A person’s bedroom environment has a major impact on the quality and quantity of sleep, says an interior design instructor.

A number of factors can affect how well a person sleeps, including stress, caffeine intake, mild to severe pain, and medication. But one factor sometimes overlooked by sleep professionals is a patient’s bedroom environment. Bedroom design may contribute to sleep deprivation and has a major impact on the quality and quantity of sleep.

According to The Better Sleep Council, the bedroom should be a luxurious and personal space conducive to relaxation and comfort. As such, those coping with sleep difficulties should strive to create a personal sleep sanctuary that will meet their needs for rejuvenation and rest. According to Anne Holic, an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of Washington, a person’s environment can play an important role in counting sheep or counting zzzs, and explains that through furniture, lighting, and décor, one can turn a bedroom into a tranquil oasis.


“Use window treatments to eliminate light,” Holic says in a release. “Dimmer switches are also nice, because you can mimic the way the sun works.” Holic also suggests using task lighting next to each person’s bedside for reading, plus wall sconces to provide light to the bedroom (as well as a touch of style). Holic recommends new LED lights, which are “more efficient and longer lasting than compact fluorescent lamps.”


In regard to bedroom furniture, Holic advises to keep things simple in order to create a sleep sanctuary. She recommends removing extras and disturbances, saying that “many studies show that people get better sleep if they remove the phones, computers, televisions, and fitness equipment from their bedroom.” Holic also suggests adding side tables next to the bed to de-clutter the room.

Comforters and pillows are great accents that can change the room’s feel with the seasons, Holic says. Additionally, Holic says, “A designer I worked for liked to keep the bedroom draperies similar in color to the walls. That continues the flow of the room and creates a smooth, relaxing space.” A fan is an additional tool that can help provide a good night’s sleep, as “the hum of a ceiling fan can create white noise and help block out any other noises,” according to Holic.

Décor and Environment

For individuals struggling with sleep, Holic proposes keeping the room cool. In addition, selecting colors and textures that are calm and give the room a cozy feeling can help provide an environment conducive to sleep. The interior design instructor says to use “calm, cool wall colors of soft blues, greens, violets, or grays. Use low or no VOC paints whenever possible.”

Wall panels are also a type of décor that can be an essential element in a sleep sanctuary. Holic says, “There are lots of new 3-dimensional wall panels, many of them made from natural materials.  If used in the bedroom, keep the design simple and use calm wall colors.”

Cassandra Perez is associate editor of Sleep Review. CONTACT [email protected]