Is Your Bedroom Affecting Your Mental Health?

Have you ever walked into a bedroom, looked around at all the clutter and a messy bed, and suddenly felt a little disheartened or even stressed?

It’s widely believed our mental health comes from within, however, just this situation alone proves our environment and the space outside of our minds has just as much of an impact on our mental state and wellbeing.

You only have to look towards the ‘Marie Kondo Method’, which focuses on owning less and living in a more streamlined and organised environment. Her approach is that by tidying, people can transform their lives, bring mindfulness and live in the present - and while essential in all areas of the home, it specifically rings true for the bedroom. As one Harvard University School of Medicine study even pointed out, poor quality of sleep can lead to a 15 per cent decrease in life expectancy, giving you a good reason to reconsider your bedroom’s setup.

So, if your frame of mind is feeling a little dry or fatigued, perhaps it’s time to press play on your favorite playlist and spend the day rearranging your bedroom. Here, Bed Threads Journal instilled the help of Lysn psychologist Nancy Sokarno and Bed Threads stylist Jackie Brown to find out the styling mistakes you need to avoid in the bedroom for better mental health.

8 Bedroom Styling Mistakes to Avoid For Better Mental Health

1. Too much clutter

A messy bedroom is the number one cause for a chaotic mind. 

“Any clutter or mess can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health as it can make the brain feel disorganized and affect the ability to think clearly,” Sokarno says.

What you want to create instead, is a sleep sanctuary that helps promote relaxation whenever you step into the space. To do this, Brown suggests replacing clutter with candles or an oil burner. “A lit candle can add a comforting presence to your room, and lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, chamomile, and grapefruit oils have all been reported to have stress-relieving properties and boost mood.”

2. No greenery

Besides their Instagram-friendly benefits, a bedroom littered with plants can help induce sleep by transforming it into a more tranquil space.

“There are several studies that show plants can help in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. A number of indoor plants have also proved useful in removing toxic chemicals from the air, which results in better quality sleep.”

Areca Palms, Mother in Law’s Tongue, orchids, and succulents are welcome bedside buds that will purify the air and optimize sleep without compromise. When styling these, find a nook or empty shelf space to hero your plant, cultivating a natural sanctuary inside your space of relaxation.

If you don’t have a green thumb, Brown suggests opting for fresh flowers as an alternative. A University of North Florida study proved a freshly cut bunch can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. 

3. Lack of calming colors

Color therapy is often used by interior designers and it’s something you can easily implement into your space, too.

“Certain colors can evoke different emotions so try to be mindful of the stronger hues and what they can evoke,” Sokarno notes. “For example, red is the color of energy so it can often increase anxiety levels and make it harder to relax. Instead, opt for calming colors like pale blue, which can make you feel relaxed, calm, and peaceful.”

Brown also recommends neutrals and greens for the bedroom. For more on this, we’ve previously explained the best colors to use in the bedroom here.

4. Bad overhead lighting

“If your bedroom is too dark, you run the risk of feeling depleted and it won’t leave you waking up energized in the mornings. 

“Conversely, if it’s too light and you are trying to sleep at night, it can have a negative impact on your sleep, which of course then can impact your mental health, Sokarno says. “This is all linked back to our circadian rhythms and how light can trick our brains into thinking it’s a certain time of day.”

So, what’s the solution? Firstly, Brown advises avoiding LED bulbs and opting for softer wattage, instead. She also recommends having lighting at different heights for different tasks. “Bedside lamps, floor lamps and desk lamps are all going to be used at different times, so consider the ambiance you want to create and style your lighting accordingly.”

It might also be a good idea to ditch the TV in the bedroom. 

5. … and natural lighting

If you have the option to style the window coverings in your bedroom, Brown highly recommends considering a combination of light blocking materials and sheers. 

“Getting enough sleep is key to functioning as a happy and healthy human being, and having these options allows you to choose how your sleep is optimized. Are you someone that likes to tap into their circadian rhythm and wake with the sun? Sheers will provide privacy and distill the harsh morning light without blocking out the rays from your morning ‘alarm clock’. 

“Do you need a pitch black and cool environment to be able to snooze sufficiently? A light-blocking option might be better suited to you. I have seen these two done in combination linen curtains, which looked incredibly beautiful, too.”

6. Incorporating your workspace into your sleep area

Unfortunately, the rise of remote work in recent times has meant many of us are using our bedrooms as multitasking spaces (aka our offices). Bringing your work into your sleep sanctuary is never a good idea but sometimes it can't be avoided due to sheer lack of space. If this is the case for you, “try and set up a separate workspace in the room, as opposed to taking your laptop into bed and working from there,” Brown recommends. 

“A small desk, ideally positioned near a window that can be opened to let in fresh air, will do the trick. The natural light will help prevent eye strain as you work.” Plus, it’s never a bad idea to place small plants on your desk to help increase productivity.

7. Wrong bed sheets

“Sleep is incredibly important for a well-balanced emotional state and is highly underrated when it comes to our mental health,” Sokarno says. “Lack of sleep can render a person to be more prone to mood swings, compromise decision-making and impact creativity levels.” Just choosing the right bedding can have a positive effect on your overall mental state.

Our Bed Threads sheets are composed of 100% flax linen, and this natural fiber is well known to have a myriad of benefits. Not only is it temperature-regulating (meaning it’s breathable in the summer and provides added warmth in the winter), but it also requires minimal effort to care for and style, it feels buttery-soft, it’s perfect for those with sensitive skin and they’ll last you years. We’ve rounded up all the benefits of sleeping in 100% flax linen here.

8. Lack of soft geometry

Look around your bedroom - do you see a lot of flat surfaces and straight lines? It’s time to embrace your curves. 

“Using decor pieces with rounded edges might, in fact, help you to relax,” Brown says. “Implementing curves into your furniture and accessories will make you feel safe and keep you calm, so play with ‘soft geometry’.”

Liked this? Here are 8 landlord-approved ways to turn your rental bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.

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