You probably already know that creating a relaxing, comfortable environment in your bedroom is a big factor in how well you’ll sleep at night, but a lot of people don’t consider how one particular element plays a part in that – lighting.
A properly-lit bedroom can make all the difference to your sleep routine, and your relationship with the bedroom space in general.
Light can affect our sleep in a number of ways; directly, by making it difficult for us to fall asleep, and indirectly, by influencing our internal clock which determines our own preferred sleep times. It’s important we’re aware of the levels of light in our bedroom, and there are a number of things to consider to create the perfect light balance in our sleep sanctuary.
Natural sunlight generally puts us in a better mood, so letting it into your bedroom in the morning and during the day is always encouraged. However, in the evening when you’re winding down and getting ready to sleep, the lighting should be subdued to encourage rest and calm.
It’s important to consider the type of light you choose to have in your bedroom. Full-spectrum light bulbs (as opposed to fluorescent tubes or spiral bulbs) are best for bedrooms, as they give off a diffused, warm light. When it comes to the light colour, the Goldilocks approach is totally applicable; you don’t want it too warm or yellow, but equally you don’t want it too cold or blue white either – poor lighting like this can have an impact on anxiety and depression, so it’s important to get it just right.
Another thing to think about is all the different things we use our bedroom for, and how we should light them accordingly. You wouldn’t want the same lighting next to your bed as on your dressing table or over your wardrobe, would you? While a nice bright bulb in your wardrobe area is ideal for waking you up while you get ready in the morning, if you’re someone who reads before bed (proven to be one of the best ways to prepare for sleep), a warm white light at the side of you instead of above you is best. This will keep the light from shining directly in your face, and is easier to switch off when you’re ready to sleep than climbing out of bed again.
One easy way of controlling light levels in your bedroom is a simple dimmer switch. If you have a smaller bedroom that can’t accommodate different lights in different areas, or you’ve chosen to have one central light source, a dimmer switch can be a really effective and cost effective way to quickly adapt the lighting in your room.
It can sometimes be difficult to get the balance right when it comes to lighting in your bedroom, but doing your research and finding what’s best for you will no doubt help you to relax and wind down, improving your overall sleep quality.