Just because a bedroom looks gorgeous in photographs, that doesn’t make them pleasant to sleep in. Have you ever had a fantastic night’s sleep in a somewhat dumpy looking place? Or woke up sore and with a headache in a designer bedroom? Here’s why:
The favourite bedroom mistakes of Singaporeans
We like stylish bedrooms, so that leads us to make some pretty – but regrettable – decisions. Here are the most common ones:
1. Picking a bed that’s too big for the room
Four-poster beds can look grand, but think it through: when you bed is too big, it restricts walking space in the room. That’s not just inconvenient, it impedes your storage space, and other uses for the room. For example, a gigantic bed can block wardrobe doors, or force the removal of night stands and study desks.
The other drawback here is that your room looks smaller than normal. When your headboard occupies most of the room’s wall, for instance, there’s a sense of claustrophobia in the design. Landlords should take note: your tenant’s first impression may be that the room is smaller than it really is.
As a general rule, ensure you can easily walk between the bed, and surrounding walls. Closet doors must be able to open fully, without hitting the bed. Also take note of any power cords or cables in the room; you should be able to access these with reasonable ease, without the bed completely blocking them off.
2. Using only down lights for the bedroom
Down lights cast light directly downward, whereas up lights shine the light upward. The reflected glow from the ceiling creates a soft, ambient light that’s more gentle. This is ideal for a room that you want to sleep in.
Down lights are brighter; but do you really want the bedroom to look like the inside of a clinic, all the time? Complement it with floor lamps, or other sources of up lights, for evenings or late night.
3. Using any-old mattress and pillow set
Singaporeans don’t clock enough hours of sleep. About 44 per cent of us get less than seven hours of sleep on weekdays, and 26 per cent don’t have enough sleep on weekends. Sleep deprivation results in numerous expensive conditions, such as:
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Slowed cognitive ability (it’s harder to learn new things)
Now a part of this can be activity related, such as working late or, well, Netflix. But a lot of sleep deprivation issues are also related to your pillows and mattresses. For example, studies have shown that a change to a slightly firmer mattress can, by itself, reduce incidences of back pain and improve the quality of sleep.
A good way to find a better mattress (and pillows) is to consider Tempur; their materials use a high-density visco-elastic foam which was first developed by NASA (very sci-fi, we know). But that means the mattress perfectly adapts to your body shape, weight, and temperature, while effectively relieving pressure.
Likewise, their pillows use the same unique material to cradle your head and shoulders like a baby; that way you won’t wake up with a stiff neck. Quality bedding material is always worth the cost, given the pay-off is your mental and physical health.
4. Blocked / lack of ventilation
It’s a good idea to open the windows once or twice or day, and keep a fan going (if you don’t use an air-conditioner). We know this is a bit inconvenient, since you need to rush to close it when it rains, sometimes bugs get in, etc.
But Singapore is a tropical country; the air is hot and damp. Closing off the room from ventilation doesn’t just make it stuffy – it increases the odds of growing mold, and create that “gym locker room” smell after a while. Your bed sheets – and sometimes even clothes – might trap the smell.
(If they smell damp even after a round in the dryer, this may be the reason).
5. Putting too many electronic screens in your room
Blue light – which emits from televisions, computers, and smartphones – have a stimulating effect. A significant amount of screen time can result in you waking up groggier, or taking longer to fall asleep. This is particularly true for children, who can suffer from disrupted sleep as a result.
As far as possible, reduce temptation. Minimise the number of tablets, laptops, etc. in the room; and do consider removing the TV as well. Soft ambient lights and a hot drink (non-caffeinated) are effective stress fighters.
6. “Hot” colours on a bedroom wall
Hot colours are red, orange, yellow, and any of the related hues. By contrast, cool colours are purple, blue, and green. Fit the right colour to the right room purpose.
For example, hot colours may be fine in the kitchen, living room, playroom, or other lively areas. But they’re totally wrong for a bedroom. No matter what kind of lighting you use, a bold red wall is going to be overly-stimulating; that makes it harder to go to sleep. In fact, studies show that the colour red make you move faster and with greater force.
Try to keep to cool colours, when decorating the bedroom.
On a related note, try to avoid “noisy” wallpaper as well – these are loud designs, such as yellow and black stripes, or red and green patterns (that’s especially horrible because your room looks like a mall on Christmas). These have the same overly-stimulating effect.
7. Thick, damask drapes
These look gorgeous and fanciful; but think twice before using them given the Singaporean weather. While elegant, these types of drapes tend to trap heat; definitely a bad choice in the tropics. With heavy damask drapes, the room can feel like a sauna when you walk in; your air-conditioner will be working overtime to cool it.
These drapes are also notoriously difficult to keep clean – you can’t just stuff them into a washer without risking damage. And because they’re often folded in intricate ways, it’s a bother to close and open them (if you don’t fold them up and tie them off with a cord the proper way, they look a complete mess).
When it comes to bedrooms, balance functionality and aesthetics.
Don’t just go for the prettiest room, or the grandest one. Go for a bedroom that you’ll be comfortable in, as the quality of your sleep affects your quality at work or in school.
This post is sponsored by Tempur, a leading provider of best-quality mattresses and bedding accessories in Singapore.
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