carefully selected pieces to give your bedroom the touch of nature you need for better sleep. Choose pieces you love so that when you enter the room feels like a natural escape.