Are you anxious? Not getting enough sleep? Don’t worry you are not alone.
I, for one, have been so busy in the last year, getting my website complete, running workshops, and have now embarked on a 5-month renovation of my home and am surrounded by dust and debri, so at times like these we all need to make sure our SLEEP is prioritised.
I’ve never been a great sleeper, but I know that without good sleep my work, and health will suffer.
One of the most important elements of Biophilic interior Design is to ensure our health and well-being areoptimised, and that we feel at our best. If you have every been a new parent, crammed all night for an exam, or just generally suffered from wakefulness, you’ll know how exhausted you feel on less than 7 hours sleep a night.
You are not alone, the UN estimates that 60% of people suffer from a lack of sleep. But it’s not just the tiredness, and mood change that a lack of sleep causes, it impacts every aspect of your waking life.
A lack of sleep results in less productivity and creativity at work. Accidents behind the wheel when driving are attributed to tiredness on over 20% of the car crashes, resulting in thousands of casualties every year.
Clumsiness, exhaustion, career and relationship fatigue, are then compounded by the impact on our health. People who don’t get enough sleep suffer higher incidents of heart failure - a simple statistical calculation of heart attacks that occur on the day after daylight saving is extended and the day after daylight saving is reduced, shows that a one hour increase in sleep results in a nationwide reduction in heart attacks by 21 %, and when we lose that hour, when the clocks go back, heart attacks jump by over 24%. And that is just one day, what happens to those of us who every night fail to optimise our sleep?
Never fear, Biophilia is here. Biophilic interior design understands the importance of rest and recharging during our sleeping hours. When designing or renovating a bedroom, I maximimize Biophilic Design elements to ensure that the occupant gets much needed rest.
- A bedroom is a multi-use room. Yes, it is for optimum sleep but for many of us it is our hideaway, our study area, and for children our safe exploration den.
- Adults need bedrooms that are a sanctuary of calm and relaxation.
- Teenagers need their rooms to be a hub for their study, and a refuge so that they can sleep during the adolescent growing years.
- Younger children need a room that is safe, interactive, and nurtures their sense of play and organisation.
- While babies need a place of maximum rest - especially so that parents can get some much-needed sleep too.
When designing your Biophilic bedroom, think light, colour andsound.
Naturallight is vital to people’s happiness and health. During this time of self-isolation, and winter we are spending 23 hours a day indoors, so natural light streaming in through the windows calms us and connects us with nature.
You can incorporate natural light into the bedroom through fitting sky lights which will optimize the amount of natural light that shines through the room. Think about placing mirrors around the room or one across from the window as this can double the amount of sunlight that enters the room.
When it comes to selecting soft furnishings opt for light colours and light fabrics such as linens and cotton. This will help to create a white bright space throughout the room.
When it comes to natural light it is important to optimize it, so think about using lighter window treatments such as sheer or light weight curtains or blinds as this will allow you to control the amount of natural light that comes into the room. This also help regulate your circadian rhythm by allowing night light to shine through you can wake up naturally to light rather than a harsh alarm and bright artificial lights that make your eyes wince.
Colour is a very personal choice. In Biophilic interior Design the colours we choose for our bedrooms impact our sleeping and our sense of calm.
Blue is an excellent choice, especially for teenagers, as it helps in supporting concentration and study. Blue evokes feelings of calmness and spirituality as well as security and trust. Seeing the colour blue causes the body to create calming chemicals; Light blues give a more relaxing, friendly feel. According to e-learning expert Christopher Pappas the colour blue impacts learning resulting in “higher scores, due to the fact that they are in a calmer state of mind.” Don’t we all want that!
Green is also an excellent choice for the bedroom as greens arethe colour of renewal, growth and plant life; it’s the colour we associate with forests, trees and abundance. Green is the colour our eyes most easily identify due to its light wavelength of around 550 nanometers. Green also comes in the deepest richest tones, through vibrant and luminous shades, right down to subtle and calming hues.
Earth tones are also an excellent choice for bedrooms as they allow a deep connection with nature and extra pops of colour can be added to create mood and individuality.
Sound and comfort go hand in hand. A bedroom should be quiet, or at least acoustically secure against outside noises, and the noises of other rooms. Natural sustainable carpeting not only act as an excellent sound absorber, but also allow for tactile enjoyment for your bare feet.
In an adult bedroom clutter should be kept to a minimum, the room should be kept for rest and sleep. Create a feeling of safety with a 4-poster bed, candles, music and lighting.
Surround yourself with comfort, and familiarity while being devoid of clutter.
A TV is an individual choice, however having one that folds into the ceiling offers space and reduces intrusion.
Ease of movement within a bedroom is essential. From your position in bed, you should be able to easily adjust light, noise, and temperature. Ease of transition from work energy to sleep energy and vice versa reduces stress, boosting harmony and well-being.
Your bedroom is your oasis and your refuge. While your day may be an obstacle course of to-do lists, work, family, and zoom meetings, don’t forget to get plenty of sleep and ensure your bedroom is a Biophilic designed sanctuary of wellness and calm.