The bedroom serves a special and necessary purpose in your home. It’s the one room where you’ll spend nearly a third of your life. With sleep as the number one priority, every aspect of the bedroom should help you get a full seven to nine hours of rest. The lighting design in your bedroom can play an influential role in not only the amount of time you sleep but the quality of that sleep as well.
In this exquisite post from Ellie Porter, you will learn some of the best bedroom lighting ideas to enhance your sleep.
1. Remote-Controlled Ambient Light
Ambient light provides overall illumination and should evenly disperse light throughout the space. Oftentimes, people have to climb out of bed before falling asleep to turn out the light. However, using a hub and app, smart bulbs connect to your smartphone or iPad, providing remote control of the lights. You can turn the lights on and off without leaving the warmth of your bed.
Smart bulbs also give you control over your lights when you’re away from home. Some models use a geo-fence to automatically turn lights on and off when you get in close proximity. Others allow you to schedule the lights to automatically turn on and off, which means you can use them to support your alarm clock.
2. Light-Blocking Window Coverings
Window coverings aren’t usually considered part of lighting design, but natural light is. Natural light has a powerful impact on the sleep-wake cycle. The human body adjusts the release of sleep hormones to correspond with the day/night schedule. However, light pollution, long summer nights, or an alternative work schedule could all be a reason you may need to keep natural light out of the bedroom.
Heavy-lined curtains or drapes over a layer of sheers prevent outside light from disrupting your sleep. They have the added benefit of keeping sound and heat out of the bedroom too.
3. Well-Directed Task Lighting
In the bedroom, task lighting usually revolves around the act of reading. Built-in lamps, sconces, and traditional table lamps placed on both sides of the bed give control to each partner of a shared bedroom. The design of your chosen fixtures or lamps can make or break your sleep.
Any light that shines directly on the bed could cause wakefulness. Any recessed or track lighting should be directed away from the bed. Lampshades and covers that focus light on a specific area work better for reading (and sleep) than those that diffuse light evenly. These kinds of bedroom lighting ideas not only prevent light from disrupting anyone sharing your bed but also reduce your exposure to unnecessary light.
4. Light Bulb Choice
Light bulb choice is an essential part of your bedroom lighting ideas. Many people didn’t think about lightbulb choice as a design decision until Edison bulbs and their variations entered the market. Bulbs can support the look and feel of your bedroom just as much as a piece of furniture. They can also sabotage your sleep-wake cycle.
NASA has heavily researched lightbulbs and the different kinds of light they emit. On a typical day in Earth’s orbit, an astronaut will experience 16 sunrises and sunsets. The erratic exposure to sunlight wreaks havoc on sleep cycles. To improve sleep quality, NASA replaced fluorescent bulbs with LED lights that can change their light spectrum according to the time of day. Blue spectrum light is used during the day because it most closely simulates sunlight and suppresses sleep hormones. At night, red spectrum light provides any necessary illumination without disrupting sleep hormones.
Back on Earth, any blue light in the bedroom is a bad idea. Most high-efficiency (HE) bulbs and many electronic devices emit this kind of light. Safer choices that won’t interfere with your sleep schedule are LED and incandescent bulbs. Save the HE bulbs for daytime rooms like the kitchen and living room. HE bulbs shouldn’t be a part of your bedroom lighting ideas.
5. Hide Electronics or Leave Them Out of the Bedroom
Any device that emits light can be considered part of lighting design, right? That might be a stretch, but your television, laptop, and smartphone can all emit blue light. That makes them poor bedfellows. If a television is a deal breaker in your bedroom, put it somewhere where it can be concealed at night. That will make it less of a temptation for late-night viewing and hide any power indicator lights too. As for your smartphone, place it face down or in a drawer if you use it as an alarm clock. Your best option is to keep these devices out of your bedroom or turn them off two to three hours before you plan to go to bed.
Light can strengthen your body’s response to natural sleep hormones. A carefully thought out lighting design can be the final step to the perfect sleep sanctuary.